Score Celtics vs. Bucks, Party: Jason Tatum bursts for 46 points leading Boston to crucial victory in Game 6

Score Celtics vs. Bucks, Party: Jason Tatum bursts for 46 points leading Boston to crucial victory in Game 6

John Antetokunbo and Jason Tatum made age-appropriate appearances on Friday night in their 108-95 victory as the two All-Stars each overshadowed the 40-point plateau as the Boston Celtics forced a do-or-die Game 7 vs. Milwaukee Bucks. on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Tatum was fantastic for the Celtics on a night when they needed him as he saved the series’ best performance in a road blockade game in what could easily be described as a hostile environment. Tatum surpassed Giannis with 46 points who surpassed the game with nine rebounds and four assists. While his effort was defeated, Antetokunbo was dominant finishing the game with 44 points to go along with an amazing 20 rebounds and six assists.

Game 7 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday with ABC managing the national broadcast.

Here are three key points from the game:

1. Tatum makes one of the best performances of his career

Jayson Tatum has not always been at his best in this series, but great players do not let bad games or bad stretches determine them. And Tatum showed this season, and specifically on Friday night, that he is a really great player. With the Celtics season in progress, he went up and gave one of the best appearances of his career.

He started well, scoring two three-pointers in the first minutes to help the Celtics open the lead early, but his best and most important work came in the fourth quarter. Once they reached 18, the Celtics’ lead had been reduced to four with 8:42 playing and the flashbacks from the 5th game began. Tatum made sure there was no second consecutive collapse.

First, an incredible fadeaway jumper on the baseline to beat the clock. Then a three-point shot right in the face of George Hill. He then repeated the series with another fadeaway and another 3. In three minutes he scored 10 consecutive points for the Celtics and pushed the lead back to eight to give them some breathing space. The Bucks would never get closer.

“Yes, he obviously hit some big ones throughout the game,” said Celtics coach Ime Udoka. “He did it and he did the right game too … Huge night from him, we definitely needed it.”

Tatum had 16 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished the night with 46, nine rebounds and four assists in 17-of-32 from the field. Tatum’s 46 points was the second longest in franchise history when he faced the exclusion, and he joined Sam Jones as the only other Celtic to have many 45-point playoff games.

“That’s why big money is paid for,” said Marcus Smart. He went in another way right there. We saw it in his eyes. He was aggressive, he would come and tell us “give me the ball”. We gave him the ball. He asked for it and we will do it. . “

Jason Tatum is still just 24 years old. He has a decade or more and probably hundreds of playoff games ahead of him. It will be difficult for him to play better than what he did on Friday night.

2. Hercules’s effort was not enough

The Bucks were already a top team before Chris Middleton was sprained in the MCL in the first round against the Chicago Bulls and without that the problem is even more acute. His absence forced Giannis Antitokoumbo to take on a somewhat ridiculous weight and try to carry the Bucks alone.

At times in this series he was able to do just that. The Bucks have won three games in the end. But even the best players can not always do it alone, as John and the Bucks discovered in Game 6.

John was very smart. He scored 17 points in the first quarter to keep the Bucks in the game despite a strong start by the Celtics and continued to attack throughout the night. The Celtics could do little to slow him down, as he led the paint for thunderous slams and trips to the free-kick line.

“John was great for them,” said Jaylen Brown. “He is relentless in his approach. He will continue, he will continue to attack. His preparation is excellent, he does not seem to be as tired as others. He just keeps coming.”

The Greek Freak finished with 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists, shot 14 of 15 from the free throw line and became the first player since Shaquille O’Neal in 2001 to play 40-20 in the playoffs.

John had an astonishing 45.2 percent usage rate – the highest ever in a playoff game – and scored or assisted on 52 of the Bucks’ 95 points. It was a real Herculean endeavor, and it was not enough. Jrue Holiday and Pat Connaughton were the only other players to score double digits, but neither scored more than 17 points. The Bucks have lost the Middleton throughout the series, but never more than Game 6.

3. The Celtics show determination after the collapse of Game 5

The Celtics should have come to Milwaukee to close the series on Friday night. Instead, they were the ones facing the exclusion after a late collapse in the 5th game that saw them gain a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter at home. Recovering from a heartbreaking defeat like this requires tremendous determination, faith in oneself mental toughness.

After blocking the road block, it is clear that the Celtics have all of the above.

“I think how much I stung, thus losing this game,” said Jayson Tatum. “Everyone had a bad taste in their mouth. Watching a movie, learning from it and the willingness – we were optimistic. We did not lose, knowing that we still had a chance to save our season and come here and win. We believed it, we did it. “We really believed in each other and that was evident tonight.”

The work is far from done. Winning the best player in the world for the second consecutive game to eliminate the defending champions will not be easy and the Celtics will have to rebuild for the 7th home game on Sunday. However, a show like the one on Friday night says a lot about the character of this team.

“This was a great moment for all of us,” Tatum said. “For me and the team, how exactly would we react. The defeat of game 5 would make us or break us. We showed a lot of toughness and growth by coming out here and getting a victory on the road.”

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