Bucks edge Celtics to level NBA playoff series

Giannis Antetokounmpo (L) of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Al Horford of the Boston Celtics

Washington (AFP) – Greek star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, including the decisive tip-in with five seconds remaining, to give the Milwaukee Bucks a 104-102 NBA playoff victory Sunday over Boston.

The triumph pulled the Bucks level with the Celtics at 2-2 in their best-of-seven first round series, which continues Tuesday in Boston.

Malcolm Brogdon’s 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 102-100 lead before Boston’s Al Horford made two free throws to equalize. Brogdon then missed a jumper but Antetokounmpo followed with a tip-in and the Bucks denied the Celtics in the final seconds.

“This win is incredible,” Antetokounmpo said. “We kept our composure and fought all the way to the end.”

Khris Middleton added 23 points while Jabari Parker had 16 off the bench for Milwaukee.

Jaylen Brown led Boston with 34 points.

Sunday’s later games included the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriros trying to complete a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs to book a second-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans, who swept out Portland.

In Eastern Conference matchups, Indiana sought a 3-1 series edge over visiting Cleveland while the Washington Wizards, with the worst record of any playoff club, hoped for a home win to level their series with East top seed Toronto.