Celtics

Brown Scores 30, Celtics Beat Bucks to Even Series

Smart was out with a hamstring pull, but is expected to be back for Game 3 on Saturday in Milwaukee

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After losing Game 1, the Boston Celtics made an aggressive comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night in Game 2.

Boston beat Milwaukee 109-86 on Tuesday night to even the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece. It was a big game for Jaylen Brown, who scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half.

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There was a moment during the Celtics’ series-opening loss to the Bucks when it seemed as if Jaylen Brown would never make a shot. Early in Game 2, it felt like he might not miss.

“It’s the playoffs. That’s it,” Brown said. “We can’t let one game kind of dictate how this series goes. We wanted to be aggressive from the gate.”

The rest of the team came to play as well. Grant Williams had 21 points for the night, Jayson Tatum had 19 points and 8 assists and Al Horford scored 14 points and 11 rebounds.

"He established that tone, set that mark of aggression… moving it," Celtics player Grant Williams said of Brown.

The Celtics played without Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart after he was ruled out before the game with a bruised right thigh he sustained in Game 1. Derrick White took his place in the starting lineup, making his first start in a playoff game since 2019 when he was with San Antonio. Tatum called Smart the heart and soul of the team.

"When somebody is out, next man up. You got to be ready to fill in. The ship got to keep going. Everybody got to do a little more. Everybody got to fight," Tatum said.

Tatum had his wrist wrapped, but brushed it off saying it was just to keep swelling down from a fall.

Smart is expected to be back for Game 3 on Saturday in Milwaukee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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