BOSTON — The Boston Celtics took it to the Milwaukee Bucks throughout the second half en route to a Game 7 victory in front of an enthusiastic and deafening crowd at TD Garden.
The Garden gave the Celtics an advantage throughout much of the contest, remaining engaged even when Boston trailed by double digits in the first half, and it helped ignite the Green to a second-half surge. Those in attendance Sunday afternoon undoubtedly gave the second-seeded Celtics a home-court advantage against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the visitors.
And Celtics head coach Ime Udoka along with Jaylen Brown were able to appreciate it.
“Everybody talks about how loud it’s been here and I’ve never heard it until tonight. You kind of zone out,” Udoka said after the 109-81 rout, referring to his intensity during games earlier in the series. “I guess you can take the time to appreciate it when it’s a 20-point game with two minutes to go. You’re hearing the crowd and looking around and seeing everybody standing. That’s the first time I’ve really felt it in the series, but at that point we felt like it was over.”
The Celtics received a pair of impactful performances from Grant Williams (27 points on 7-for-18 from 3-point range) and Payton Pritchard, who poured in 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field off the bench. Those two players, as indicated by Celtics star Jaylen Brown, may not have had the same night should Boston been in Milwaukee for the series-deciding contest.
“Super important that we played Game 7 on our home floor,” Brown said. “I think our crowd, our energy, definitely we felt that tonight. Especially when you have guys like Payton, Grant, who get into the game and feed off the energy of the crowd. It’s different if you’re in a different arena. So having home court was huge for us. I’m glad we made the decisions we did down the line.”
Brown’s “down the line” sentiment refers to the end of the regular season where Boston won its regular season finale, unlike the Bucks, to secure home court in the semifinal series.
The Celtics now will take on the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 will be held on Tuesday in Miami.