Led by Al Horford, Celtics Stage Comeback to Even Series
In a thrilling game, the Boston Celtics, led by veteran big man Al Horford, orchestrated a remarkable comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks to win Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Celtics, powered by a dominant fourth quarter where they outscored the Bucks 43-28, successfully erased a double-digit deficit. With this victory, the Celtics leveled the series at 2-2.
Al Horford’s Heroics Seal the Comeback
The standout performance of the game came from Al Horford, who delivered a career-high 30 points and played a pivotal role in the Celtics’ fourth-quarter surge. Horford’s exceptional display at the Fiserv Center inspired his team and helped turn the tide in their favor. The Celtics’ 43 points in the fourth quarter matched a franchise record they had previously set in 2001.
Looking ahead, with home-court advantage in Games 5 and 7, the Celtics have now reclaimed their status as the series favorites, holding -200 odds. The Bucks, on the other hand, are considered underdogs with odds of +170 to eliminate the Celtics. Game 5, set to take place on Wednesday, sees the Celtics as -5.5 favorites on their home court, aiming to capitalize on their earlier success from the series.
Aging Horford Shines Under Pressure
Despite doubts about his abilities due to his age, Al Horford, the 35-year-old veteran, silenced the naysayers with a spectacular performance. Fuelled by a dunk and disrespectful comments by Giannis Antetokounmpo, known as the “Greek Freak,” Horford found the motivation to prove himself. The precise nature of Antetokounmpo’s words remained unclear, but Horford’s strong response indicated his determination to retaliate.
Horford’s revenge came in the form of a thunderous dunk over Antetokounmpo in the fourth quarter, serving as an emphatic statement during a crucial 10-0 scoring run. Energized by this feat, the rest of the Celtics rallied around their veteran leader, ultimately securing an eight-point victory over the Bucks. Marcus Smart acknowledged the impact of Horford’s play, emphasizing its significance in a crucial moment.
As tensions run high in the playoffs, Horford reflected on the emotional intensity of the game, acknowledging both the challenging circumstances the team faced and the role his teammates played in lifting their spirits. With 30 points, including a flawless 16-point fourth quarter on 6-for-6 shooting, including two vital 3-pointers, Horford showcased his passion for the game, motivating the rest of the team to follow suit.
Bucks Falter in the Fourth Quarter
Conversely, the Milwaukee Bucks endured a disappointing collapse in the game’s final quarter. They struggled to contain the Celtics’ scoring onslaught and failed to mount an effective counterattack. The Celtics capitalized on their opportunities, converting an impressive 16 of their 19 field goal attempts, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledged the Celtics’ prowess, recognizing their ability to execute plays and remain disciplined during the crucial moments of the game. Jrue Holiday praised the Celtics’ performance, conceding that they made more plays and capitalized on their opportunities. The Bucks’ inability to match the Celtics’ proficiency from the perimeter proved to be a significant setback, with the Celtics outscoring them by 15 points beyond the arc.
Although Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks with an impressive 34 points and 18 rebounds, his efforts fell short in securing a victory. The Celtics managed to neutralize his impact during crunch time in Game 4, a stark contrast to his dominance in Game 3, where he registered an astounding 42 points. Khris Middleton’s absence due to a sprained MCL has been felt by the Bucks, who sorely missed his contribution in key moments of the game. However, there is little hope for Middleton’s return in this series, as his recovery is not expected in time.
In their attempt to counter the Celtics, the Bucks have experimented with lineup changes. Grayson Allen earned his second consecutive start, but failed to make a significant impact, scoring just seven points in 29 minutes. Additionally, Bobby Portis, who stepped in for Middleton during his absence, struggled in his limited playing time, contributing only four points across 15 minutes.
The Boston Celtics displayed their resilience and fighting spirit in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, staging an impressive comeback led by Al Horford’s heroic performance. Despite facing a double-digit deficit, the Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bucks by 15 points to level the series at 2-2. With alternating home-court advantage for the remaining games, the Celtics have regained their favored position in the series. However, the relentless Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, remain a formidable opponent as they seek to secure a spot in the conference finals.
1. Can the Boston Celtics maintain their momentum after the Game 4 comeback?
While the Celtics’ comeback victory in Game 4 has undoubtedly boosted their confidence, the subsequent games will be fiercely contested. The Bucks will regroup and analyze their shortcomings, aiming to regain control in the series. With an unpredictable and high-stakes playoff environment, it remains to be seen if the Celtics can sustain their momentum.
2. How crucial is Khris Middleton’s absence for the Milwaukee Bucks?
Khris Middleton’s absence due to a sprained MCL has unquestionably adversely affected the Bucks’ performance. Middleton’s scoring ability and overall contribution are sorely missed, particularly in critical moments of the game. The Bucks must find ways to compensate for his absence and identify alternative sources of scoring and leadership to overcome this setback.
3. Will Giannis Antetokounmpo bounce back after a subpar fourth quarter in Game 4?
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a bona fide superstar and a key driving force behind the Bucks’ success. While Game 4 featured a disappointing fourth-quarter performance from him, it would be unwise to discount his ability to bounce back. Antetokounmpo will likely take this setback as motivation to refine his approach and come back stronger in the remaining games of the series.
4. How essential is three-point shooting in determining the outcome of this series?
Three-point shooting has emerged as a significant factor in this series. The Celtics’ ability to outscore the Bucks from beyond the arc during crucial moments has proven instrumental in their success. The team that can effectively convert three-point attempts and limit their opponent’s scoring from deep will likely have a substantial advantage in deciding the series.
5. How confident are the Boston Celtics in their championship aspirations?
With odds of +380 to win the 2022 NBA championship, the Boston Celtics clearly possess confidence in their capabilities. While they face tough competition both within their conference and league-wide, the Celtics believe they have what it takes to secure the ultimate title. The journey ahead promises intense battles, but the Celtics remain resolute in their pursuit of basketball glory.