Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 42 points, to go with eight assists and 12 rebounds.
Jaylen Brown scored 27, leading the Celtics, and added 12 rebounds and four assists.
Al Horford had a double-double, scoring 22 and adding 16 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum struggled to score. He finished with 10 points, shot 0-for-6 from three, and 4-of-19 from the field.
The series continues Monday with Game 4 at Fiserv Forum.
Instant analysis from Game 3 — 6:25 p.m.
By Adam Himmelsbach
The Celtics were clawing and fighting and on the cusp of completing a huge comeback against the Bucks on Saturday afternoon before a chaotic final sequence left them just short on time.
With the Celtics trailing by three points, Marcus Smart was fouled beyond the 3-point line with 4.6 seconds left. It was ruled a non-shooting foul, although Boston disagreed. Regardless, Smart made the first foul shot and intentionally missed the second, slamming the ball off the backboard before gathering himself. But his short shot missed, Robert Williams’s tip-in was off, and Horford’s tip-in came just moments after the final buzzer, allowing the Bucks to escape with a 103-101 win and take a 2-1 series lead.
Watch: See the final sequence here — 6:20 p.m.
You don’t want to miss this.
Celtics lose, 103-101 — 6:16 p.m.
An incredible sequence at the end.
Bucks up by 3 with 11.2 left — 6:12 p.m.
Boston calls a timeout.
Who gets the final shot?
Celtics 100, Bucks 99, 50 seconds left — 6:10 p.m.
The Bucks have called a timeout.
Jaylen Brown gives Celtics the lead — 6:08 p.m.
They were down 14 in the fourth.
Celtics are in bonus — 6:05 p.m.
The Celtics will be in the bonus for the final 3:40 of the game. They’re shooting 22 of 27 from the free-throw line.
It’s a two-point game — 6:01 p.m.
Al Horford has 20 points.
Al Horford has 17 points — 5:59 p.m.
Challenge fails, but Grant stays in — 5:58 p.m.
Ime Udoka challenged Grant Williams’s fifth personal foul — a charge while driving against Pat Connaughton — but lost. He’s still keeping Williams in the game, though, for the final five minutes.
That’s five fouls on Grant Williams, and Udoka is challenging — 5:54 p.m.
Pat Connaughton (the Arlington native) drew the charge.
Let’s see how this challenge plays out.
At least it’s better than the third — 5:50 p.m.
The Celtics have already scored 18 points in the quarter — more than they scored all of the third (17).
It’s a five-point game — 5:47 p.m.
Timeout called. Bucks 90, Celtics 85 with 7:30 to play.
Jaylen Brown finally sinks his first three — 5:45 p.m.
He and Tatum were 0-for-8.
Bucks 88, Celtics 81, 8:30 Q4.
Giannis sinks his first three of the game — 5:45 p.m.
He was 0-for-4 from 3 up to this point, and has 34 points with most of the fourth quarter to go.
Bucks 86, Celtics 76, 9:18 Q4.
Stat check entering fourth quarter — 5:40 p.m.
Jaylen Brown: 12 points, 3 assists, 9 rebounds
Derrick White: 11 points, 0 assists, 2 rebounds
Al Horford: 10 points, 2 assists, 12 rebounds
Rob Williams: 10 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 31 points, 6 assists, 12 rebounds
Jrue Holiday: 21 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds
Brook Lopez: 13 points, 2 assists, 10 rebounds
After big third quarter by Bucks, Celtics have a lot of ground to make up — 5:37 p.m.
Jayson Tatum can’t buy a bucket, and this vaunted Celtics defense gave up 34 points in the third quarter.
The Bucks are up, 80-67, entering the fourth quarter.
Bucks have their largest lead of the game — 5:34 p.m.
They’re up, 77-64, with a minute to play in the third.
Rob Williams checking back in — 5:32 p.m.
That’s good news for the Celtics.
Meanwhile, Derrick White just took a hard foul after colliding with Wesley Matthews.
See video of when Rob Williams went down — 5:30 p.m.
That’s four fouls on Grant Williams — 5:26 p.m.
Now, the Bucks will be the ones in the bonus for the final 4:59 of the third quarter. Grant Williams had to check out for Daniel Theis because he just picked up his fourth personal foul.
Robert Williams helped to the locker room — 5:24 p.m.
Robert Williams stayed down on the court after an offensive possession and had to be visited by medical staffers midway through the third quarter. Williams walked slowly off the floor and immediately to the locker room with the assistance of two trainers. It appeared he took an elbow to the face.
Celtics call a timeout after Bucks take 10-point lead — 5:20 p.m.
The Bucks are up, 66-56, with 6:14 left to go in the third quarter.
👀 — 5:15 p.m.
Giannis is 10 for 18 with 27 and 12.
Tatum is 2 for 11 with 6 and 2.
Somehow, it’s a two-point game.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 7, 2022
WATCH: Giannis takes Grant for a ride — 5:10 p.m.
Officials reviewed if the defensive foul called on Grant Williams rose to the level of flagrant, and decided it was just a common foul.
Williams was trying to get in the way of Giannis Antetokounmpo and got his arm swept up by Giannis.
