Al Horfords turned back the clock and tied in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
The 36-year-old scored 16 points from his highest playoff level, 30 points in the fourth quarter to clear out a monster night from a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. Giannis Antikonmo He beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108.
The series is tied 2-2 back to Boston for Game 5 on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET (TNT).
Horford made his six attempts to score in the final frame, and Boston followed their veteran captain. Lagging 76-65 with 15 minutes left against the defending champions and shooting 40% over three quarters, the Celtics fired 16 of 19 shots to score 43 points in the fourth quarter and avoid a 3-1 delay.
“I’m very happy to be back here in Boston,” Horford, whose Celtics regained their acquisition last summer two years after losing to a free agency, told TNT broadcast after his career night. “Our backs were against the wall, and we needed to hit back. And that’s what we did. We didn’t give up. We kept pushing.”
Antetokonmo scored 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists in the defeat.
It was an amazing turnaround for the Celtics, who were frustrated with management and their own failures throughout the night. The Bucks won a turnover fight and bypassed Boston on the offensive glass, 13-4. Antetokounmpo made his will, especially in the third quarter, when he came to the edge when and however he wanted, scoring 13 points. It was the same recipe for Milwaukee’s victories in games 1 and 3.
Only, the Celtics fought back. Jason Tatum He also scored 12 of his 30 points in the serial rescue quarter. Marcus Smart He scored nine out of 18 in the frame. They combined to make 9 out of 11 attempts on the fourth try.
An Antetokounmpo layup gave the Bucks a 94-92 advantage with six minutes left, but the Celtics hit back with a 14-2 score. Horford scored the first six of those points. Tatum scored the following eight. game over.
It was another physical back-and-forth in the series before Boston landed its last haymaker. The two teams have less than 48 hours to return to the ring at TD Garden and resume one fight.
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