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The refs should have given Celtics 3 free throws on late foul vs. Bucks

The refs didn’t give Marcus Smart three shots on late foul vs. the Bucks in Game 3.

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.

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.

Look how damn close this was:

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.

What a win for the Bucks behind a great game for Antetokounmpo. This has been such a fun series so far.