Milwaukee’s season ends with blowout loss to Boston in Game 7

There will be no repeat for the Milwaukee Bucks after Boston ran them out of the building with a 109-81 win in Game 7 Sunday to punch its ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals.

After the Bucks grabbed a 6-point lead in the first 12 minutes, the Celtics outscored them by 11 in the second quarter to take control of the game. That included Marcus Smart getting and hitting 3 free throws in the final seconds of the half. Boston took that momentum and built a double-digit lead in the third quarter and did not look back.

Giannis Antetokounmpo did his best to keep Milwaukee’s season alive. He posted a near triple-double, finishing with 25 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists, though he was just 10 for 26 from the field.

As has been an issue for much of a series the team has played without 3-time All-Star Khris Middleton, the Bucks didn’t shoot it well from beyond the arc and the offense struggled to score consistently. Milwaukee finished 4 for 33 on 3-pointers and its 81 points were the fewest in a game since Jan. 14, 2018.

Jrue Holiday had 21 points and 8 assists, while Brook Lopez had 15 points and 10 rebounds. The other two starters — Wes Matthews and Grayson Allen — combined for 4 points on 1-for-11 shooting. Bobby Portis had 10 points off the bench, but no other reserve had more than 2 points.

Boston, meanwhile, got another great effort from budding superstar Jayson Tatum. After dropping 46 points in Game 6 on Friday, the forward had 23 points in closing out the Bucks. The Celtics also saw Grant Williams score a game-high 27 points, while Jaylen Brown had 19. As a team, Boston went 22 for 55 from beyond the arc and outscored Milwaukee by 84 points on 3-pointers over the final two games of the series.

The Celtics now move into the conference finals for the first time since 2020 and for a fourth time in the last six years.