The Bucks reclaimed home court advantage with a huge win over the Celtics in Boston, winning Game 3 123-116. Giannis Antetokounmpo did his thing and put up 32 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists, and as we all expected, his efforts were complemented beautifully by… George Hill and Pat Connaughton?
Yes, you read that correctly. Hill and Connaughton showed up at the right time and became Game 3’s unlikely heroes with timely shot-making. Khris Middleton continued his personal vendetta against Boston, scoring 20 on 50% shooting from deep. But everyone else struggled to get going for Milwaukee on the offensive end of the floor.
Connaughton hit four threes on nine attempts, the most important of which came in the first half as the Celtics seemed on the verge of pulling away on a few occasions before a Connaughton three steadied the Bucks. He finished with 14 points while coming down with seven boards and a pair of steals. Hill had a personal 9-0 run in the late third quarter with Giannis on the bench that gave Milwaukee the surge they needed to pull ahead for good and slam the door shut on any potential comeback. He finished with 21 points on 9-12 shooting, a remarkable night for someone considered an afterthought coming in to the series. Most importantly, Hill didn’t get cooked by Kyrie Irving on the defensive end, as he did in Game 1.
With the way the Bucks’ offense is constructed, anyone can become the hero on the right night. Giannis will always get his in the paint, but the Bucks become nearly unbeatable when they hit their three-pointers that stem from the defense collapsing on Giannis. The Celtics were sending two or three guys every time Giannis got within five feet of the basket, daring someone from Milwaukee to make them pay.
They didn’t expect it to be Hill and Connaughton, but that’s the beauty of Mike Budenholzer’s offense in 2019. It doesn’t matter if Brook Lopez can’t find the range, or if Eric Bledsoe isn’t on his usual drive-and-kick game. Someone will usually be open. They just need to hit their shots, and that’s just what Connaughton and Hill did. The result? A series lead for the Bucks.