Giannis fell to the ground and it appeared he thought Williams was trying to push him around.
Rob Williams quickly ran to Grant Williams’s aid, and teammates quickly separated the trio.
The Bucks are in foul trouble — 5:08 p.m.
The Bucks are going to be dealing with some foul trouble, as both Brook Lopez and Grayson Allen picked up their fourth personal fouls early in the third quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo has three fouls.
For the Celtics, Marcus Smart has three and Rob Williams has two.
Bucks retake the lead — 5:07 p.m.
After scoring the first five points of the quarter, the Bucks went up 51-50 with just under 10 minutes to play.
That’s four fouls on Brook Lopez — 5:04 p.m.
Marcus Smart is playing with three himself.
Remember: free throws win games — 5:02 p.m.
The Celtics made all of their free throws after entering the bonus, scoring 8 points. Getting to the line in the second quarter was especially critical because the Celtics shot just 35 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three, but made 14 of their 15 free-throw attempts.
Key stats from Washburn and Himmelsbach — 4:59 p.m.
Celtics really took advantage of getting into the penalty in the second quarter. They’re 16 for 17 at the line.
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 7, 2022
What the Celtics can be happy about right now — 4:54 p.m.
The Celtics have got to be pleased with a four-point lead heading into the half. Heck, they probably would have been pleased with a four-point deficit. The Bucks have been in control of this game, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing some of his best basketball of the series.
But the Celtics have hung around despite Jayson Tatum’s six points on 2 of 9 shooting. The two teams are a combined 7 of 36 from three, so shots aren’t falling for many.
Halftime stat check — 4:51 p.m.
Jaylen Brown: 10 points, 3 assists, 7 rebounds
Rob Williams: 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds
Al Horford: 8 points, 7 rebounds
Giannis Antetokounmpo: 20 points, 2 assists, 9 rebounds
Brook Lopez: 11 points, 2 assists, 7 rebounds
Jrue Holiday: 9 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound
Celtics take 4-point lead into halftime — 4:48 p.m.
Grant Williams sunk a baseline three at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 4-point lead at the half. Celtics 50, Bucks 46.
A rare double-foul call — 4:40 p.m.
Brook Lopez and Marcus Smart each picked up their third personal foul on a rare double-foul call late in the second quarter. Grayson Allen also has three fouls.
Celtics enter the bonus — 4:38 p.m.
The Celtics are in the bonus for the final 4:41 of the half. Bobby Portis committed a senseless foul while fighting for a rebound after Giannis Antetokounmpo missed a free throw. It immediately benefited the Celtics because their last four points all came at the line.
Giannis, Rob Williams go down hard — 4:33 p.m.
Giannis drew the foul call with 4:41 left in the first half.
He missed both free throws. Bucks 38, Celtics 37.
Tatum hurt? False alarm. — 4:20 p.m.
Jayson Tatum took a hard foul after dunking over Giannis Antetokounmpo. He walked to the bench holding his left wrist during the replay review, but seems to be OK because he’s staying in the game.
See the play here:
End of first quarter: Bucks 22, Celtics 19 — 4:11 p.m.
Budenholzer was pretty heated at the end of the first quarter because Jayson Tatum was not called for an offensive foul on the final drive.
“Good physicality on that drive,” Ime Udoka said during an interview aired at the start of the second quarter.
Challenge fails, so give Grant Williams credit — 4:10 p.m.
Mike Budenholzer is using his challenge early, calling for a review on an offensive foul committed by Giannis Antetokounmpo. Officials stuck with their ruling, so give Grant Williams credit for holding his ground in the lane. The first quarter is early for a challenge, but perhaps Budenholzer wanted to avoid Antetokounmpo picking up two fouls in the first quarter.
Budenholzer uses his challenge — 4:08 p.m.
He has an issue with an offensive foul called on Antetokounmpo with 38.9 left in the first quarter.
Bucks 22, Celtics 19.
Cs can’t capitalize with Giannis on the bench — 4:04 p.m.
Giannis Antetokounmpo went to the bench for three and a half minutes in the first quarter — and the Celtics were outscored by four points. Losing the non-Giannis minutes is never a good sign.
Udoka gets upset with Grant Williams — 4:00 p.m.
During a timeout after Pat Connaughton made a three, Ime Udoka expressed his displeasure with Grant Williams for arguing with the referees instead of getting back on defense. On the previous possession, Williams missed a floater in the lane but thought he was fouled.
Marcus Smart already has two fouls — 3:57 p.m.
Marcus Smart picked up his second foul with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter, forcing Ime Udoka to bench him for Derrick White.
Why Grant Williams is on the floor — 3:53 p.m.
Ime Udoka’s first substitution was Grant Williams for Robert Williams, just over three minutes into the game. Having Grant on the court is valuable for two reasons: 1. He’s an important piece in defending against Giannis Antetokounmpo. 2. He brings more three-point shooting to the lineup, whereas most of Rob’s attempts come at the rim.
Timeout, Q1, 6:41: Bucks 13, Celtics 9 — 3:52 p.m.
Q1, 7:22: Celtics 9, Bucks 9 — 3:49 p.m.
