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Horford, Tatum help Celtics tie series

by The Associated Press | May 10, 2022 at 3:05 a.m.
Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to pass around Boston Celtics' Grant Williams during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

MILWAUKEE -- Al Horford has played in more than two dozen postseason series in a 15-year NBA career but rarely has outwardly shown much emotion during all those appearances.

That all changed Monday night.

The 35-year-old Horford had just capped a 10-0 run by driving down the baseline, hitting a game-tying dunk and drawing a foul on two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Horford celebrated by letting out a scream and pumping his fists.

Horford's big moment was the signature play in a fourth-quarter comeback that enabled the Boston Celtics to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108 and tie their Eastern Conference semifinal at 2-2.

"I usually just kind of go about my business," said Horford, who finished with a career playoff-high 30 points. "I do get excited, but I guess you kind of pick your spots, your moments. This was an emotional game."

The teams have alternated victories in this best-of-seven series, which continues Wednesday with Game 5 in Boston.

Boston tied the series mainly because of Horford and Jayson Tatum, who also had 30 points. Horford had 16 points and Tatum 12 in the fourth quarter alone to help the Celtics outscore the defending NBA champions 43-28.

"We love Al," said Boston's Marcus Smart, who scored 18 points. "Best vet we've ever had. Best vet I've ever had. He comes in, never changes whether things are going bad or good. He's going to be him, and nine times out of 10, it's going to work out in our favor."

Horford and Tatum helped the Celtics rally even while Jaylen Brown dealt with foul trouble that caused him to play less than half of the fourth quarter. The Celtics played the whole game without forward/center Robert Williams, who was out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

Horford had Boston's first six points and Tatum the last eight during a 14-2 run that put the Celtics ahead for good and gave them a 106-96 advantage with 3:33 left. The Bucks wouldn't cut the margin below six the rest of the way.

Tatum had 13 rebounds and five assists while bouncing back from a poor performance in a 103-101 Game 3 loss, when he had 10 points and shot 4 for 19.

"I played a terrible Game 3 and we almost had a chance to win," Tatum said. "That was really the toughest part, was knowing that. I was really eager to get back and ready to play."

Horford said he was motivated by an encounter he had earlier in the game with Antetokounmpo, who had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists. Antetokounmpo drew a technical foul in the first half when he stared down Horford after a dunk.

Horford got his own technical foul on his game-tying dunk because his left arm landed on Antetokounmpo's face as he was coming down.

After shooting just 40% through the first three quarters of the game, the Celtics went 16 of 19 overall and 4 of 5 from three-point range in the final period. Horford was 6 of 6 and Tatum 5 of 6.

Horford sparked the rally after Boston trailed by 11 late in the third quarter.

The Celtics tied the game on Horford's dunk with 9:51 left in the game, but that was just one of several huge plays he made.

After Brook Lopez scored the game's next four points to put the Bucks back ahead, the Celtics responded with a 7-0 run and broke an 85-all tie on Horford's three-pointer with 8:08 left.

The Bucks regained the lead 94-92 when Antetokounmpo hit a driving layup and drew a foul on Horford with 6:02 left. But after Antetokounmpo missed the free throw, Horford started the 14-2 run that put the Celtics in control.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

WARRIORS 101, GRIZZLIES 98

SAN FRANCISCO -- Stephen Curry converted eight free throws over the final 45.7 seconds on the way to 32 points, leading the Golden State Warriors' fourth-quarter comeback for a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night and a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.

Curry also dished out eight assists and grabbed five rebounds as Golden State rallied to win without Coach Steve Kerr after he tested positive for covid-19 less than two hours before tipoff.

Kerr was replaced by associate head coach Mike Brown, who agreed Sunday to become the Sacramento Kings' new coach after this postseason run.

Curry took charge for the Warriors, who are one win away from a trip to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2019. He tied it at 90-90 on a fall-away baseline jumper with 3:25 to go and his two free throws with 45.7 seconds to go gave the Warriors a 94-93 lead, their first of the night.

Tyus Jones had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists as Memphis missed injured All-Star Ja Morant. Dillon Brooks returned from a one-game suspension and struggled mightily, missing a three-point try with 53 seconds left and finishing 5 for 19 with 12 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds.

  photo  Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo has the ball knocked away by Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka reacts to a call during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Milwaukee Bucks' Wesley Matthews reacts to his three pointer in front of Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Milwaukee Bucks' Jrue Holiday drives past Boston Celtics' Al Horford during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart blocks the shot of Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Milwaukee Bucks' Bobby Portis drives past Boston Celtics' Al Horford (42) and Derrick White (9) during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Boston Celtics' Al Horford reacts during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Celtics won 116-108 to tie the series 2-2. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown battle during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 
  photo  Boston Celtics' Al Horford reacts in front of Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series Monday, May 9, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Celtics won 116-108 to tie the series 2-2. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
 
 

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