Boston Celtics: 3 takeaways from Game 5 vs

Burke on Celtics Jayson Tatum Jaylen Brown key to next Boston title

He scored some points (9), grabbed some rebounds (5), and dished out some assists (4), but anyone who has watched Smart play basketball knows his impact lives beyond the stats from the box score.

Horford's numbers are up from his regular-season averages of 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, but his veteran leadership and versatility are not to be overlooked.

Al Horford was a big factor too - 22 points and 14 rebounds. "I didn't think he got the ball off, so I said, 'that's a shot clock violation.' That was my discussion". What was a bit surprising was how long he was able to do that for Boston. He had been out since March 11 as he recovered from surgery to fix a torn ligament in his right thumb.

Smart had been sidelined since March 11 when he tore the UCL in his right thumb while diving for a loose ball. While he was playing, Smart did Smart things.

The main reasons for Milwaukee's shooting prowess have been Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton.

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A permanent fixture in the Milwaukee rotation since joining the roster before the 2016/17 season, his role on the team was suddenly in question, as a lack of preparation became a concern for head coach Joe Prunty.

Tip off for Game 5 between Boston and Milwaukee is Wednesday morning, 0900hrs AEST.

Terry Rozier added 16 points and five assists for Boston. With Smart's return to the lineup, Stevens slid Horford to center - a transition that works on a team that's often position-less like the Celtics. He played 25 minutes wearing a protective splint and had a key assist to Horford late from the bottom of a scrum beneath three Milwaukee players.

In the final 52.4 seconds of Sunday's game, however, the Celtics did show that they probably don't have the horses to win big in the 2017-18 playoffs. Kevin Durant has continued to play well and will have to moving forward especially with the well rested Pelicans waiting for them in the second round. Late in the fourth, with the Celtics up four, the refs would miss a clear shot clock violation.

PRESSURE IS ON: Clearly, the Bucks. Even without their superstar point guard, Boston has come together and should close the series out in Game 6. Expect a higher point total for Antetokounmpo as the team returns home for Game 6 on the brink of elimination. Now, his team trails the Celtics in the series, 3-2. A twisting Brown layup in traffic and a Tatum 3-pointer then cut the Bucks lead to nine, 69-60 with 3:13 left in the third. That just won't get it done on the road for the underdog. The Celtics can get a much better scoring boost for the second unit if Rozier comes off the bench, and this top unit needs Smart on defense more than any amount of offense. Instead, they put themselves in the position where one call changed everything. Instead, they should be blaming the rims at the TD Garden.

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