BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown had a playoff career-high 30 points and the Boston Celtics pulled away into second half to earn a 120-106 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
Terry Rozier added 23 points for Boston, which took a 2-0 series lead in the first-round matchup. Game 3 is set for Friday in Milwaukee.
The Celtics led by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee got as close as 107-97 with 4:13 to play. But the Celtics responded with an 11-2 run, capped by a banked in 3-pointer by Brown to push their lead back up to 118-99.
Turnovers were an issue for the second straight game for Milwaukee. The Bucks finished with 15, leading to 21 Boston points. They also shot just 41 percent from the free-throw line (7 of 17).
The Celtics bench came up big, outscoring their Milwaukee counterparts 41-25. Marcus Morris led Boston’s reserves with 18 points.
Boston led by as many as 13 in the first half, taking advantage of 10 Milwaukee turnovers.
Antetokounmpo scored 18 points in the opening 24 minutes. He had his way on the inside, connecting on 8 of his 9 shots from the field.
Bucks: Have been outscored 42-13 in second-chance points through two games. … Shot 62 percent in the first half (23 of 37).
Celtics: Brown is the youngest player in Celtics history to score 30 or more points in a playoff game. .. Boston went 13 of 31 from the 3-point line. … Shane Larkin (11 points) scored double-digits in a playoff game for the first time in his NBA career.
Tuesday marked the ninth straight game that Antetokounmpo has scored at least 20 points against the Celtics.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart has a heavy heart as he continues to work his way back from right thumb surgery.
Smart revealed prior to Tuesday’s game that his mother, Camellia Smart, was recently diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. He was able to visit her briefly in Texas last week. But he said she wants him to be with the team because seeing him play would “put a smile on her face.”
“She told me she’d rather me be here than back there,” Smart said. “Doing what I love to do.”
Gordon Hayward has hit a new milestone in his left ankle rehab. He is currently at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, Indiana, working with a running mechanics specialist.
“We’re just trying to get him ready for Friday’s game. And we’re hopeful he can play,” Stevens joked before the game.
He then quickly made it clear it’s simply the “logical next step” in what remains a long rehab process.
“He’s not gonna join us in Milwaukee,” Stevens said. “He’s still a long, long, long way away.”
Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden was honored during a timeout in the first quarter. On Monday Linden became the first American woman to win the race since 1985. … There were also several New England Patriots seated on the sideline and the crowd, including team owner Robert Kraft, Julian Edelman, Duron Harmon, James White and Kyle Van Noy.
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