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Bucks title defense comes up short in Boston

The Milwaukee Bucks season is over after falling in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series at Boston, 109-81 on Sunday.

Things started well for Milwaukee, who led 26-20 after one quarter. Giannis Antetokounmpo nearly had a triple-double (10/8/6) by the end of the quarter, but that was the end of the Milwaukee highlights.

Once again, the Bucks were ice-cold from the outside, shooting just 4-33 (12.1%) from the three-point line and 33-90 (36.7%) overall.

At halftime, Milwaukee trailed by five after a questionable foul called on Antetokounmpo at midcourt gave Boston’s Marcus Smart three free throws, making them all.

The second half was a nothing short of a bloodbath.

Boston’s five-point lead became 12 in less than two minutes, and only got worse from there. In the second half, the Bucks shot a dismal 1-14 (7.1%) from the three-point line while the Celtics knocked down 13 of their 33 three-point attempts (39.4%).

Of course, if there is a mitigating factor, All-Star Khris Middleton was unavailable for this series after spraining his MCL in the first round against Chicago.

“We could’ve used him,” Bucks guard Jrue Holiday said of Middleton. “We definitely could’ve used him. He makes big shots and big plays on both ends, but especially the offensive end. Yeah, we missed him.”

“I think everybody went out there and competed, gave everything they had and that’s what we did from Game 3 against Chicago (when Middleton got injured) until Game 7 against Boston,” said Antetokounmpo. “But, if we had him, maybe it would have been a different story. But we didn’t.”

Antetokounmpo finished with 25 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Grant Williams’ career day for Boston. Williams scored 27 on 10-22 shooting (7-18 on three-pointers).

That’s sports,” Antetokounmpo added. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. There’s a winner, there’s a loser. But you’ve got to live with it.”

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