Boston Celtics (57-28) at Milwaukee Bucks (45-40)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm (Bradley Center)
The Line: Milwaukee Bucks -4.5 -- Over/Under: 206.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Milwaukee Bucks look to level the series as they host the Boston Celtics at the Bradley Center in Game 4 on Sunday.
The Milwaukee Bucks didn’t play anywhere near their best in the first two games of the series and got burned but they will be full of confidence after beating the Celtics by 116-92 in Game 3. Khris Middleton led the team with 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 points with six assists and they got plenty of help from their teammates as Eric Bledsoe and Jabari Parker each scored 17 points while Thon Maker chipped in with 14 points and five blocks. As a team, the Bucks shot a healthy 57 percent from the field and 16 of 33 from the three-point line but it was really their defense that gave them the early spark as they outscored the Celtics by 58-35 in the first half to put the game away early.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics would have felt so good after solidifying home-court advantage in the first two games of the series, but they came out flat in Game 3 and got embarrassed. Al Horford led the team with 16 points, Greg Monroe added 15 points with 12 rebounds off the bench while Jayson Tatum chipped in with 14 points. As a team, the Celtics shot just 40 percent from the field and eight of 24 from the three-point line but they were always fighting an uphill battle after falling behind by 20 points less than two minutes into the second quarter. Terry Rozier was held to just nine points and nine assists after scoring 23 points in each of the first two games, while Marcus Morris scored just seven points after scoring a combined 39 points in the first two games.
Looking at the betting trends, the Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games, 35-16 ATS in their last 51 road games and 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games overall. Meanwhile, the Bucks are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 home games, 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference Quarterfinals games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, the Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall and 7-2 ATS in the last nine meetings in Milwaukee.
The Bucks had trouble finding offense outside of Antetokounmpo and Middleton, but their defense really fuelled their offense as you could just see their confidence growing as the game wore on. It was clear that the Bucks were the more desperate team on both ends of the floor and they reaped the rewards for it, but Brad Stevens is a great coach and I think he’ll have the Celtics ready to bounce back in this one. This is such a big game that could go either way, but the Bucks’ role players stepped up at home in Game 3 and I’m expecting more of the same in Game 4. I think the Bucks level the series right here.