Skip to content
Jayson Tatum powers Celtics over Bucks to force Game 7

MILWAUKEE — Jayson Tatum scored 46 points, beating Giannis Antetokounmpo and ensuring there wouldn’t be another fourth-quarter Milwaukee Bucks comeback, and the Boston Celtics beat the defending champions 108-95 on Friday night to force a seventh game in their Eastern Conference semifinal.

A team’s third straight win on the road sets up a win-win Sunday game in Boston. The winner will travel to Miami to start an Eastern Finals game with the top-seeded Heat on Tuesday.

Boston showed its mettle as it bounced back two nights after squandering a 14-point fourth-quarter lead in a 110-107 Game 5 home loss. The Bucks tried to rally again after trailing 14 points in the final period, but this time Tatum kept the Celtics on top and kept their season alive.

Antetokounmpo had 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists. His 20 rebounds were one of his career highs.

Jayson Tatum reacts during the Celtics’ win over the Bucks.
Getty Images

Jaylen Brown scored 22 and Marcus Smart had 21 for the Celtics, who capitalized on their superiority from 3 points. The Celtics were 17 of 43 and the Bucks 7 of 27 from beyond the arc.

Antetokounmpo tried to lead the Bucks to an unlikely second comeback in a row.

Boston led 84-70 into the first minute of the fourth quarter and led 84-73 when officials ruled Grant Williams fired a charge for Antetokounmpo’s fifth foul. But the Bucks contested the call and it was overturned on the replay, instead sending Antetokounmpo to the line with four fouls.

Jayson Tatum powers Celtics over Bucks to force Game 7
Jayson Tatum finished with a game-high 46 points.
Getty Images

Antetokounmpo made both free throws to start an 8-0 run that brought the Bucks back into the game. The Bucks cut the margin to 85-81 on Antetokounmpo’s 3-pointer with 8:42 left.

Tatum wouldn’t let the Bucks come close.

Jayson Tatum powers Celtics over Bucks to force Game 7
Giannis Antetokounmpo dribbles in the Bucks’ loss to the Celtics.
Getty Images

After that 8-0 push from the Bucks, Tatum scored the Celtics’ next 11 points. That included a fade jump as the shot clock expired to cut the lead to six plus some 3 points.

Tatum and Brown each hit a 3-pointer on an 8-0 push that ended with Smart’s jumper going 100-87 with 4:20 remaining.

Boston held a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the run.