Avery Bradley has won a game and lost a game for the Boston Celtics over a span of just five days. But he and his teammates aren’t interested in dwelling on either result.
The Celtics shooting guard, whose buzzer-beater Friday lifted the C’s to a thrilling win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, played the role of scapegoat Tuesday night in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. With the score tied and the Bucks inbounding with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock, Bradley bailed Milwaukee out by immediately fouling Bucks guard Khris Middleton.
Middleton drilled the first free throw and intentionally bricked the second to hand Boston a 112-111 loss.
Bradley tends to be hard on himself after losses, but the 25-year-old was succinct in his diagnosis of the final play.
“I just think I was a little too aggressive,” Bradley said in a postgame interview on CSN New England. “The ref made a great call, and (Middleton) knocked down a big free throw. All credit to them. Me personally, I don’t think it’s that one play that determined the game. They made big shots when they needed to.”
Bradley’s foul was about as costly a mistake as it gets, and it sealed the Celtics’ fate. But he has a point, as Boston played sloppy basketball for most of the game and needed a miraculous comeback to even get to that situation in the first place. Bucks center Greg Monroe dominated with a season-high 29 points to help Milwaukee outscore the C’s 64-44 in the paint, and Boston committed a whopping 18 turnovers.
Head coach Brad Stevens seemed to agree with Bradley, telling the shooting guard and his teammates they must have a short memory with a game against the Los Angeles Clippers looming Wednesday night.
“I just said to everybody in the room, ‘Look, we got beat at the end of the second, the whole third quarter, start of the fourth. That’s where we lost that game,'” Stevens said in a postgame interview on CSN New England. “And we’ve got a game (Wednesday). You’ve got to be able to bounce back, and (Bradley’s) a tough-minded kid. He’ll be all right.”
Bradley also has the support of his teammates, especially forward Jae Crowder, who only had this to say when asked about his teammate’s late foul:
“He just won us a game the other day (vs. Cleveland).”
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images