NBA playoffs

Al Horford scores 16 in 4th, helps Celtics pull even with Bucks

Al Horford scores 16 in 4th, helps Celtics pull even with Bucks

VETERAN LEADERSHIP. Al Horford sparks Celtics' fourth quarter run over Bucks

Michael McLoone/USA TODAY/Reuters

Veteran forward Al Horford turns back the clock with a fourth quarter masterclass to even up Boston in the East semis, 2-all, with Milwaukee

Al Horford poured in a career-playoff-high 30 points, including 16 in the pivotal fourth quarter charge, as the visiting Boston Celtics earned a 116-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, May 9 (Tuesday, May 10, Manila time) to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.

The 15-year NBA veteran shot 11-of-14 from the field, including a 5-of-7 mark from three-point range, to swing homecourt advantage back in Boston’s favor. The Celtics overcame an 11-point, third-quarter deficit.

Game 5 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 (Thursday, May 12, Manila time) in Boston.

Jayson Tatum also had 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Celtics, and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart both tallied 18 points. Smart dished out 8 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was outstanding once again, pacing Milwaukee with 34 points, 18 rebounds, and 5 assists. He shot 14-of-32 from the floor.

Jrue Holiday contributed 16 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds, and Brook Lopez supplied 17 points and 7 rebounds.

Boston went on a 10-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to tie the game, and outscored the Bucks 43-28 in the final period. It was the Celtics’ highest-scoring quarter through eight postseason games this year.

Horford scored two buckets in the opening 2:09 of the fourth quarter, including a dunk that tied it at 80-80. He later made two go-ahead 3-pointers, putting Boston ahead 88-85 and later giving the Celtics a 95-94 edge that it never relinquished.

The Bucks had made their move in the third quarter behind 13 points from Antetokounmpo, leading by as many as 76-65. The Celtics pulled within seven by the start of the fourth.

After once leading by 10 in the first half, the Bucks went into the break with a narrow 48-47 lead.

Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 15 points and 11 rebounds before halftime and was the only Milwaukee scorer in double figures.

The Bucks were extremely active on defense in the opening half, turning 7 Boston turnovers into 11 points. Milwaukee also won the battle on the glass prior to halftime, hauling in 29 rebounds compared to the Celtics’ 21.

Brown and Horford each went for 11 points, and Tatum added 9 despite going just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Tatum finished 3-of-10 from long distance, while the rest of the Celtics were a respectable 11-of-27 (40.7%). The Bucks hit 9-of-27 (33.3%) from three-point range, and they wound up with a 48-38 rebounding advantage. –