In Game 7, Celtics defeat Bucks
BOSTON — It was no secret that Grant Williams was hesitating when he had open looks from the 3-point arc. The Milwaukee Bucks were offering him acres of real estate on Sunday afternoon, but Celtics bucks Williams had reached the point, after a few early misses, when he was questioning himself. Doubt had crept in. His Celtics teammates told him to knock it off.
“Celtics bucks It’s tough to get into your own head when 15 people walk up to you saying: ‘Let it fly. Keep shooting,’ ” Williams recalled.
Emboldened by their support, Williams decided to do what they told him to do. It hardly mattered that it was Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, or that the Celtics were facing one of the planet’s best players in Giannis
Antetokounmpo, or that Williams had drifted in and out of the team’s rotation last season. It was his job to shoot. So he suppressed his nerves and delivered in a big way as the Celtics went about their business of eliminating the N.B.A.’s reigning champions.
“We just said: ‘Why not now? Why not put it together?’ ” Williams said.
In a tightly contested series that was stretched to its limit, the Celtics added to their season-long comeback story by defeating the Bucks, 109-81. They will face the top-seeded Miami Heat in the conference finals beginning Tuesday.
It was not necessarily surprising that Boston won — the Celtics were a deeper, more explosive team than the Bucks — but no one expected Williams, a third-year forward, to clinch the series by scoring 27 points or by shooting 7 of 18 from 3-point range or by outshining Antetokounmpo.
Anyone who predicted as much two weeks ago?
“I would’ve called you a liar for sure,” the Celtics’ Jaylen Brown said.
Then again, the playoffs have a way of pushing unsung actors into starring roles. On Sunday, the Celtics turned to Williams, an understudy no more as the Bucks crowded the paint on defense to cut off avenues to the rim.
Ime Udoka, the Celtics’ first-year coach, told Williams that the Bucks were disrespecting him by leaving him so open. Brown resorted to yelling at him: Shoot the ball!
“That’s what they were giving us,” Brown said. “He came through, man.”
Last month, Nets guard Kyrie Irving told reporters that the Celtics bucks’ window was now. And he made that proclamation even before the Nets’ first-round series with the Celtics ended. It ended soon enough, as the Celtics completed a four-game sweep.
Irving and Kevin Durant in the first round? Antetokounmpo in the conference semifinals? By now, the Celtics are fearless. And make no mistake, their series with Milwaukee posed a big challenge, especially after they blew a 14-
point lead to lose Game 5 at home. Facing elimination on the road in Game 6, they sailed to a win behind Jayson Tatum’s 46 points, setting the stage for Game 7.
“Two games where our season was on the line, and we didn’t want it to be over,” Brown said. “We didn’t overcome all the stuff we did earlier in the season for this to be it.”
Their whole season has been a test. The Celtics bucks had a losing record in late January before they found their chemistry. They began sharing the ball. They played tenacious defense. Tatum and Brown started to fulfill their twin-pronged potential as the Celtics emerged as the league’s best team over the second half of the regular season.
They made a statement by sweeping the Nets. They showed it was no fluke against the Bucks. Now, they will face the East’s best regular-season team with a trip to the N.B.A. finals on the line.
“I’d be dumb to say I don’t feel a little banged up, but everybody does this time of year,” Williams said.
- Antetokounmpo, a two-time winner of the N.B.A.’s Most Valuable Player Award, inflicted a lot of that damage. Because the Bucks were without the floor-spacing presence of Khris Middleton, the All-Star forward,
- who was sidelined for the series with a sprained left knee, Antetokounmpo had to shoulder even more of the load than usual. On Sunday, that meant collecting 25 points, 20 rebounds, and 9 assists.
- But there were moments — small moments — when seven games of nonstop aggression seemed to have taken a toll. After Antetokounmpo missed a 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the second half,
- he got the ball back for a finger-roll layup that he left on the front of the rim. As the ball caromed out of bounds, Antetokounmpo doubled over in disbelief: How? How had he missed? How was it possible?
- “It felt like we started to grind him down a little bit tonight,” Udoka said, adding: “It’s an extremely hard task because of the way he attacks and doesn’t settle.”
- As the Celtics’ lead swelled, the fourth quarter turned into a party that masqueraded as the closing minutes of a playoff game, replete with rhythmic chants from the crowd: “Beat the Heat! Beat the Heat!”
- The Celtics did most of their damage from behind the 3-point line, where they shot 22 of 55. The Bucks were just 4 of 33. At his postgame news conference,
- Udoka scanned Milwaukee’s side of the box score and noticed all the zeros — from Jrue Holiday, from Pat Connaughton, from Grayson Allen. None made a 3-pointer. They combined for 15 attempts.
