Horford, Smart lift Celtics; 76ers finish off heat


After splitting the first four games, IN and Cleveland will meet tonight IN the critical Game 5 of a first-round series that has been unpredictable, uneven and for James, unusual.

After back-to-back defeats on the road, the Boston Celtics secured a vital victory in game five against the Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round series to take a 3-2 lead. Shortly after, Milwaukee made their first run of the half, as Shabazz Muhammad checked in and scored 11 points in just five minutes for Milwaukee, bringing them within four points. He was given 25 minutes, so his workload wasn't very limited.

Middleton answered with a 3-pointer, Horford was only able to hit the second of two free throws, and when Bledsoe was allowed to drive for an easy two, Rozier hit the first two of four straight free throws in the last 16.4 seconds to ice the win.

Al Horford had 22 points and 14 rebounds as Boston took a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.

Guard Marcus Smart made his presence felt in his return to the C's lineup for the first time since mid-March. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a series-low 16 points, and while he added 10 rebounds and nine assists, he disappeared for stretches as a scorer.

"It's on me. I had open shots, but they wasn't my shots", Antetokounmpo said.

Khris Middleton and the Bucks shot a series-low 36.8 percent from the field. While the Bucks should be mad, it was a two-possession game and they lost a possession late, so it did not decide the game.

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Asked after the game if he'd gotten an explanation for the non-review, Bucks head coach Joe Prunty said, "Not a good enough one". The home team has won all five games in the first-round series, and Game 6 is Thursday in Milwaukee. That's pretty much how you play this whole playoffs - you leave it all out there.

Jaylen Brown (14 points) and Marcus Morris (10 points) were also in double figures for the Celtics.

Rozier and Eric Bledsoe got tangled up with 9:33 left in the third quarter.

The C's inbounded again, with 15 seconds on the shot clock, and when Smart went to the floor, he managed to roll the pass to Horford for an 86-79 lead with 28.1 seconds left.

If Milwaukee just got reasonable production from its role players they would have gone back home up 3-2.

It was the continuation of some off-court chiding between the pair. He's averaged 1.4 steals per game in the postseason. Bledsoe has since responded by saying "Who?" whenever he's asked about Rozier. "It's as simple as that".