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Celtics beat Bucks 112-96 in Game 7, advance to play 76ers

BOSTON (AP) Terry Rozier and Eric Bledsoe spent seven games trash-talking through the media and pretending not to know each other's names.

When it was over, they gave each other a quick hug - and a smile.

''Just respect,'' Rozier said after scoring a career playoff high 26 points in Game 7 against Bledsoe's Bucks on Saturday night to help the Celtics beat Milwaukee 112-96 and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight year.

''You've got two guys that want to win, two chippy guys, two short point guards,'' Rozier said. ''We were just out there having fun. If it takes for us to go back and forth, jawing back and forth to battle, push each other, that's just part of the game. We talked after the game, no stuff.''

Rozier added nine assists, Al Horford had 26 points and eight rebounds, and even Giannis Antetokounmpo tipped in a basket for the Celtics, who will meet the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.

Game 1 is in Boston on Monday night.

''We're going to have to play great,'' said Celtics coach Brad Stevens, who was already without would-be starters Gordon Heyward and Kyrie Irving when Jaylen Brown left Saturday's game with a hamstring injury. ''That's just another thing. Somebody else is going to have to step up and play great. But we'll get ready.''

Khris Middleton scored 32, Bledsoe had 23 and Antetokounmpo had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks. Milwaukee has advanced from the first round of the playoffs just once since 1989, losing nine straight playoff series since Ray Allen, Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell brought George Karl to the Eastern Conference finals in 2001.

Jayson Tatum added 20 points for the Celtics, who rode the home-court advantage to win all four games in Boston.

''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. You've got to come out, hit first.''

Playing in their NBA-record 31st Game 7, the Celtics improved to 20-4 at home and 23-8 overall in best-of-seven clinchers. It was the second Game 7 at the TD Garden this week, with the Boston Bruins beating the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night to advance in the NHL playoffs.

''It's more than you can imagine, just a great feeling,'' Horford said. ''Our fans really gave us that energy. This is why you work so hard in the regular season, to put yourself with home-court advantage.''

BLEDSOE AND BLEDSOE

When he was at Louisville, Rozier was compared to Bledsoe, who had left Kentucky a few years earlier. But the two did their best to work up a friendly hatred during the series.

It started when Rozier referred to his Bucks counterpart as ''Drew Bledsoe'' - confusing him with the former New England Patriots quarterback. Since then, Bledsoe has pretended he doesn't know who Rozier is.

Celtics fans joined in by chanting ''Who is Bledsoe!'' in the first half. And during a fourth-quarter break, the scoreboard showed a video of Drew Bledsoe holding up one of his Patriots jerseys and proclaiming himself ''the original Bledsoe.''

''Man, that was special,'' Rozier said. ''I don't know who thought of that, but that was nice.''

FIRST HALF RUNS

Tatum had nine points in the first, when the Celtics scored 15 straight points - including a tip-in by Antetokounmpo into the Boston hoop - and 20 of the last 22 to end the quarter with a 30-17 lead. Milwaukee scored 11 in a row at the beginning of the second to make it a two-point game, but Boston answered with nine in a row to make it 41-30.

The Celtics led 50-42 at the half despite going 1-for-12 from 3-point range. Horford had 14 points and seven rebounds at the break, and Bledsoe had 12 points for the Bucks. But both Antetokounmpo and Bledsoe had three fouls at halftime.

Milwaukee cut the deficit to three points early in the third but Boston scored 11 of the last 15 points in the quarter. The Bucks never got within single digits in the fourth.

HAMMY TIME

Jaylen Brown limped off to the locker room late in the second quarter, then came out to test his sore right hamstring just before the start of the second half. But he left the floor and went back into the tunnel; after riding the stationary bike for a few minutes and getting checked out in the locker room, the team said he was available to return, but he did not.

''I was told that if we got in a pinch he could play,'' Stevens said. ''I decided that's not going to happen. With hamstrings - let's see how he feels tomorrow.''

Brown said it was diagnosed as a Grade 1 sprain. He will have an MRI tomorrow.

''Whatever it takes. I wouldn't miss this series for the world,'' he said, vowing to be back for Game 1. ''That's my goal.''

TIP-INS

Bucks: Have an 0-18 record in playoff series in which they've lost the first two games. They are 2-8 in Game 7s. ... Bledsoe picked up a technical foul in the first quarter after complaining about a foul call. ... C John Henson missed his fifth straight game with a sore back. ... Scored zero points on fast breaks.

