The Milwaukee Bucks saw their season end in a frustrating manner, losing 112-96 to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night in Game 7.
Excitement was high for Game 7 and an opportunity for the Milwaukee Bucks to win a playoff series for the first time in 17 years. Unfortunately, the Bucks’ coaching staff decided to play Game 7 on the hardest difficulty setting possible with questionable decisions.
Milwaukee led 13-10 halfway through the first quarter, taking advantage of Boston turnovers. However, the Celtics outscored the Bucks 20-4 the rest of the quarter as the Bucks struggled running any offense.
The Bucks never led again, coming within two in the second quarter but unable to close the gap. They were thoroughly outplayed on both ends of the court.
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However, renewed defensive effort and Khris Middleton‘s shot-making in the last couple minutes of the second brought them to halftime down just 50-42.
The deficit was cut to three multiple times in the third quarter, but Horford’s interior scoring kept the lead from changing hands. Questionable substitution decisions by Joe Prunty, putting Jason Terry and Shabazz Muhammad into the game did not help the Bucks close the gap.
Thus, entering the fourth quarter down 81-67, the Bucks needed to make a run quick with their season slipping away. Finding success through their stars offensively, the team came up short getting stops defensively, keeping the game out of reach.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Terry Rozier looked to be the dagger, giving the Celtics a lead of 101-82 with 5:19 left.
The Bucks played hard until the end, with Middleton in particular catching fire. However, it was a mere formality with the outcome already a foregone conclusion.
The team struggled to handle the Celtics’ physicality and failed to record a single fast break point, two key factors leading to the loss.
Let’s look at what went wrong in the Bucks’ Game 7 loss to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.