Friday, 15 November, 2019

Irving, Celtics had Bucks first loss of year

Expert weighs in on Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s head injury Expert weighs in on Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s head injury
Shannon Reynolds | 04 November, 2018, 03:38

Gordon Hayward gave Celtics fans a glimpse of the fluid, versatile, and unsafe line-ups the Celts can deploy when they finally hit their stride; his ball-handling and shooting give the Celtics an edge over just about every team, and the vision of a super team in-the-making came into full focus tonight.

In the fourth quarter, Milwaukee began to battle back into the contest, cutting the lead to three with just over nine minutes left.

"I can feel it right now", Hayward said afterward. Those are things I just have to work through, maybe some scar tissue that I can grind out a little bit. "We have options, we understand what our offense is, and I just think we're dialing into what we're capable of doing out there". "I don't like to say that we're playing care-free, but I think that we're making the decisions that we want and we're playing off one another. I have to land on that one foot a little awkwardly, just so mentally I know I can do it, but also physically I can hold and be strong".

Antetokounmpo, 23, is averaging 25.0 points and 14.2 rebounds per game this season for the 7-0 Bucks, who are the only remaining undefeated team in the National Basketball Association.

The Bucks came into the matchup notorious for their new fast-paced, 3-point heavy attack but failed to capitalize on their opportunities because of the hawkish Boston defense. That, in turn, allows Kyrie Irving to hunt for shots off the ball.

Led by Kyrie Irving's 28 points, the Celtics were able to overcome the absence of Jaylen Brown to earn the hard-fought victory.

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"It started off with a good start", Hayward said. Just out there competing, playing. Tonight, we didn't settle as much; we still had some possessions we'd like to have back, but I thought that we took what the defense gave us. They had attempted 92 shots in the entire game, 55 of them from deep.

The Bucks came close to pulling off a reversal after trailing by 12 points, 78-90, at the start of the 4th quarter. Horford led the charge with eight helpers while Irving (seven), Hayward (five), and Jayson Tatum (four) all kept the ball moving.

With their superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo returning to action, the Milwaukee Bucks were at full-strength to take on the Boston Celtics for the first time since their Game 7 match-up in the first round of the playoffs previous year.

"Well, I mean all those guys can make plays", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

"We stayed resilient and won the game", said Boston's Marcus Morris, who finished with 17 points. "We've gotten good shots. And as the season goes along and I get more comfortable with the team, we'll add more to try to take advantage of that".

Hayward exploded onto the scene in the first half and led all Celtics scorers with 13.

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