Triggered by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Al Horford scores playoff career-high 30 factors to rescue Boston Celtics in Sport 4

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MILWAUKEE — Al Horford knew he’d get his revenge.

After Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked on him early within the third quarter Monday night time, the Milwaukee Bucks famous person acquired a technical foul for saying one thing in Horford’s path. As Horford walked again up the court docket, he simply nodded his head and stated “OK” as he seemed in Antetokounmpo’s path.

“I did not make out what he stated, however the best way he checked out me did not sit effectively with me,” Horford stated. “That acquired me going.”

The subsequent quarter, Horford returned the favor. He caught the ball on the perimeter and hit Antetokounmpo with a pump faux. Antetokounmpo bit and Horford drove to his proper, elevating on the rim for a slam over the two-time MVP, letting out a big scream within the course of.

It was the turning level Boston wanted because it outplayed Milwaukee down the stretch in a 116-108 Sport 4 victory. The sequence, now tied at 2, heads again to Boston on Wednesday night time.

Horford drew a technical foul following his dunk, as he inadvertently hit Antetokounmpo within the face in an instantaneous celebration that had him screaming from sideline to sideline. Milwaukee held a 10-point lead late within the third quarter, however Horford’s slam put an emphatic stamp on a 10-0 run that put the Celtics again within the sport, and finally in management.

“The playoffs are emotional, very intense,” Horford stated. “Tonight, issues weren’t going our manner. Issues had been exhausting there within the third for some time. [Marcus] Good stored speaking within the huddle and stored telling us to stick with it. Positively simply a whole lot of feelings at that time. Yeah, that is what that was.”

Good stated the Horford dunk is what gave the Celtics the emotional increase they wanted to get via what had grow to be a hard-fought sport.

“It is a big-time play in a big-time second,” Good stated. “It is a bodily sport. We had been on the opposite finish a pair instances, so it felt form of good to have that one.”

Horford had 16 factors and was 6-of-6 from the sphere within the fourth quarter as an entire, pulling down a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws. He completed with 30 factors, a playoff excessive for the 35-year-old who was taking part in in his 132nd profession postseason sport.

It got here after he put up 22 factors and 16 rebounds within the Sport 3 loss Saturday, a defeat that Horford and the entire staff took more durable than ordinary.

“We felt that on the finish of Sport 3 that we had been ready to win the sport and we did not,” Horford stated. “I used to be simply actually locked in. I understood the second and what we wanted to do as a gaggle. Simply come out and we had been gonna do no matter it took tonight. It was a kind of forms of nights.”

The staff adopted Horford’s lead within the fourth quarter because it scored 43 factors on 16-of-19 capturing to run away with the victory. The 43 fourth-quarter factors equalized probably the most within the remaining quarter in Celtics franchise historical past (tied with Sport 5 of the 2001 first spherical in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers), in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data. Boston’s 84.2% capturing was the most effective proportion in any postseason quarter for the staff since at the least 1997-98.

The Bucks transformed the technical free throw after Horford’s inadvertent hit on Antetokounmpo, and Horford hit his for the foul on the play. Milwaukee scored the subsequent two baskets to stretch the lead, however Horford was there once more, ending a fast 7-0 run with a 3-pointer.

When the Bucks took the lead once more with an Antetokounmpo layup with 6:02 to go, Horford answered with one other 3-pointer to present Boston the lead for good. After he put the Celtics up 95-94, Horford got here again down with an old school three-point play on Boston’s subsequent possession to present the Celtics bench much more to rejoice.

The Celtics rode that wave of emotion to the top, however all the things actually acquired rolling with the dunk.

“That was a hell of a play,” Jayson Tatum stated. “Particularly anytime Al turns again the clock and he appears to be like like his previous self, it will get everyone off the bench. Al performs with a lot ardour. When Al is taking part in with ardour like that, everyone else has to observe.”

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