Boston Celtics grab 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee Bucks

Agence France-Presse
The injury-plagued Celtics will get a shot to clinch the NBA Eastern Conference first round series on Thursday


SERIES LEAD. Al Horford high fives Jayson Tatum as the Boston Celtics get the job done in their home court. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

BOSTON, United States (UPDATED) – Al Horford scored 22 points as the Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 92-87, to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven playoff series.

Horford finished with 14 rebounds and 3 assists after the Celtics built an early first quarter lead before holding on to claim a vital win at the TD Garden.

The injury-plagued Celtics now have the opportunity to clinch the NBA Eastern Conference first round series in Game 6 in Milwaukee on Thursday.

Boston had led 23-15 at the end of the first period and held a 48-37 advantage at half-time.

Milwaukee responded strongly after the interval but were unable to overturn their first-half deficit despite rallying to outscore the Celtics 26-20 in the final quarter.

Boston’s fans were made to sweat through a nervy final few seconds, when an Eric Bledsoe jumper put the Bucks within three points at 87-84.

But the Celtics hit back with two Terry Rozier free throws to put Boston 89-84 ahead, giving the hosts a five-point cushion they defended through to the buzzer.

Khris Middleton led the scoring for the Bucks with 23 points while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jabari Parker had 17 points and eight rebounds. –