Defense was the one thing that was keeping Boston’s hopes alive during the first half of Wednesday night’s Game 5 closeout contest in Milwaukee. However, defense could only get the Celtics so far on a night when they just couldn’t knock down shots.
Boston accumulated only 34 points through the first 22 minutes of action at Fiserv Forum, though it had also managed to limit Milwaukee to just 40 to that point. Then, the Bucks’ league-leading offense woke up, while leaving the Celtics in the dust.
It took Milwaukee just one minute and 39 seconds to turn a two-possession lead into a six-possession lead, as it outscored Boston 12-2 from the 2:06 mark of the second quarter until the 27-second mark.
Five different Bucks contributed to the cause during the stretch, while only one Celtic – Kyrie Irving – was able to find the bottom of the net.
That brief run gave Milwaukee all the momentum it needed heading into halftime, as it was able to blow the game open after the break, eventually cruising to a 116-91, series-clinching win.
Wednesday night may have marked the end of Boston’s campaign, but Marcus Morris did not go down without a fight. He embodied Celtics Pride in the season finale, displaying a selfless attitude and a tenacious style of play from start to finish.
Morris went into the night with a team-first mentality, as he willingly stepped out of the starting lineup and into a reserve role so that the C’s could try shaking things up against the Milwaukee Bucks. He then produced the team’s best all-around, individual performance, as he tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds and three assists during 30 minutes of action.
The veteran swingman was the lone exception to Boston’s shooting woes. He knocked down 4-of-8 from the field, making him the only player on the team who attempted multiple shots and finished with a shooting clip above 33.3 percent.
Morris also was just a minus-3 in a 25-point blowout, confirming that the Celtics were at their best when he was on the floor.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Bucks had eight players who scored in double figures, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo (20).
- Kyrie Irving led way for Boston in the scoring column with 15 points.
- Both starting power forwards led their respective teams in assists. Al Horford had six and Antetokounmpo had eight.
- Marcus Morris logged a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
- The Celtics shot just 31.2 percent from the field, including 17.9 percent from 3-point range.
- Both teams committed 14 turnovers.
- Jayson Tatum logged Boston's only blocked shot.
- Boston's bench scored 41 points after tallying only seven points in Game 4.
Quote of the Night
All this stuff that we’ve been through, we’ll all be better because of it … Because we learned a lot.
Brad Stevens on his post-game message to the team.