On Wednesday (ET), the Celtics and Bucks were meeting for the first time since opening night, when Jayson Tatum banked in a game-winning 3-pointer over Giannis Antetokounmpo.
And although this season has turned out very differently for both teams, with the Bucks in the East's top tier while Boston is struggling to remain above .500 and fighting to stay in the East's playoff seeds, this contest at the Fiserv Forum didn't disappoint.
It literally came down to the final second.
Very good look for Theis at the buzzer -- shows his frustration after the miss. Pretty surprising Boston was even in this position on the final possession. Showed some real fight to get back into this one. pic.twitter.com/8hJhIqiNXw- Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) March 25, 2021
"Oh s**t," Giannis said postgame referring to his reaction to the potential game-winning shot.
"I thought it was good," said Khris Middleton during his on-court postgame interview.
If Theis' shot would have gone in, it would have snapped the Bucks' eight-game winning streak and helped the Celtics get a statement win, which would have surely lifted their spirits given their recent form and their deficit in this game.
With 18 minutes to play, Boston trailed by their largest of 25 (90-65) but fought back. During their comeback, Kemba Walker (15 points, four assists, two steals) was the visitor's star as they outscored the Bucks 54-31.
BIG 3 to get back in it!!! pic.twitter.com/mKMmrp9rw0- Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 25, 2021
"We need to be better down the stretch in the fourth quarter," Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said postgame. In the fourth, the hosts were outscored 33-21 but were kept afloat by Khris Middleton, who scored (8) and assisted on 11 of their 21 points.
He finished the game as the Bucks' top contributor with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists as Giannis Antetokounmpo struggled in his return from a one-game absence due to a left knee sprain. Bobby Portis stepped up as well, scoring 21 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
This loss is the Celtics' sixth in their last eight games, continuing their up-and-down form since mid-January when they were 7-3. Meanwhile, surviving this game helps the Bucks record their 13th win in their last 14 games.
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