10 Numbers From The Game 3 Win
With less than a minute until halftime, the Celtics led by three, and master showman and greatest dribbler in the world Kyrie Irving went around the back against Giannis and glided to the rim for one of his patented finishes. Only, Giannis turned around and swatted the attempt.
It was a Giannis superpowers > Kyrie superpowers moment and it foreshadowed what was to come in the second half.
8. When it comes to Giannis, it is not just any old eight assists. It is what those eight assists led to. On this night, they led to six three-pointers and two layups. Standard stuff from one of the great playmakers in the world. Four of those assists came in the game-breaking third quarter, including this beauty which followed his blocked shot and which gave the Bucks the lead.
16–22. Giannis attempted 22 free throws. In case you are wondering: That is more free throw attempts than the entire Celtics team averaged during the regular season (19.5). The Celtics ranked 29th in the league at getting to the line. Giannis lives at the line. That is who the Celtics are, and who Giannis is.
9–12. Last year in the first round, backup Terry Rozier may have gotten the better of starter Eric Bledsoe, but this year in the second round, backup George Hill is arguably getting the better of Kyrie Irving through three games (or it close anyway), and I cannot think of a more dramatic contrast between the two series. Hill was masterful, hitting 9–12 from the field in Game 3 for 21 points, along with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 0 turnovers.
42–16. Hill led a fantastic bench that outscored the Celtics bench 42–16. Bucks reserves (Hill, Connaughton, Ilyasova, Snell) shot a combined 16–28 (.571) from the field compared to 4–17 (.235) by the Celtics reserves (Hayward, Ojeleye, Baynes, Rozier, Theis).
3. One last thing about Hill. He grabbed three offensive rebounds, which were largely the result of being in the right place at the right time. But there is something to that. It was not coincidental. He got putbacks on two of them and almost the third.
39 and 40. In each of the first three games of the series, it was a one-possession game at halftime. And in each of the three games, a dominant third quarter has turned the game. In the last two games, the Bucks have blown the Celtics away in the third quarter, scoring 39 in Game 2 and doing it one better in Game 3.
1. Giannis scored 32 points and dictated every part of the game while attempting exactly one shot that was not either at the rim or a free throw.
.485. Khris Middleton started slowly with two quick unforced turnovers (bad pass, turnover) on the first two offensive possessions of the game, but from there warmed and warmed over the rest of the game, and what do you know, the most accurate three-point shooter in playoff history against a single team ended up hitting 3–6 from deep (as well as 6–12 from the field and 5–6 at the line). He is now 67–138 (.485) on threes in his playoff career overall, and even better against Boston.
52–24. The Bucks dominated points in the paint, which is something they did all season, but something they did not do in the first couple games in Milwaukee. Was welcome.
+10. Brook Lopez led all players with a +10 differential. Despite hitting just 1–4 from long range, he found a way to be a positive on both sides of the ball. That bodes well for the rest of the series and perhaps beyond.