The Celtics remain in a position of strength, leading the series 2-1, but they'll need to find a way to play a far more effective basketball come Game 4 on Sunday.
With all of that in mind, let's take a closer look at the Bucks' individual performances from an all-important Game 3 win. Milwaukee started the game with a new lineup thanks to John Henson's back injury and Tony Snell's ineffectiveness, with Tyler Zeller and Malcolm Brogdon taking their places. Milwaukee never trailed by more than one in the contest and took command by the time the opening quarter was over.
The Celtics were often left frustrated with the high-pressure Bucks defense, which forced Boston into 16 turnovers at the Bradley Center. Boston won out the rest of the series. A loss will give them an nearly insurmountable 3-0 deficit. Offensively, Khris Middleton led the Bucks with a game-high 23 points, Giannis chipped in 19 and Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker each scored 17 in the win. He shot 10 of 17 from the field and cashed jumpers from all over the floor. And he'd end the night with eight points and eight rebounds, plus an assist and a block.
Finally, though, The Greek Freak and Middleton got help. The Bucks shot a blistering 57 percent from the field in Game 3 and knocked down 16 of 33 three point attempts. The Bucks also only turned the ball over nine times after being extremely sloppy in Boston.
Amid non-stop chants of "Fear the Deer" and the renewed confidence of a Bucks team back on familiar hardwood, the Celtics offense crawled into a shell last night.
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Parker, who averaged 12.6 points during the regular season, had been held to two points on 1-of-7 shooting over the first two games of the series. While there was some natural regression to the mean, the Bucks' defense deserves a lot of credit for it.
Game four is in Milwaukee on Sunday.
"Obviously it was all in the first half", he said. Bledsoe, outplayed by Rozier in the first two games, shot 8 of 13. Brown had a few nifty buckets, but he only had 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
The game was so well in hand that the Bucks closed out the victory with Antetokounmpo on the bench for much of the fourth quarter with five fouls.
The Bucks' bench provided a huge lift. Maker had a team high plus-minus (+23).