- Tatum, who had 23 points in the win, was struck by a different statistic: Williams’s 22 field-goal attempts.
- “I told him, ‘Don’t get used to that,’ ” Tatum said, laughing. “But obviously tonight we needed it.”
- Williams, who was a first-round draft pick out of Tennessee in 2019, has shaped himself into one of the Celtics’ more versatile players.
- His ability to shoot from the outside stretches defenses. And at 6-foot-6 and 236 pounds, he has the strength and agility to guard multiple positions. Against the Bucks, he helped out against Antetokounmpo, a thankless job.
“He’s just relentless in his approach,” Brown said of Antetokounmpo.
But Williams seemed to be determined to fight until the very end. The Celtics’ lead was 21 points in the fourth quarter when the Bucks’ Bobby Portis escaped in a transition and elevated for a dunk. But Williams met him at the rim and swatted the shot away. He turned to the crowd — his crowd — and pumped his fists.
The stage belonged to him.
Golden State Warriors snap 11-game road losing streak with 121-108 victory
Golden State Warriors snapped an 11-game road losing streak with a 121-108 victory over the Houston Rockets late on Monday. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 59 points to shine for the Warriors.
The Warriors won on the road for the first time since a January 30 victory at Oklahoma City.
Curry finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Thompson added 29 points and seven rebounds. They combined to shoot 21-for-44 overall and 10-for-28 from 3-point range to pace the Warriors (37-36). Jonathan Kuminga chipped in 17 off the bench for the Warriors.
Following a back-and-forth third quarter that featured five ties and eight lead changes, the Warriors seized control with an 18-6 rally early in the fourth. Golden State made its first four 3-point attempts in the period and Kuminga added a pair of breakaway dunks that fueled a run to a 108-93 lead.
Kuminga helped stabilise the Warriors late in the third after Houston (18-54) grabbed a 78-77 lead on an Usman Garuba corner trey with 2:26 left in the period. Kuminga immediately followed with a 3-pointer and added a 17-footer as Golden State carried an 84-80 lead into the fourth.
The Warriors were victorious despite committing 20 turnovers that Houston parlayed into 25 points. Golden State countered those miscues with 26 points off 18 Houston turnovers.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Rockets. Rookie Tari Eason posted his seventh double-double with 21 points and 12 boards while fellow rookie Jabari Smith Jr. also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jalen Green scored 20 points for Houston, which was without starting centre Alperen Sengun (illness).
The Warriors ran an offensive clinic in the first quarter, scoring 11 points in transition and logging nine assists on their 11 field goals. They used a 15-3 run to secure a nine-point lead, though Houston cut it to 26-21 by the close of the first.
The second quarter was awash with turnovers. Curry tallied 15 points in the period and was instrumental in keeping the Warriors ahead despite their 10 giveaways that Houston converted into 10 points. The Rockets weren’t much better, with their seven turnovers yielding 10 points.
Edmonton Oilers Survive With Three Goals Disallowed and Win in Overtime
On Monday night, the Avalanche ran the Oilers off Rogers Place with seven goals against Jack Campbell and an Edmonton team so far from their ‘A’ game they almost ran out of letters.
Thankfully for the Oilers, their video coaches came to their rescue with three goals off the board after challenges — two on narrow offsides and one for questionable goaltender interference — which allowed Edmonton to pull off an amazing 5-4 victory in overtime.
“Our group needed more time,” defenceman Darnell Nurse, who scored with 14.3 seconds left in extra period. “But we remained resilient. There are nights you don’t feel it but you still have to find a way to win and that was our plan tonight.”
Without video coaches Jeremy Coupal and Noah Segall, the Oilers would still be reeling and wondering what went wrong against a team with only two wins in 16 games. Their efforts saved the squad from embarrassment and set up two pivotal points for future success.
“Those were some big calls,” Edmonton Oilers centre Nick Bjugstad remarked. “Our video guys and coaching staff were right on it; there was no hesitation. That’s an important part of the game and we rely on those guys to assist us – which they did tonight. It definitely changed the game.”
No doubt about it: Edmonton conceded seven goals for the third time in eight games with just an inch or two to spare. That needs to be addressed, but for now they will take comfort in banking these two points.
“We don’t ignore what led up to those (disallowed goals against),” said head coach Jay Woodcroft. “Even if it’s just an eyelash here or there, those are shots you don’t want in your net.”
“There are things we can improve in our game, but I was proud of our will to win and our ability to find a win when an opposition goaltender was having an excellent night,” McGrath said.
