MILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 29 points on Tuesday as the Milwaukee Bucks leveled their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Celtics at 1-1 thanks to a blowout 123-102 win.
After a lackluster outing in Game 1, which saw Boston secure a comfortable 112-90 win, Game 2 saw a much improved performance from the Bucks, who ended the regular season with the best record in the league.
Milwaukee rebounded from the disappointment of the series opener by blowing out the Celtics, who had no answer for the Bucks’ big hitters Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, who added 28 and 21 points, respectively.
“Playing with pace is one of our main things. Play with pace, attack by making quick decisions,” Middleton said after the game.
In addition to his team-high 29 points, Antetokounmpo also provided 10 assists for his teammates.
“I think in game 1, I didn’t do a good job finding my teammates,” Giannis said. “(Tonight) I was just trying to find guys in the right spot and make the right play.”
Milwaukee found plenty of joy from distance, shooting 42.6 percent from beyond the perimeter, with Middleton sinking seven 3-pointers.
The Celtics failed to sparkle, with no player breaking the 20-point barrier.
Marcus Morris led the way for Boston with 17 points, with Jaylen Brown and Al Horford adding 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Kyrie Irving was limited to nine points, with Jayson Tatum also failing to fire, as he finished the game with just five points.
“I have to be more efficient in controlling the tempo and pace of the game, where I want to get to on the floor, and make better reads,” Irving said.
“When you have them shooting 47 threes, and making 20 of them, that kind of bites you in the butt,” Irving added.
Game 3 on Friday will see the series shift to Boston.