Celtics: Hayward, Irving and Daniel Theis were all at the game. Theis, who has been out since March 11, recovered enough from left knee surgery to ditch his crutches for the first time on Friday. ... Also in the crowd: Red Sox owner John Henry and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. ... Red Sox manager Alex Cora and a bunch of players also filed into a pair of luxury suites after their game ended. ... Boston was 4-for-5 from 3-point range in the third. ... Rozier's 26 points were a career playoff high. ... Scored 60 points in the paint.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:40   Jayson Tatum missed finger-roll layup  
11:39   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
11:35   Khris Middleton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:31   Defensive rebound by Jaylen Brown  
11:19 +2 Al Horford made alley-oop shot, assist by Jayson Tatum 0-2
10:57 +2 Malcolm Brogdon made hook shot 2-2
10:41 +2 Jaylen Brown made finger-roll layup 2-4
10:19   Khris Middleton missed jump shot  
10:17   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
10:10 +2 Al Horford made finger-roll layup, assist by Jayson Tatum 2-6
9:49   Personal foul on Jaylen Brown  
9:45   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:44   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
9:36   Out of bounds turnover on Terry Rozier  
9:20 +2 Eric Bledsoe made floating jump shot 4-6
9:08   Out of bounds turnover on Jaylen Brown  
8:56 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made fade-away jump shot 6-6
8:31 +2 Semi Ojeleye made driving layup, assist by Terry Rozier 6-8
8:14   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed finger-roll layup, blocked by Al Horford  
8:11   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
8:09   Shooting foul on Khris Middleton  
8:09 +1 Jayson Tatum made 1st of 2 free throws 6-9
8:09 +1 Jayson Tatum made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-10
7:58 +2 Eric Bledsoe made reverse layup 8-10
7:43   Traveling violation turnover on Al Horford  
7:34   Lost ball turnover on Khris Middleton, stolen by Jaylen Brown  
7:30   Jaylen Brown missed layup  
7:29   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
7:25   Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:25   Offensive rebound by Thon Maker  
7:24 +2 Thon Maker made dunk 10-10
7:04   Semi Ojeleye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:04   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
6:43 +3 Thon Maker made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 13-10
6:16   Jayson Tatum missed jump shot  
6:13   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
5:57   Thon Maker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:53   Defensive rebound by Terry Rozier  
5:43   Shooting foul on Thon Maker  
5:43   Al Horford missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:43   Team rebound  
5:43   Al Horford missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
5:41   Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker  
5:23   Malcolm Brogdon missed finger-roll layup  
5:20   Offensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
5:14   Shooting foul on Marcus Morris  
5:14 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 14-10
5:14 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 15-10
4:59   Marcus Morris missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:57   Offensive rebound by Terry Rozier  
4:56 +2 Terry Rozier made dunk 15-12
4:56   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
4:56   Terry Rozier missed free throw  
4:56   Team rebound  
4:41   Jabari Parker missed jump shot  
4:39   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
4:24   Al Horford missed hook shot  
4:24   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
4:13   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed jump shot  
4:11   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
4:04 +2 Jayson Tatum made driving layup, assist by Terry Rozier 15-14
4:04   Shooting foul on Jabari Parker  
4:04 +1 Jayson Tatum made free throw 15-15
3:44   Matthew Dellavedova missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:44   Team rebound  
3:25 +2 Jayson Tatum made jump shot 15-17
3:13   Bad pass turnover on Giannis Antetokounmpo, stolen by Marcus Smart  
3:10 +2 Marcus Smart made layup 15-19
2:46   Bad pass turnover on Tony Snell, stolen by Shane Larkin  
2:23   Jumpball  
2:19   Jayson Tatum missed finger-roll layup  
2:18   Offensive rebound by Aron Baynes  
2:18 +2 Aron Baynes made dunk 15-21
2:04   Lost ball turnover on Matthew Dellavedova, stolen by Marcus Smart  
1:58   Marcus Smart missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:56   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:43   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed reverse layup  
1:41   Defensive rebound by Aron Baynes  
1:27 +2 Aron Baynes made layup, assist by Shane Larkin 15-23
1:09   Tony Snell missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:09   Defensive rebound by Shane Larkin  
0:55   Personal foul on Tyler Zeller  
