76ers Advance as Celtics Have Bucks on Brink of Elimination

Hope Soto
April 26, 2018

After letting the Milwaukee Bucks back into the series with consecutive wins in Games 3 and 4, the Boston Celtics regained momentum in their first round series, winning 92-87 in Game 5 to move just one win away from advancing to the second round.

It would have been unrealistic to expect Smart to start in his first game back, but the standards of keeping that position are officially raised for Rozier.

Dellavedova logged 17 valuable minutes in Game 4, recording four points, four assists and three rebounds in the Bucks thrilling 104-102 victory.

But just as they did all night, Boston answered with a Jaylen Brown 3-pointer, capping off a 7-0 run to push it to 11 at the end of three quarters. Horford scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Boston. I think Giannis is one of the most aggressive drivers in the game, trying to get downhill.

Milwaukee lost to the Raptors in game six in the first round a year ago.

Injured guard Marcus Smart, who has been sidelined by a thumb injury, was officially medically cleared to play, ahead of tonight's Game 5, according to a team report. What was a bit surprising was how long he was able to do that for Boston.

Smart showed "some rust offensively", but that's to be expected after being out since March 14, after undergoing thumb surgery to fix a torn ligament in his right thumb. While he was playing, Smart did Smart things.

As evidenced by Smart's ability to get a pass to Horford for an 86-79 lead with 28.1 seconds left, despite falling to the floor against a Bucks trap, the guard returned with his playmaking ability intact.

Smart gives the Celtics another premier, experienced player during crunch time.

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Bucks coach Joe Prunty was asked if he got an explanation about the non-call.

Tip off for Game 5 between Boston and Milwaukee is Wednesday morning, 0900hrs AEST.

While Bledsoe's final line of 16 points, five rebounds and three assists seems fine, it took him 15 shots to get there and his defense was a trainwreck. The Celtics need to figure out what is best for this team, and the value of Rozier's scoring off the bench will also be a factor.

When he first comes back, it will be too early for Smart to start. In the last 10 games, Antetokounmpo has averaged 23.3 points per game and 10 rebounds.

The Bucks host Game Six on Thursday. Kevin Durant has continued to play well and will have to moving forward especially with the well rested Pelicans waiting for them in the second round.

Smart's defensive efforts were on full display Tuesday night, as the 24-year-old showed no hesitation when protecting the rim.

The call: One of the major talking points of the next few days will surely be the shot clock violation that was not called on Al Horford with just over a minute left.

PRESSURE IS ON: Clearly, the Bucks.

Smart won't do much to replace the offense lost due to the absence of Irving and Hayward, but he will bring them closer to being an elite defensive team capable of pushing a team in Round 2.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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