Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including tipping in the go-ahead basket with five seconds left, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 104-102 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoffs series at two games apiece.
Boston’s Marcus Morris missed a 14-footer at the buzzer with Khris Middleton’s hand in his face to seal a nail-biting win for the Bucks.
Seconds earlier, the 6-foot-11 Antetokounmpo jumped and reached up with his left arm around Boston’s Jayson Tatum to put back Malcolm Brogdon’s missed layup for the game winner.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Boston.
Jaylen Brown had 34 points for the Celtics, while Tatum added 21. Tatum’s 18-footer with 52 seconds left gave the Celtics a brief 100-99 lead.
He just couldn’t hold off Antetokounmpo on the other end for the decisive tip-in.
The disappointing end for the Celtics overshadowed their spirited rally from a 65-45 deficit with 7:37 left in the third quarter. Play got chippy and the Celtics limited the Bucks’ transition game.
They came up one basket short at the end.
Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens kept his starting five intact after the team never recovered from a disastrous first quarter in Game 3. Stevens said he would likely make a switch only for matchup purposes … Boston ended with a 43-36 edge on the boards … Morris finished with 13 points and shot 4-of-14.
Bucks: Starting C John Henson missed a second straight game with a sore back … The Bucks went with the same starting five as Game 3, with Zeller replacing Henson and Brogdon starting for Tony Snell … Jabari Parker led a vigourous effort off the bench with 16 points and seven rebounds. Backup C Thon Maker blocked five shots and played most of the fourth quarter.
Game 5 is Tuesday at TD Garden in Boston.