Saturday's NBA: Bucks beat Celtics in wild finish; Warriors rout Grizzlies

Associated Press

Milwaukee — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 42 points and made the go-ahead basket with 44.3 seconds left and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood a frantic flurry of shots in the final seconds to beat the Boston Celtics 103-101 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

The defending champion Bucks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1, with Game 4 on Monday night in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo dunks past Boston Celtics' Payton Pritchard during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Milwaukee.

Boston trailed 103-100 when Marcus Smart was fouled by Jrue Holiday just before attempting a potential tying 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining. Smart made the first free throw, then missed the second intentionally — flinging a shot that went hard off the backboard before hitting the rim

That’s when things got wild.

Smart got the rebound, but missed his putback attempt. Boston’s Robert Williams charged toward the basket and sent the ball up and off the glass. Al Horford was waiting on the right side with a putback attempt that also went off the glass. Horford then got his own rebound and banked it in, but his final shot came just after the buzzer sounded.

Replays confirmed Horford didn’t beat the clock.

Antetokounmpo also had 12 rebounds and eight assists. His driving finger roll helped the Bucks pull back ahead after blowing a 14-point lead.

After trailing by 13 with less than 10 minutes left, the Celtics pulled ahead 100-99 and took their first lead since early in their third quarter on Jaylen Brown’s two free throws with 1:49 remaining.

Both teams failed to score on their next possessions before Antetokounmpo put the Bucks back ahead. Antetokounmpo then blocked Brown’s driving layup attempt, leading to Holiday's basket that made it 103-100 with 11.2 seconds remaining.

Holiday had 25 points.

Brown led the Celtics with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Horford had 22 points and 16 rebounds.

(At) Golden State 142, Memphis 112: Stephen Curry scored 30 points, Klay Thompson had 21 and nine rebounds and Golden State shut down Ja Morant’s supporting cast to embarrass Memphis and take 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Morant’s 3 just before the halftime buzzer got the Grizzlies to 64-57 at the break and gave him 17 of his 34 points after a 47-point performance in Game 2. But Morant couldn’t do it alone for Memphis, and he was done after rubbing his tender right knee and limping off with 6:19 to play before heading to the locker room.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal in San Francisco, Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Still bothered by Dillon Brooks’ hard foul in Game 2 that sidelined Gary Payton II, Draymond Green and Golden State kept cool from the opening tip — methodically running away with it. Instead, Memphis forward Kyle Anderson got ejected with 6:19 left for arguing an offensive foul. Brooks will be back for Game 4 on Monday night.