Terry Rozier and Al Horford scored 26 points each as the Boston Celtics routed the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 in Game 7 to book their spot in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Celtics’ victory in Saturday’s deciding game was their fourth win at the Boston Garden as the home teams won all seven games in the Eastern Conference series.
“We got it done that is the most important thing,” said Rozier. “Before this series everybody doubted us. But we believed in each other and it worked out for us.”
The storied Celtics franchise is now 36-0 lifetime when leading a playoff series 2-0, and they will try to make it 37 straight when they face the Philadelphia 76ers in the next round. Game 1 is Monday in Boston.
“We got to pay attention to details and take away what they want to do,” Rozier said of the next round.
Jayson Tatum tallied 20 points for the Celtics in the win.
The loss means the elimination of Giannis Antetokounmpo from the playoffs. Antetokounmpo, whose blend of size and athleticism has earned him the nickname the “Greek Freak”, finished with 22 points and nine rebounds.
Khris Middleton scored 32 and Eric Bledsoe chipped 23 in the loss.
Boston led 50-42 at the half despite going one-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Curry ‘very likely’ for Game 2
Horford had 14 points and seven rebounds at half-time, while Bledsoe led the Milwaukee attack with 12 points.
The Bucks narrowed the Boston lead to three points early in the third, but Boston scored 11 of the last 15 points in the quarter to seize command.
“Wasn’t able to win on the road, but we pushed the series to Game 7,” Antetokounmpo said. “A lot of the guys in the locker room have never been in Game 7s. It’s a new experience. Now we know now what it takes to win a Game 7.”
In Oakland, Draymond Green posted his fourth career playoff triple-double as the Golden State Warriors rolled over the New Orleans Pelicans 123-101 in the opening game of their second round series.
Green finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, and Kevin Durant tallied 26 points and 13 rebounds for the defending champion Warriors who took command of the contest in the second quarter.
“We knew we had to come out and get the ball moving,” Green said. “Make sure everyone was a threat on the floor and we did. We knew we could pick them apart.”
Golden State again played without two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Coach Steve Kerr said it was “very likely” Curry would play Game 2 on Tuesday. Curry has been out since March 23 with a sprained knee.
“If he comes back he is our guy,” said Green. “He will incorporate himself back into the offence. We will be ready to roll.”
Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans’ attack with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday had just 11 points on a disappointing four-of-14 shooting.