Brogdon returns to Bucks after 21-game absence


Bledsoe is one of the players who will make up the difference.

Brad Stevens took responsibility for the Celtics' underwhelming season, saying he did a "bad job" after their campaign came to an end Wednesday. Milwaukee entered this season still feeling at least a year, maybe more, away.

The team with the best record in the National Basketball Association regular season also won the race to be the first into the postseason conference finals Wednesday night, when the Milwaukee Bucks ran away from the visiting Boston Celtics for a series-clinching, 116-91 victory. When Kyrie Irving couldn't find the heroics to be the man, the team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago without him couldn't regain that chemistry.

The top-seeded Bucks now advance to the Eastern finals, where they will have the home-court advantage over the victor of the other Eastern semifinal between Toronto and Philadelphia.

Boston went down without a fight. They have won and covered the spread in the last three games and they are now 7-1 against the spread in these playoffs. When faced with adversity the Celtics became a team of individuals that lacked genuine effort or trust for teammates. The Bruins open the Eastern Conference final on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

It wasn't just Games 4 and 5 that Irving underwhelmed - he did it in all four of the Celtics' losses in this series.

"He's a very talented player".

"I'm going to be honest with you, I'm just trying to make it back to Boston first safely", Irving said.

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Hill has been an integral role player for Milwaukee in this series. Boston shot a dismal 31.2 percent from the field, including 7-for-39 from 3-point range. And if they could muster a series win, that would prove the Bucks are no longer the cute story of a superstar surrounded by four nameless players incapable of playoff success.

"I think there's still going to be a lot of people who are going to doubt us", Antetokounmpo said.

Irving leads the Celtics averaging 6.9 assists while scoring 23.8 points per game.

On the other end of the court, the Bucks had a balanced attack.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 20 points and secured 8 rebounds as well as 8 assists.

Khris Middleton (19 points), Eric Bledsoe (18), George Hill (16), Nikola Mirotic (10) and Ersan Ilyasova (10) also scored in double figures for the Bucks, who shot 44.7 percent overall and outscored the Celtics 45-21 on 3-pointers.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks sealed a 4-1 series victory thanks to Wednesday's 116-91 win in Milwaukee.

"They played hard, they did unbelievable things with their rotations and Mike [Budenholzer] put them in great positions to be successful as well as guys coming in off the bench playing well, playing steady".