The Celtics won Game 7 Sunday, ending Milwaukee’s hopes of back-to-back titles and advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.
Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and Boston set a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers to eliminate the defending champions 109-81 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. But he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter.
Tatum said his team embraced the “backs against the wall” moments it faced in having to win the final two games after their late collapse in their previous home game.
“As much as it hurt to lose Game 5, I was looking forward to that challenge,” Tatum said. “I believe in myself, I believe in this team. I expected to play the way I did and for us to respond the way we did.”
The Celtics trailed early in Game 7 before outscoring the Bucks 61- 38 in the second half to cruise to the victory. Boston used a whopping 54-point advantage from behind the arc to improve to 25-9 in decisive seventh games.
“This is what we played for, why we played the season out, to have home-court advantage in a Game 7,” Boston coach Ime Udoka said. “If you believe in the basketball gods, those things matter.”
More Celtics coverage
The TD Garden was electric with fired up Celtics fans, who are thrilled to see their team moving on -- keeping hope alive that Boston can win it all this year.
“I love the Celtics and they’re moving on to the next series," fan Charles Hayes said. "Grant Williams is the reason we won the game!”
“I’m feeling so good. We’re loving this," another fan said.
“Celtics just won. It’s a beautiful day here in Boston! Let’s go party!”
The Celtics will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.
Another playoff series in Boston -- this year especially, as businesses are still trying to recover from the coronavirus pandemic -- is good news for businesses outside TD Garden.
Like many bars and restaurants in the shadow of TD Garden, Sullivan's was hit hard when the pandemic closed the Garden and put an abrupt end to all in-person sporting events.
But this past weekend, during Game 7 of the Celtics-Bucks series, business was booming.
"We hadn't seen that in a while," Julius Sokol, of Sullivan's Tap said Monday.
"It is just exciting to have, we have a big staff, we have a lot of people working, we have a lot of regulars, they come in, they come in to see us, and we love having them," he added. "Two more games, hopefully another series after that, World Champs, baby!"
Around the corner, John Higgins of Higs Tickets is also thrilled the Celtics are moving on.
"Ticket sales are very good, that Game 7 against Milwaukee was fantastic, I wish I had one every week," he said.
Looking ahead, Higgins is excited for what's to come in the series against the Heat.
"I love the schedule, Saturday night here in Boston, Game 3," he said. "My perfect scenario is the series goes 6 and ends here next Friday on Memorial Day weekend."
Higgins said as of Monday afternoon, tickets for Saturday night's Game 3 in Boston were going for around $300.
"We were closed for 377 days so making it to the finish line and making it to the back end and getting a NBA Finals would really make up for a lot of loss sales over a couple of years," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.