The Celtics already have three team fouls.
The scene inside Fiserv Forum — 3:42 p.m.
While announcing the Celtics’ starting lineup, the speakers played Britney Spears’s “Lucky,” probably to poke fun at Boston’s mascot. The Celtics were booed throughout introductions, as was Bucks guard Grayson Allen. But there’s no ill will toward Allen. Because Allen has fared well when opposing fan bases boo him, Milwaukee has started to do so as well.
It’s time for tip off — 3:40 p.m.
Bucks are in white. Celtics in classic green.
Bucks fans booing Grayson Allen is honestly solid content lol
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 7, 2022
Starting lineups — 3:20 p.m.
The Bucks are going with a new starting lineup, inserting Grayson Allen over Bobby Portis. Portis had started Games 1 and 2 in place of the injured Khris Middleton.
The rest of the lineup: Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez, Wesley Matthews, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Celtics: Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Rob Williams, Al Horford.
Fit check — 2:50 p.m.
Here’s a look at what Jayson Tatum and Derrick White were sporting upon arrival at Fiserv Forum.
The Celtics started to figure out the Giannis. But can they continue that pressure? — 2:40 p.m.
By Adam Himmelsbach
A cursory glance at stat sheets from the first two games of this playoff series could make one believe that Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been dominant against the Celtics.
The two-time NBA MVP is averaging 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 9.5 assists.
But Boston coach Ime Udoka looks at the situation from a wider lens. He sees that Antetokounmpo is shooting just 38.4 percent from the field. He sees how the Celtics have forced him to commit 11 turnovers. And he sees how some minor adjustments in Game 2, when the Celtics trusted their top defenders to battle Antetokounmpo one-on-one, yielded encouraging results.
“He’s basically 76 percent at the rim [this season],” Udoka said. “We’ve held him to 50 or less. So we’re guarding him well one-on-one, but want to mix it up and give him different looks.
“I felt after Game 1 that we helped inappropriately at times and gave up some of those threes when guys were in good position to guard him, or he kind of baited a little bit. So we want to be a little more deliberate.”
The Celtics smothered Antetokounmpo in the first half of their Game 2 win, mostly turning him into an ineffective perimeter shooter. That helped them vault to a 25-point halftime lead that was never in danger. But in the second half, Antetokounmpo provided a hint of what could be coming in Game 3, as he got back to lowering his head and bulldozing to the rim.
The Celtics certainly noticed that shift, too, and they say they will be prepared. Read more here.
11 years sober, former Celtic Vin Baker turns his attention to helping others as Bucks assistant — 2:35 p.m.
By Gary Washburn
Nestling his 6-foot-11-inch frame behind the Milwaukee bench at Fiserv Forum, Vin Baker already felt the thrill of victory, the reward for his perseverance and discipline even before the Bucks faced the Bulls in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Baker, 50, a Bucks assistant coach, team mentor, and guide, was celebrating 11 years clean and sober that Sunday afternoon. In his mind, he is already winning, surviving a 15-year descent from All-Star and franchise cornerstone to an alcoholic who lost all of his NBA earnings and dignity.
His story is not a tragedy, however. Baker’s return to respectability included a stint as a Starbucks employee. He served lattes in a small-town Connecticut coffee shop while embracing humility, faith, and self-respect that fostered his resurrection.
“Yes! I say that every time, I was just like everybody else once upon a time,” he said. “When it started for me, I developed into an alcoholic just like any other person; once it starts to become part of your life, it’s alcoholism.
“Initially for me, it was the lifestyle. I was in Seattle, we just won 61 games, I had just been named All-NBA Second Team, so this is what we do — we go out, we party, we go to Cancun. It never crossed my mind that at this point this could become an issue, a life-and-death issue.
“That’s how it started for me, and one day I woke up and I started having withdrawals. I was just partying and it was normal and now it feels like I just need to do this every single day.”
George Hill will make his postseason debut — 2:15 p.m.
Unless something changes between now and tip-off, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer expects point guard George Hill to be available on a minutes restriction for Game 3. Hill last played April 8, when he suffered an abdominal sprain against Detroit. In 54 regular-season games this year, Hill averaged 6.2 points and 2.2 assists in 23.2 minutes per game.
“Obviously, this time of year, if you’re playing, you have to be ready to go,” Budenholzer said. “Whatever the minutes are, you have to be physically ready, mentally ready, and be at your best. We feel George is there.”
Marcus Smart is starting for the Celtics — 2:05 p.m.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart is officially available for Game 3, coach Ime Udoka confirmed. Smart was initially listed as probable after missing Game 2 with a right quad contusion. He will return to his spot in the starting lineup with no minutes restriction.
Smart said Thursday there was “strong likelihood” that he would return.
“We’re just dealing with the last part of it, and that’s getting that restriction off the knee and the joint,” Smart said. “So I feel once that goes away, I should be back to myself, because everything else is healing up the right way and that’s the last part, so just got to deal with it.”
Smart was hurt after taking several hits to the quad area during the Celtics’ Game 1 loss. He said the team has taken extra precautions because the injury is in the same spot as the one that caused him to miss six games in January.
Having three days off between Games 2 and 3 helped.