Game 3 of the second round series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs came down to the final series. The series was tied entering the Saturday afternoon matchup, and the most physical series of the playoffs so far once again lived up to the hype.
The Bucks used a huge third quarter to take a 13-point lead into the final period, but the Celtics would charge back. Boston took the lead with under two minutes left in the game, and the two teams traded blows on the final possessions to determine the winner.
The Bucks pushed their lead to three points when Jrue Holiday put in a push shot with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Celtics then came out and ran a dribble handoff with Jaylen Brown pitching the ball to Marcus Smart. Smart was fouled by Holiday as soon as he caught the ball, but it looked like he was in the act of shooting. Instead, the refs awarded Boston two free throws.
Should this have been ruled a shooting foul (three free throws)? pic.twitter.com/yUMTna8tkp— The Comeback (@thecomeback) May 7, 2022
How is that not a shooting foul? It certainly seemed like Smart was in the motion of going up with the shot when he was fouled by Holiday.
Smart went to the line for two free throws with just over four seconds left. After making the first free throw, Smart intentionally missed the seconds. The Celtics missed several tips to tie the game. Al Horford finally put one in, but it happened with the ball still touching his hand as the clock expired.
WILD FINISH! The Bucks hang on and win Game 3, 103-101. pic.twitter.com/nO8HJiFa0B— The Comeback (@thecomeback) May 7, 2022
Look how damn close this was:
Al Horford was *this* close to sending Game 3 to OT: pic.twitter.com/g16AFhrbKr— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 7, 2022
Milwaukee wins, 103-101, to take a 2-1 series lead going into Game 4. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the star for Milwaukee, finishing with 42 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists on 16-of-30 shooting from the field. Antetokounmpo also went 9-of-12 from the foul line in the win.
The Celtics shot 34 free throws on the afternoon compared to just 17 free throw attempts for Milwaukee, but fans believed Boston should have gotten one more free throw to tie the game on the late foul on Smart.
Ain’t no way that wasn’t a shooting foul— Elhadji T Fall (@tackofall99) May 7, 2022
That’s a shooting foul. I’m really confused at how it isn’t.— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) May 7, 2022
How on Earth is that not a shooting foul? I'm all for giving the benefit of the doubt of it being a non-shooting foul, but that couldn't have possibly been more obvious.— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) May 7, 2022
How in the world is that not a shooting foul?— Anchorage Man (@SethPartnow) May 7, 2022
What a win for the Bucks behind a great game for Antetokounmpo. This has been such a fun series so far.