0:55 +1 Jayson Tatum made 1st of 2 free throws 15-24
0:55 +1 Jayson Tatum made 2nd of 2 free throws 15-25
0:39 +2 Eric Bledsoe made driving layup, assist by Jabari Parker 17-25
0:32   Personal foul on Eric Bledsoe  
0:32   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
0:32 +1 Shane Larkin made free throw 17-26
0:32 +1 Shane Larkin made 1st of 2 free throws 17-27
0:32 +1 Shane Larkin made 2nd of 2 free throws 17-28
0:20   Personal foul on Shane Larkin  
0:10   Eric Bledsoe missed floating jump shot  
0:08   Defensive rebound by Marcus Morris  
0:00 +2 Aron Baynes made jump shot, assist by Marcus Smart 17-30
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:53   Offensive foul on Eric Bledsoe  
11:53   Offensive foul on Eric Bledsoe  
11:44   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
11:44   Jaylen Brown missed 1st of 2 free throws  
11:44   Team rebound  
11:44   Jaylen Brown missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:41   Defensive rebound by Jason Terry  
11:31 +2 Khris Middleton made layup, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 19-30
11:20   Marcus Smart missed layup  
11:11   Offensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
11:11 +2 Marcus Smart made dunk 19-32
11:03   Shooting foul on Aron Baynes  
11:03 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 20-32
11:03 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-32
10:50   Out of bounds turnover on Marcus Smart  
10:35   Shooting foul on Marcus Smart  
10:35 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 22-32
10:35 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 23-32
10:15   Marcus Morris missed driving layup  
10:13   Offensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
10:11   Jaylen Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:09   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
9:54 +2 Khris Middleton made driving layup 25-32
9:54   Defensive goaltending violation  
9:39   Jaylen Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:36   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
9:20 +3 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Khris Middleton 28-32
9:05   Marcus Morris missed jump shot  
9:01   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
8:47 +2 Eric Bledsoe made hook shot 30-32
8:31 +2 Al Horford made finger-roll layup, assist by Terry Rozier 30-34
8:05   Khris Middleton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:02   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
7:42 +2 Al Horford made hook shot 30-36
7:21   Out of bounds turnover on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:08   Terry Rozier missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:06   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:01   Offensive foul on Eric Bledsoe  
7:01   Offensive foul on Eric Bledsoe  
6:48 +2 Terry Rozier made floating jump shot 30-38
6:37   Malcolm Brogdon missed driving layup, blocked by Terry Rozier  
6:35   Team rebound  
6:22 +2 Terry Rozier made fade-away jump shot 30-40
5:58   Khris Middleton missed fade-away jump shot  
5:56   Defensive rebound by Semi Ojeleye  
5:48   Terry Rozier missed jump shot  
5:48   Offensive rebound by Al Horford  
5:43   Al Horford missed dunk  
5:43   Offensive rebound by Al Horford  
5:41   Jayson Tatum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:39   Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker  
5:35   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed driving layup  
5:33   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
5:30   Jayson Tatum missed driving layup, blocked by Khris Middleton  
5:30   Team rebound  
5:30   Personal foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
5:30 +1 Marcus Smart made free throw 30-41
5:25   Jaylen Brown missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:23   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
5:12 +2 Jabari Parker made jump shot, assist by Thon Maker 32-41
4:54   Jayson Tatum missed jump shot  
4:51   Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker  
4:38   Lost ball turnover on Khris Middleton, stolen by Marcus Smart  
4:33 +2 Al Horford made alley-oop shot, assist by Marcus Smart 32-43
4:26   Personal foul on Jaylen Brown  
4:21 +2 Jabari Parker made hook shot, assist by Thon Maker 34-43
3:58 +3 Terry Rozier made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jaylen Brown 34-46
3:42 +2 Jabari Parker made driving layup, assist by Thon Maker 36-46
3:17 +2 Al Horford made jump shot 36-48
3:04   Personal foul on Jayson Tatum  
2:56   Malcolm Brogdon missed floating jump shot  
2:54   Defensive rebound by Marcus Morris  
2:44   Terry Rozier missed driving layup  
2:42   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
2:38   Jabari Parker missed layup  
2:35   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
2:21   Bad pass turnover on Al Horford, stolen by Eric Bledsoe  
2:15   Malcolm Brogdon missed driving layup  
2:13   Defensive rebound by Terry Rozier  
2:09   Al Horford missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:05   Defensive rebound by Malcolm Brogdon  
