Bucks look for 3-1 series lead at Boston

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Khris Middleton followed shortly after, crashing into Kyrie Irving.

These playoffs have yet to see a signature Kyrie Irving performance, where everything he touches falls or he gets to the basket at will.

A standing ovation for Marcus Smart as he checks into the game. The Celtics, trailing 2-1 in this best-of-seven series, were desperate.

If you liked what you heard here, you're going to love the offseason. He answered questions for five minutes and was mostly courteous and articulate. He's had plenty of opportunities to put his stamp on each of the past three games, yet the Celtics are never able to make a statement when they're ahead.

The Bucks baited Irving into playing 1-on-5 basketball, but that's been the case throughout this postseason.

To understand the significance of that run, one must understand that third quarters have been big this series. With the offensive struggles of some of their teammates, the better performer of the two could very well dictate who comes out victorious in a pivotal Game 5. But he was 7 for 22 from the floor, including 1 for 7 from 3-point range. Reserves George Hill, who scored 15 points, and Pat Connaughton, who had nine points and 10 rebounds, again led the Bucks bench, which outscored Boston's 32-7.

The fourth-seeded Rockets flipped the tables with 126-121 and 112-108 home wins, dominating the Warriors on the boards to the tune of 52.5 per game to 39.0, while also slightly outshooting Golden State 46.2 percent to 45.4. He did play all 24 minutes of the second half, so it's possible he was feeling tired, but his defense on the possession below essentially cemented the Celtics' fate. On Monday, they sat watching.

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According to NBA.com matchup data, Durant guarded Harden for 18 possessions in Game 4, second behind only Andre Iguodala.

Both Rozier and Celtics wing Gordon Hayward have struggled to get going against the Bucks offensively, for which Brad Stevens blames himself - he told reporters on Tuesday he is responsible for not putting Rozier and Hayward in positions to succeed.

From the bench, Middleton leaned over to Malcolm Brogdon and said, "This is a great spot to be in". "It's still a winnable game". At the end of the quarter, the Bucks led 80-72.

Of the game, and the series.

"The game was over", Irving reasoned when asked about the early exit following Boston's third straight loss in the series that brought the team to the brink of elimination. The series is now 3-2, but they don't have time to look past them. They need the bench to step up.

The Milwaukee Bucks are just one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals after grinding out a 113-101 win on the road in Boston. In the past three games, Kyrie is 19-for-62 from the field.

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