Celtics Beat the Bucks, Marcus Smart is Back

The series now moves back to Boston for this mornings Game 5, and you can expect the Aussie road villain to play a major role in proceedings.

Smart was medically cleared by doctors and participated in the Celtics' Tuesday morning shootaround. Protected by a splint, Smart came off the bench and had nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Embiid had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Simmons had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. They will need them to come out strong against the Bucks like they did in Games 1-2 rather than off too slow starts like Games 3-4.

It took exactly 43 seconds for Marcus Smart to be, well, Marcus Smart. "If he does play, we're prepared for that, and if he doesn't, obviously we've played a few games here without him", said Joe Prunty, Bucks' head coach.

Then Smart returned and helped restore order.

"I thought we withstood the physicality of the Heat", Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "It's little plays that turn out to be game-changing plays".

"When you've got a guy like KG in your corner talking to you, giving you tips on your game, and coming to work out with you. he's one of the best players that's ever played the game", Middleton said.

Smart's energy and emotion were overflowing even before he checked into the game, as he eagerly bounced up and down on the sidelines for eight minutes before his number was finally called in the first quarter. Philadelphia will only get home court in the next round if Milwaukee wins the next two games causing the first two second round contests to be in Philly.

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Smart wasn't the only difference. "I didn't think he got the ball off, so I said, 'that's a shot clock violation.' That was my discussion". But I think it's good for our group.

With every shot attempt, the crowd would cheer in anticipation of a bucket. "He played hard. He competed for his team, and hopefully he can do the same thing in Game 6".

Giannis is going to be Giannis, and Middleton has been a thorn in the Celtics side this entire year.

The second half started much like the first, as the Celtics pushed their lead to 13 when Terry Rozier and Eric Bledsoe got into a shoving match about halfway through the third quarter. "Semi is a guy who has been a versatile defender for us all year, and that's a tall task - to ask a guy to guard Giannis the whole night". "You're not going to be flawless against him".

"It's win or go home, so I mean you can't leave nothing on the line". Only two other teams have multiple players in the top 16 with New Orleans and Washington with two apiece. The Greek Freak was held to a series-low 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting.

"The second unit turned down some shots that they normally take", Casey said. The Celtics' offense went cold, and the Bucks pulled as close as four with four minutes remaining in the period.

According to Ojeleye, Stevens's instructions were simple: "Try and make it tough for Giannis to score".

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  • Lawrence Cooper