The Boston Celtics won Game 5 with Marcus Smart back in the lineup, giving them the chance to eliminate the Milwaukee Bucks with a win in Game 6.
The home team has won every game thus far in the series between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, so the Celtics will try to buck that trend in Game 6 in order to set up a date with the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
After losing both games in Milwaukee, Boston returned home and earned a hard-fought 92-87 victory that featured the return of Marcus Smart from a thumb injury. Smart put up a very Marcus Smart line with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, three blocks, a steal and five turnovers in 25 minutes.
And, naturally, Smart had one of the biggest plays of the game when he nearly turned the ball over, secured the loose ball amid a gaggle of Bucks, and then slipped a pass to Al Horford for a layup that put the Celtics up seven points with 28.1 seconds left.
Horford recorded his second double-double of the series by putting up 22 points, 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. For the series, the veteran big man is averaging 18.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 54.5 percent from the field.
Khris Middleton had 23 points to lead the Bucks, though his 9-of-21 shooting performance was a bit down from the near-62 percent shooting over the first four games. Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly recorded a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, but he only had 10 field goal attempts in 41 minutes, thanks in part to some stellar defense from Celtics rookie Semi Ojeleye. Both Antetokounmpo and Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty admitted those 10 shots weren’t enough.
Shabazz Muhammad provided an unexpected lift off the bench with 11 points in 10 minutes, but most of Milwaukee’s role players laid an egg. Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker made zero of their 12 3-point attempts.
Bucks center John Henson missed his third straight game with a back injury, and there are no indications he’ll play in Game 6.
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Venue: BMO Harris Bradley Center
TV Info: TNT, FOX Sports Wisconsin, NBC Sports Boston,
Live Stream: Watch live on FuboTV. Sign up now for a free seven-day trial. Qualified subscribers can also watch on TNT Overtime.
Given how successful the home teams have been in this series, don’t be surprised if the Bucks come out strong and force a Game 7. The return of Smart is notable, though, and perhaps he’s the extra lift the Celtics need to win a road game.