Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe and the Celtics Terry Rozier have been perfecting the art of trash talking over the seven game series the two teams just ended but when Game 7 came to a close and the Celtics advanced, the two put all that behind them and embraced.
Game 7 saw Terry Rozier scoring a playoff best in his career with 26 points against the Bucks and help lead the Celtics to a 112-96 Game 7 victory to advance to face the Philadelphia 76’s in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals.
Commenting on the heated exchanges between Rozier and Bledsoe, Terry Rozier said,
“You’ve got two guys that want to win, two chippy guys, two short point guards. We were just out there having fun. If it takes for us to go back and forth, jawing back and forth to battle, push each other, that’s just part of the game. We talked after the game, no stuff.”
Boston’s Al Horford also had 26 points for the night and Rozier earned 9 assists on top of his 26 points. The Celtics will now play host to the 76’s in Game 1 of the semifinals on Monday night. Basketball bookmakers are favouring the 76’s 8 to 1 to win the Championship compared to 100 to 1 for the Celtics, so it is fair to suggest action will be driven more towards the 76’s to win in the semifinals.
Brad Stevens, Coach for the Celtics, said you have to be ready to play, even when you are without your top starters. Both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Howard were on the sidelines due to injuries and last night’s game saw Jaylen Brown leave with an injury to his hamstring.
“That’s just another thing. Somebody else is going to have to step up and play great. But we’ll get ready.”
Milwaukee Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 22 points, Eric Bledsoe added 23 points and Khris Middleton had 32. This was the first year since 2001 that the Bucks made it past the first round of the playoffs without advancing.
Jayson Tatum, who scored 20 points last night for Boston, who won all four home games but lost all away games. Giannis Antetokounmpo commented that they just weren’t able to win while on the road in the series stating,
“Wasn’t able to win on the road, but we pushed the series to Game 7. A lot of the guys in the locker room have never been in Game 7s. It’s a new experience. Now we know now what it takes to win a Game 7. You’ve got to come out, hit first.”
After loosing to the Bucks in Game 6, last night’s Game 7 was the thirty-first time the Celtics went to the final game in a series. The improved their home record to 2 and 4 at home and 28 to 8 overall when in a Game 7 clincher. This was the second Game 7 game to be played in Boston as it was earlier in the week that the Bruins were in the same situation against the Toronto Maple Leafs – for Boston fans, the results couldn’t have been better.
Commenting on Boston fans, Al Horford said,
“Our fans really gave us that energy. This is why you work so hard in the regular season, to put yourself with home-court advantage.”
The Celtics will now meet the Philadelphia 76’s tomorrow night for Game 1 of their series with Game 2 and 3 being held on Thursday and Saturday respectively.