Keys to the Game: Bucks 121, Celtics 119

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Key Moment

The Celtics were an inch away from pulling off a miraculous comeback Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

One inch, and they’re celebrating a stunning victory. One inch, and they’re sleeping with smiles. One inch, and they’re back into the win column.

Unfortunately, that inch went in the wrong direction – long.

With only one second left in the game and with Boston trailing by two, Marcus Smart found Daniel Theis wide open in front of Boston’s bench for a potential game-winning 3-pointer. Theis caught the ball in perfect rhythm and fired up a shot that would have sent the Celtics’ bench into hysteria. In fact, the C’s bench had already begun to celebrate as the ball flew through the air.

Instead of mobbing Theis after a game-winner, however, multiple Celtics grabbed onto him to console him after his shot banged off the back of the rim.

Theis’ shot was right on target. Right on target. It was just an inch too long. It actually hit the inside of the back of the rim and bounced back in the direction from which it came.

“He got a great look, and he stepped in and shot it with authority,” Brad Stevens said after the game. “He back-rimmed it. It looked good.”

Unfortunately, it was not, which leaves a sour taste in Boston’s mouth after an inspired comeback after trailing by as many as 25 points during the second half.

Key Player

Jeff Teague continues to sizzle while looking like his old self.

Teague followed up a 26-point performance during a spot start Monday night with another wildly efficient night off the bench Wednesday night in Milwaukee. He scored 15 points to lead all Celtics reserves, and he did so while canning five of his seven shot attempts, three of his four 3-pointers and both of his free throws. He has now shot 15-for-19 over his last two games.

Teague also pitched in three rebounds, two assists and a steal during his 16-plus minutes of action. Boston outscored Milwaukee by 11 points while he was on the floor, which gave him the best plus/minus rating of the game. The next-best mark was plus-eight, logged by fellow Celtics reserve Grant Williams.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston outscored Milwaukee 26-12 in fast break points.
  • All 10 starters scored in double-figures.
  • Khris Middleton led the game in both points (27) and rebounds (13).
  • Jaylen Brown logged a double-double by leading the C's in both scoring (24 points) and rebounds (10).
  • Kemba Walker scored 23 points on 9-for-18 shooting.
  • Walker also tied Marcus Smart for the team high in assists with six.
  • Boston limited Giannis Antetokounmpo to only 13 points on 11 shots.
  • Bobby Portis led all reserves with 21 points.
  • Milwaukee shot 50 percent from the field and 45.9 percent from long distance.
  • Boston forced the Bucks into 16 turnovers.
  • Milwaukee scored 35 points during both the first and second quarters, but scored only 21 during the final period.
  • Jeff Teague scored 15 points off of Boston's bench and had the game's top plus/minus rating at plus-11.

Quote of the Night

"He'd be better off if he had my stomach than his."

Brad Stevens on Semi Ojeleye suffering a hip contusion