After turning it over 20 times in the series opening loss in overtime, the Milwaukee Bucks coughed it up 15 more times on Tuesday night, falling to the Boston Celtics 120-106 at TD Garden. They’ll return to Milwaukee for games 3 and 4, trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven opening round series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 pts) and Khris Middleton (25 pts) combined for 55 points on 23 of 31 shooting from the field. The rest of the team struggled to find any consistency at either end of the floor.
The Bucks shot 59.7% from the field and 41.2% from three-point distance, yet still lost by 14 points. They struggled to defend and they struggled to rebound. Those two areas, along with the turnovers were deciding factors in the outcome.
The Bucks lost the 50-50 battles in the opener. Tuesday night, they simply were out hustled all over the floor.
Middleton, who had 31 points in the opener, didn’t take a shot from the field in the first quarter. So the Bucks trailed at halftime, despite shooting 62.2% from the field.
The Bucks had no answer for Boston’s Jalen Brown, who poured in a personal playoff-best 30 points. Terry Rozier added 23 and has yet to turn the ball over in the first two games of the series while playing the point for the Celtics.
The series comes back home for games Friday and Sunday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks will have to figure something out and it has to start with their effort. They need more effort from the entire team, or a single win will be hard to come bye in this series.