Wednesday's NBA playoffs: DeRozan scores 41 as Bulls tie series 1-1 with Bucks

Associated Press

Milwaukee — DeMar DeRozan made sure the Chicago Bulls altered their painful recent history against the Milwaukee Bucks and gave this first-round series a fresh new start.

Now it’s the defending champion Bucks who are suddenly hurting as the teams head to Chicago all tied up.

Bulls' DeMar DeRozan drives past Bucks' Wesley Matthews during the second half of Game 2 of playoffs on Wednesday in Milwaukee.

DeRozan scored a career playoff-high 41 points and the Bulls outlasted the Bucks 114-110 on Wednesday night in Game 2. Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 13 rebounds, while Zach LaVine had 20 points as the sixth-seeded Bulls beat the third-seeded Bucks for just the second time in their last 19 meetings.

“No matter what you did in the regular season, this is a brand new start and new mindset,” DeRozan said. “You could see it in all the guys. It doesn’t matter if we’d lost 20 times to those guys. This is an opportunity for us to compete. We’ve got to take advantage of it.”

The big question now is what shape the Bucks will be in when this series resumes Friday.

Bobby Portis left the game with a right eye abrasion after the first quarter and Khris Middleton exited with 6:49 left after his left leg gave out while he tried to plant on a spin move.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game that Middleton has a sprained medial collateral ligament and will undergo an MRI on Thursday.

“He’s always been positive and he knows the type of team that we are and how resilient we are,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said. “We just want him to get back as quickly as possible and be healthy so he can come out here and help us win games.”

Budenholzer said that Portis “should be fine with some time.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 33 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, putting him one assist from his second career playoff triple-double. Antetokounmpo increased his career postseason point total to 1,715 to overtake Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,692) for the most in Bucks history.

Brook Lopez had 25 points for the Bucks. Middleton scored 18 and Holiday 15.

DeRozan scored eight points during a 13-0 run that began late in the third quarter and gave the Bulls a 96-80 lead with 9:47 remaining. The Bulls still led by 15 before Milwaukee rallied in the final 7 ½ minutes.

Lopez converted a three-point play to cut Chicago’s lead to 112-109 with 56 seconds left.

“We expected those guys to make a run,” Vucevic said. “They’re a championship team for a reason. They’ve been there before, so we expected them to make a run.”

More games

(At) Boston 114, Brooklyn 107: Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics rallied from 17 points down to beat the Brooklyn Nets 114-107 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

Jayson Tatum added 19 points for the Celtics, who held Kevin Durant without a basket in the second half. Al Horford had 16 points, Daniel Theis scored 15 and Payton Pritchard had eight of his 10 in the final period.

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum reacts after scoring against the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Boston.

Durant finished with 27 points but struggled from the field for the second straight game, shooting 4 of 17. Kyrie Irving had just 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting a day after being fined $50,000 for directing obscene gestures and profane language at Celtics fans during Game 1.

The series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Saturday night.

Durant and Irving were a combined 1 for 17 in the second half. Bruce Brown finished with 23 points and Seth Curry added 16.

The TD Garden faithful peppered Irving with boos throughout, beginning with the pregame introductions. The volume ratcheted up after tipoff with the addition of “Kyrie sucks! Kyrie sucks!” chants on each of Brooklyn’s first two possessions. The boos returned whenever he got his hands on the ball.

Boston trailed the entire first half but finally caught up to tie it at 79 on a short jumper by Theis. The Nets were able to settle in and took a 90-85 edge to the final period.

The Celtics tied it up again at 92 early in the fourth on a leaner by Jaylen Brown and took their first lead of the game with 7:48 left on a jumper by Pritchard.

It was part of 23-4 run that grew the Celtics’ lead to 108-96. The Nets went almost three minutes without a basket during the stretch.

Wednesday's NBA: Suns' Booker has hamstring strain, status vs. Pelicans uncertain

► Philadelphia 104, (At) Toronto 101: Joel Embiid made a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in overtime to give the Philadelphia 76ers a 104-101 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night and a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

After 76ers coach Doc Rivers called a timeout to save the possession as the shot clock was running down, Embiid took an inbounds pass from Danny Green with 0.9 seconds left on the shot clock and hit a turnaround shot from near the sideline.

Toronto’s OG Anunoby couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer.

Embiid had 33 points and 13 rebounds, helping the 76ers rally from a 17-point deficit. James Harden had 19 points and 10 assists before fouling out in the closing seconds of regulation.

Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid lies at the feet of referee Justin Van Duyne after being fouled by Toronto Raptors' Khem Birch during the second half.

Tyrese Maxey scored 19 points and Tobias Harris had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, They can wrap up the series in Game 4 on Saturday.

Anunoby scored 26 points for Toronto. Gary Trent Jr. had a playoff-high 24.

Tyrese Maxey scored 19 points and Tobias Harris had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Sixers, who can wrap up the series in Game 4 on Saturday.

Anunoby scored 26 points, Gary Trent Jr. had a playoff-high 24, and Precious Achiuwa had 20 for the Raptors.