1:52   Khris Middleton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:48   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
1:32   Bad pass turnover on Marcus Smart, stolen by Jabari Parker  
1:31   Shooting foul on Marcus Smart  
1:31   Jabari Parker missed 1st of 2 free throws  
1:31   Team rebound  
1:31 +1 Jabari Parker made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-48
1:09   Marcus Smart missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:06   Defensive rebound by Thon Maker  
0:55 +3 Khris Middleton made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Thon Maker 40-48
0:32 +2 Al Horford made finger-roll layup, assist by Jayson Tatum 40-50
0:32   Defensive goaltending violation  
0:24 +2 Khris Middleton made turnaround jump shot 42-50
0:00   Jayson Tatum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:00   Team rebound  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49 +2 Khris Middleton made jump shot, assist by Eric Bledsoe 44-50
11:27 +2 Al Horford made jump shot, assist by Terry Rozier 44-52
11:00 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made alley-oop shot, assist by Khris Middleton 46-52
10:41   Marcus Smart missed finger-roll layup  
10:38   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:31   Personal foul on Marcus Smart  
10:20 +3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 49-52
10:13   Out of bounds turnover on Terry Rozier  
10:01   Malcolm Brogdon missed jump shot  
9:58   Defensive rebound by Terry Rozier  
9:48 +2 Al Horford made dunk, assist by Terry Rozier 49-54
9:33 +2 Eric Bledsoe made finger-roll layup 51-54
9:33   Defensive goaltending violation  
9:16   Personal foul on Khris Middleton  
9:05   Terry Rozier missed floating jump shot  
9:03   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
8:59   Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:55   Defensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
8:44 +2 Al Horford made reverse layup, assist by Terry Rozier 51-56
8:29   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed jump shot  
8:26   Defensive rebound by Al Horford  
8:05 +2 Jayson Tatum made finger-roll layup 51-58
7:56 +2 Eric Bledsoe made floating jump shot, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 53-58
7:40 +3 Terry Rozier made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Al Horford 53-61
7:26   Thon Maker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:24   Defensive rebound by Semi Ojeleye  
7:04 +2 Al Horford made hook shot 53-63
6:51 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk, assist by Khris Middleton 55-63
6:35 +2 Al Horford made alley-oop shot, assist by Marcus Smart 55-65
6:06   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
5:54   Personal foul on Khris Middleton  
5:42   Out of bounds turnover on Jayson Tatum  
5:39   Shooting foul on Marcus Morris  
5:39 +1 Khris Middleton made 1st of 2 free throws 56-65
5:39 +1 Khris Middleton made 2nd of 2 free throws 57-65
5:19 +2 Jayson Tatum made driving layup 57-67
5:04 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made finger-roll layup, assist by Jabari Parker 59-67
4:45 +3 Semi Ojeleye made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Terry Rozier 59-70
4:31 +2 Khris Middleton made reverse layup 61-70
4:13   Offensive foul on Al Horford  
4:13   Offensive foul on Al Horford  
4:04 +2 Eric Bledsoe made driving layup 63-70
3:43   Marcus Morris missed fade-away jump shot  
3:41   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
3:37   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed finger-roll layup  
3:35   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
3:28 +2 Marcus Morris made reverse layup, assist by Al Horford 63-72
3:11   Jabari Parker missed jump shot  
3:08   Defensive rebound by Semi Ojeleye  
3:01 +2 Terry Rozier made driving layup 63-74
2:51   Personal foul on Terry Rozier  
2:38   Eric Bledsoe missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:31   Defensive rebound by Aron Baynes  
2:32   Bad pass turnover on Aron Baynes, stolen by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
2:29   Personal foul on Aron Baynes  
2:17   Lost ball turnover on Shabazz Muhammad, stolen by Marcus Morris  
1:56   Shooting foul on Jabari Parker  
1:56 +1 Marcus Morris made 1st of 2 free throws 63-75
1:56   Marcus Morris missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:54   Defensive rebound by Shabazz Muhammad  
1:41 +2 Jabari Parker made jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 65-75
1:24   Jayson Tatum missed driving layup, blocked by Shabazz Muhammad  
1:21   Offensive rebound by Aron Baynes  
1:19 +3 Marcus Morris made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Aron Baynes 65-78
1:19   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:19   Marcus Morris missed free throw  
1:19   Defensive rebound by Jabari Parker  
1:12   Shabazz Muhammad missed layup, blocked by Jayson Tatum  
1:08   Defensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
1:03 +3 Jayson Tatum made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Shane Larkin 65-81
0:52