The ending of Game 1 between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks featured big shot after big shot after big shot, and some free basketball. A 10-point Celtics lead fizzled away in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, and this three-pointer from Malcolm Brogdon evened the score with 10.3 seconds left.
Not to be outdone, however, Celtics guard Terry Rozier squared off against Eric Bledsoe on the following possession — a tough, tough defender — and absolutely put him on skates.
With 0.5 seconds left on the clock, you’d think this game would be over, right?
Nope. Khris Middleton is a cold-blooded boy. (The mechanics it takes to get that shot off in time, and especially from distance, have to be so precise!)
The game was off to overtime, but some viewers needed a moment to process the degree to which Bledsoe was crossed up. It wasn’t quite as rude as James Harden on Wesley Johnson, but it might be the closest we’ll get for some time.
The overtime period, while close, didn’t have quite the same finish as regulation did. The Celtics managed to extend their lead to two possessions with 13.0 seconds left to go, ruling out shot-for-shot shenanigans.
With that said, this block by Jayson Tatum was timely, as it prevented the Bucks from tying the game with 27.4 seconds remaining.
The Celtics won 113-107, getting 19 or more points from four different players (Rozier, Tatum, Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown). Game 2 will be played on Tuesday, and with any luck, it’ll also be a competitive one — the Celtics may be the higher seed, but without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the lineup, they are eminently beatable. In Game 1, however, they weren’t.
It seems safe to say that fans want more of this.