Boston Celtics rout reigning NBA champions Milwaukee in game seven to reach Eastern Conference Finals

Kyle HightowerAP
Jayson Tatum and Grant Williams combined for 50 points in Boston's Game 7 win over Milwaukee.
Camera IconJayson Tatum and Grant Williams combined for 50 points in Boston's Game 7 win over Milwaukee. Credit: AP

Grant Williams has scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven three-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and the Boston Celtics set a Game 7 record with 22 threes to eliminate the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Boston will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.

The Celtics trailed early on Sunday at TD Garden but outscored the Bucks 61-38 in the second half to cruise to victory. Boston used a whopping 54-point advantage from behind the arc to improve to 25-9 in decisive seventh games.

The Bucks are now 3-9. They went 4 for 33 (12.1 per cent) from the three-point line. That’s the second-worst percentage in a playoff game ever (minimum 30 attempts).

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. But he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bucks led the entire first quarter as Antetokounmpo scored or assisted on 24 of Milwaukee’s 26 first-quarter points.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, left, greets Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, following Game 7 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 109-81. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Camera IconGiannis Antetokounmpo’s efforts in game seven weren’t enough to get his Milwaukee Bucks into another Conference Finals. Credit: Steven Senne/AP

He ended the period with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Bucks grab a 26-20 lead.

Boston enjoyed a 48-43 halftime advantage and started the second half on an 11-4 run to open a 59-47 lead.

It was 63-53 when Tatum went to the bench after being whistled for his fourth foul. But the Celtics rallied without him, outscoring the Bucks 16-11 the rest of the quarter to take a 79-64 lead to the fourth which they only extended to run out 28-point winners.

Williams finished 7 for 18 behind the arc as the second-seeded Celtics completed the comeback after dropping Game 5 at home to fall into a 3-2 hole.

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