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Triggered by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Al Horford scores playoff career-high 30 factors to rescue Boston Celtics in Recreation 4

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MILWAUKEE — Al Horford knew he’d get his revenge.

After Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked on him early within the third quarter Monday evening, the Milwaukee Bucks famous person obtained a technical foul for saying one thing in Horford’s path. As Horford walked again up the court docket, he simply nodded his head and stated “OK” as he seemed in Antetokounmpo’s path.

“I did not make out what he stated, however the best way he checked out me did not sit properly with me,” Horford stated. “That bought me going.”

The following quarter, Horford returned the favor. He caught the ball on the perimeter and hit Antetokounmpo with a pump pretend. Antetokounmpo bit and Horford drove to his proper, elevating on the rim for a slam over the two-time MVP, letting out a big scream within the course of.

It was the turning level Boston wanted because it outplayed Milwaukee down the stretch in a 116-108 Recreation 4 victory. The collection, now tied at 2, heads again to Boston on Wednesday evening.

Horford drew a technical foul following his dunk, as he inadvertently hit Antetokounmpo within the face in a direct celebration that had him screaming from sideline to sideline. Milwaukee held a 10-point lead late within the third quarter, however Horford’s slam put an emphatic stamp on a 10-0 run that put the Celtics again within the recreation, and in the end in management.

“The playoffs are emotional, very intense,” Horford stated. “Tonight, issues weren’t going our manner. Issues have been laborious there within the third for some time. (Marcus) Good stored speaking within the huddle and stored telling us to stick with it. Positively simply numerous feelings at that time. Yeah, that is what that was.”

Good stated the Horford dunk is what gave the Celtics the emotional increase they wanted to get by way of what had develop into a hard-fought recreation.

“It is a big-time play in a big-time second,” Good stated. “It is a bodily recreation. We have been on the opposite finish a pair instances, so it felt type of good to have that one.”

Horford had 16 factors and was 6 of 6 from the sector within the fourth quarter as a complete, flattening a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws. He completed with 30 factors, a playoff excessive for the 35-year-old who was enjoying in his 132nd profession postseason recreation.

It got here after he put up 22 factors and 16 rebounds within the Recreation 3 loss Saturday, a defeat that Horford and the entire group took tougher than normal.

“We felt that on the finish of Recreation 3 that we have been ready to win the sport and we did not,” Horford stated. “I used to be simply actually locked in. I understood the second and what we wanted to do as a bunch. Simply come out and we have been gonna do no matter it took tonight. It was a type of kinds of nights.”

The group adopted Horford’s lead within the fourth quarter because it scored 43 factors on 16-of-19 taking pictures to run away with the victory. The 43 fourth-quarter factors equalled essentially the most within the ultimate quarter in Celtics franchise historical past (tied with Recreation 5 of the 2001 first spherical in opposition to the Philadelphia 76ers), in accordance with ESPN Stats & Data. Boston’s 84.2% taking pictures was the most effective proportion in any postseason quarter for the group since at the least 1997-98.

The Bucks transformed the technical free throw after Horford’s inadvertent hit on Antetokounmpo, and Horford hit his for the foul on the play. Milwaukee scored the subsequent two baskets to stretch the lead, however Horford was there once more, ending a fast 7-0 run with a 3-pointer.

When the Bucks took the lead once more with a Antetokounmpo layup with 6:02 to go, Horford answered with one other 3-pointer to present Boston the lead for good. After he put the Celtics up 95-94, Horford got here again down with an old school three-point play on Boston’s subsequent possession to present the Celtics bench much more to rejoice.

The Celtics rode that wave of emotion to the tip, however the whole lot actually bought rolling with the dunk.

“That was a hell of a play,” Jayson Tatum stated. “Particularly anytime Al turns again the clock and he seems to be like his previous self, it will get all people off the bench. Al performs with a lot ardour. When Al is enjoying with ardour like that, all people else has to observe.”

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