Defending champion and runner-up out. Milwaukee did not survive Game 7 in Boston, which will face Miami in the Eastern Conference final, nor did Phoenix, totally liquefied against Dallas and Luka Doncic, who will challenge Golden State in the West.
History did not favor the Bucks. All three times they've faced the Celtics in Game 7 they've lost: 1974 Championship Finals (Wisconsin franchise was part of the West at the time), 1987 Eastern Conference Semifinals and in the first round of 2018. The fourth confrontation was no exception to the rule. And for the first time in this tight series, there was no photo (109-81).
Driven by a molten TD Garden, Boston, who had more under their feet, managed to make the difference on long-range shots. Untenable, the "C's" hit the mark 22 times (in 55 attempts), the Bucks finding the target only 4 times (out of 33). Never before has a team made so many award-winning baskets in a Game 7.
Grant Williams, hardly accustomed to scoring so much, was a sharp second knife like never before (27 pts, 7/18 behind the arc), achieving the best game of his career there. In his wake, Jayson Tatum (23 pts, 8 assists) and Jaylen Brown (19 pts, 8 rebounds) responded.
After a first quarter in favor of the Bucks (26-20), the Celtics picked up the pace and never eased off. Their defensive selflessness also got the better of the efforts of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who only shot at 10/26, still finishing with 25 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists. Jrue Holiday (21 pts, 8 assists) and Brook Lopez (15 pts, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) supported him, but not the rest of the team and the absence of Khris Middleton (knee) to make one last times terribly felt.
Revenge against Miami for the Celtics
"They were the best team. Give Boston credit," coach Mike Budenholzer said. The Celtics are dreaming of succeeding them, even if the road is still long before winning a record 18th NBA title, to leave behind their historic rivals the Lakers, who joined them at the top of the list in 2020, with a 17th coronation gleaned against Miami.
But the Heat happens to be their next opponent. With a taste of revenge in the air since, at the time, Jimmy Butler
In the West, and it's also a surprise, even bigger, given the fact that Dallas remained on nine defeats in Phoenix, the Mavs crushed and humiliated the Suns (123-90), completely missing out on this 7th decisive match, paralyzed by the stakes. The best regular season team, which many believed to be the most collectively armed for the title, simply "delivered its worst performance for its most important game", lamented coach Monty Williams.
And opposite, Luka Doncic was still exceptional (35 pts, at 12/19, 10 rebounds) for the biggest meeting of his young career, which necessarily calls for others at 23 years old.
The Slovenian prodigy had 27 points at the break, as many as the Suns, then trailing by 30 units, making him the first player in 25 years to equal or exceed an opposing team's single-period point total in a game. of playoffs. Meanwhile, total eclipses for Devin Booker and Chris Paul, unable to score a basket during these first 24 minutes, excluding free throws. They finished with 11 and 10 points.
Also worn by Spencer Dinwiddie (30 pts, at 11/15), on a cloud coming off the bench, and Jalen Brunson (24 pts), the Mavs shot at 58.7% success and counted up to 46 points. 'advance. Overwhelming figures that illustrated the debacle of the Suns. Dallas will challenge the Warriors of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (champions in 2015, 2017, 2018), to try to reconnect with the final, eleven years after their only coronation obtained against Miami.