The Milwaukee Bucks turned around a 14-point fourth quarter deficit against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series thanks to some clutch shot making and dominating the offensive glass down the stretch.
Milwaukee rallied for the 110-107 win to take a 3-2 series lead back to Fiserv Forum for Friday’s Game Six.
In the final period, Boston took a 93-79 lead on a Payton Pritchard seven-foot fadeaway jumper with 10:16 remaining. That capped a 7-0 Celtics run and led to a timeout called by Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.
From there, Milwaukee went to work.
A pair of Pat Connaughton three-pointers against his boyhood team cut the Boston lead to 98-90 with 7:38 remaining. Later in the quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday hit back-to-back three’s in the final minutes to tie the game at 105-105.
For the quarter, Milwaukee went a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond the arc, after struggling throughout the entire series from the perimeter, while outrebounding the Celtics 14-6 (including 7-1 on the offensive glass).
As he has done so many times in clutch playoff situations, Jrue Holiday came up with a huge strip-steal to help seal the victory.
Following Bobby Portis’ putback lay-in of a Giannis Antetokounmpo missed free throw put the Bucks up by one at 108-107, a Boston inbounds pass went to Marcus Smart. Smart’s drive to the basket was cut off by Connaughton, which forced Smart to readjust and gave Holiday time to block the shot while falling out of bounds. Holiday even then had the wherewithal to throw the ball off Smart giving possession back to Milwaukee.
"It's a big win," Holiday told reporters after the game. “The plan was to come here and get a win and no matter if we were up 20, no matter if we were down 20, we wanted to leave here with a win and we did the best we could and got the win."
"Big-time, big-time play, great block and was able to keep his balance and stay on the court," Antetokounmpo said of Holiday’s game-saving play. “Big time plays down the stretch. That's what Jrue does."
Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 40 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 34 points on 12-29 shooting but was just 2-11 from the three-point line.
Friday night, Milwaukee can close out the series in Game Six at Fiserv Forum. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.