Last year’s two NBA finalists, Milwaukee and Phoenix, are down after Game 7 of the conference semifinals. Defending champion, Milwaukee suffered the law of Boston. History did not plead in favor of the Bucks: the three times they had faced the Celtics in a seventh game, they had lost (1974, 1987, 2018). The fourth confrontation was no exception to the rule. And for the first time in this tight series, there was no photo (109-81).
Driven by a molten TD Garden, Boston managed to make the difference in long-range shooting and Grant Williams, usual second role, had the best game of his career (27 points, 7/18 from 3 points). In his wake, Jayson Tatum (23 points, 8 assists) and Jaylen Brown (19 points, 8 rebounds) responded. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo only shot 10/26, still finishing with 25 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists. The Celtics, who are aiming for a record 18th NBA title, have an appointment with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
In the West, and it’s also a surprise, even bigger, given the fact that Dallas remained on nine defeats in Phoenix: the Mavericks crushed and humiliated the Suns (123-90), completely missing out on this decisive seventh match, paralyzed by the stakes.
Suns ‘worst performance’
The best regular season team, which many thought was the most collectively armed for the title, simply “delivered its worst performance for its most important game”, lamented coach Monty Williams. And opposite, Luka Doncic was still exceptional (35 points, 12/19, 10 rebounds) for the biggest meeting of his young career, which necessarily calls for others at 23 years old.
Dallas will challenge the Warriors of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (champions in 2015, 2017, 2018), to try to reconnect with the final, eleven years after their only coronation obtained against Miami.