“We didn’t play the game we wanted to in the first two periods, but we knew what the stakes were and our players found a way to earn those two points. Nobody is blind to the fact that there are still issues we need to address,” Leboeuf concluded. “While some aspects need improving, everyone agrees on one thing: there are things that need to be fixed.”
At the other end of the ice, Campbell made his first start since March 4 and spent most of the evening trying to stay on track. He allowed four goals in the opening 40 minutes, was saved by the goal post on another and had three goals against reviewed; however, he finally found some consistency down the stretch and secured victory.
“Jack was just like our team,” Woodcroft said. “He found a way to win on an off-kilter night – that was all that mattered for him and his self confidence. Getting two points for the team is all that mattered to him.”
His night was a 60-minute adventure, but he received no assistance whatsoever from his teammates who were consistently one step behind until the third period when they came alive.
“Last week we had three good opponents in playoff race battles, so this might have been an opportunity to breathe a bit,” defenceman Mattias Ekholm, who scored twice including the game-tying goal with 3:47 left in regulation, said. “I don’t know what you want to call it; we could’ve been better but these games are hard. You need to build yourself up and get going – and we did just that.” “It could’ve been much better but these games are tough; we snuck it out but tough things happen sometimes and move on,”
Edmonton’s problems began early when Campbell let in his second shot of the game at 1:12. Fortunately, it didn’t count due to an offside call, and four minutes later Alexander Barabanov scored for San Jose with a goal.
Nick Bjugstad tied it in the first and Kailer Yamamoto made it 2-1 early in the second. But San Jose scored four times (only three of which counted), while Edmonton responded with Ekholm’s first goal of the night.
Noah Gregor scored on a two-on-one early in the third to make it 5-3 Sharks, but an offside challenge revealed he was inches offside.
“Video coaches deserve more credit than they get,” Ekholm lamented. “They put in long hours and are relentless – but what’s their margin for error? Offside can sometimes be by inches – yet you expect them to always be right. That said, video coaching won us the game tonight.”
LATE HITS — Yamamoto’s 10th goal of the season gives Edmonton an incredible 11 players with double-digit goal scoring this season. Erik Karlsson had two goals for the Sharks in 27:57 of ice time while Evander Kane went minus three for Edmonton.
World Baseball Classic 2023: Live Stream and Schedule for Quarterfinals and Finals
World Baseball Classic 2023 is underway and can be streamed live with a TV service. The World Baseball Classic will conclude on March 21.
What Happens During the World Baseball Classic?
Baseball boasts some of the world’s finest players, representing their countries in the tournament and ultimately determined by how well-played each game. Major League Baseball offers much of this talent but doesn’t guarantee victory to always go to USA; players have the option to represent their home nation even if they reside here in America. Let us look into some past winners to gain a better insight into this statement.
Japan captured the title of World Baseball Classic two times between 2006 and 2009. In 2013, Dominican Republic claimed it, but in 2017, United States finally emerged victorious over Puerto Rico to claim top place in the race.
World Baseball Classic 2023 Schedule
March 17-18: Quarterfinals
On March 19-20 and March 21,the championship game will take place.
The Sky is the Limit: Richest Team Owners In Major League Baseball
Baseball has never seen so much money invested in it as now. America’s wealthiest businessmen have all viewed the sport with a kind eye and an even kinder wallet.
Steve Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager with an estimated net worth of over $13 billion, failed in his attempts to purchase the New York Mets. Had he succeeded, Cohen would have become the richest team owner in Major League Baseball (MLB), which has long drawn America’s wealthiest.
Here are the five wealthiest team owners in Major League Baseball today:
(Image Credit: AFP)
Where Can You Watch World Baseball Classic?
Cable subscribers to the game will have access to Fox, FS1, FS2, and Fox Deporters; you must have cable if you wish to watch on Fox Sports website and app. Those without cords can watch through livestreaming services like Hulu (with Live TV), YouTube TV (or similar services such as DirecTV Stream, fuboTV or Sling TV), while those without access will find services that carry those channels helpful too.
Three non-USA games can be watched on Tubi, and for those who prefer listening only, Sirius XM and TuneIn provide great options.
When does the World Baseball Classic start this year?
On March 8
When is the final match of World Baseball Classic 2023?
Disclaimer Statement: This content has been created by a 3rd party and does not reflect the opinions of Economic Times (ET). ET does not guarantee, endorse or support any of its contents in any way whatsoever, so it’s your responsibility to verify all details provided are correct, up-to-date and verified. ET expressly disclaims any and all warranties (express or implied) related to this report and its contents.
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