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Celtics find a way to win Game 1 after Bucks force OT

Field Level Media
April 15. 2018 10:01PM

Boston Celtics forward Al Horford defends a shot by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in the second half of game one of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs between the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

Al Horford had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds and the second-seeded Boston Celtics edged the seventh-seeded Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 in overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Sunday.

Terry Rozier finished with 23 points, Marcus Morris had 21, Jaylen Brown scored 20 and Jayson Tatum added 19 to become the first Celtics rookie since Brian Shaw in 1989 to score 15 or more in his playoff debut.

“We’ve been down a lot (this season), a lot of injuries, and we’ve always found a way (to win),” Horford told TNT after the game.

The game went to overtime because each team hit a 3-pointer in the final 1 second of regulation. First, Rozier hit a go-ahead 3 with 0.5 on the clock, seemingly giving the Celtics the win. But Khris Middleton drilled a 3-pointer from near mid-court as time expired to send it to overtime.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a game-high 35 points and 13 rebounds and Middleton scored 31 for Milwaukee, which hasn’t advanced past the first round in seven straight postseason appearances dating back to 2003.

Antetokounmpo and Middleton were the first pair of Bucks teammates to score 30 apiece in a playoff game since Bob Dandridge and Brian Winters did so in 1976.

Milwaukee and Boston split their four-game, regular-season series, with each team winning once on the other’s home court. It’s the first playoff meeting between the Bucks and Celtics since 1987, when Boston won a seven-game series in the East semifinals.

Game 2 of the series is Tuesday in Boston.

Tatum blocked Malcolm Brogdon’s layup with 26.4 seconds left in overtime and the Bucks down 108-106. Brogdon collected the rebound and found Tony Snell, who missed a corner 3-pointer with 21.9 on the clock.

Rozier hit two free throws with 18.8 left to make it a four-point game.

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws at the 14.8 mark, and then committed his sixth and final foul fighting for a loose ball with Rozier, who made one of two free throws with 13 ticks to go.

Boston salted the win at the line after that.

Already without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics also began their playoff push without defensive centerpiece Marcus Smart (right thumb surgery).

Pacers 98, Cavaliers 80: Indiana guard Victor Oladipo scored 32 points, hitting 6 of 9 attempts from 3-point range, to power the Pacers to a victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in Game 1 of an opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Oladipo, who sank 11 of 19 shots overall, also contributed six rebounds, four assists and four steals.

LeBron James contributed a triple-double for the Cavaliers with 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.