BOSTON — The Milwaukee BucksFirst punched.
Sunday's game 1 against the Boston CelticsThe Bucks were able to play with their usual level on defense and caught Boston by surprise.
The Celtics had jumped ahead in quarter one, but they couldn't get their feet under them as Milwaukee cruised to victory 101-89.
Boston Forward: “Give credit Milwaukee” Jaylen Brown said. They did a great job and had a plan, but we missed many open shots. They hit us in our mouths so we have to be ready for next one.”
Although the Celtics made 18 of 50 3-pointers, they shot only 10 of 31 (32.3%) in their paint. It's the worst playoff paint goal percentage of any team since the 2017 Houston Rockets in game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals (27.3%), and the worst Celtics team has ever shot in playoffs over the past 25-years.
Brown, who had a lingering hamstring injury and was brought in to the game, shot 4-of-13 while his teammate Jayson TatumIt was 6 of 18. The combined 32.3% field goal percentage was their lowest in a playoff game as an duo.
Ime Udoka, the Celtics coach, said that the Bucks' physicality took Boston out its sets early but that it shouldn’t have surprised them.
Udoka stated that “we have to play with a bit more poise and not get rushed at any time.”
Brown stated that the playoffs are not the right time to be shocked by what an opponent team does, particularly considering Milwaukee's past.
Brown said, “They're defending champs. We gotta go out and play basketball.” “We must be ready to go regardless of the injury or other issues that we are dealing with. It's important to keep everyone connected, mentally locked down, and ready to let it all out on the ground.
Milwaukee was able to play a solid defense and held Boston to 33.3% overall shooting. Boston had at least one starter who shot over 50% this season. It was the seventh such game, including the postseason. And it was the second time since 2022.
Boston only made 10 2-point field goals total, the second lowest number ever scored by a team during a playoff game. Boston had never attempted fewer than 14 2-point field goals in a regular season game or in a playoff match before Sunday.
Udoka stated that multiple penetrations and multiple paint touches are necessary. “They did a great job,” Udoka said. Jaylen and Jayson did not have the best offensive night, missing shots that they are used to making, so these things added up obviously increases those numbers.”
Brown was coping with his hamstring strain, but the Celtics suffered another scare at quarter-end when Defensive player of the year was announced. Marcus SmartShortly, had to leave the game.
Smart drove to Bucks' basket with 1:02 left in the first quarter. Pat Connaughton. Connaughton was flagged for a foul. Bucks guard however. Jevon CarterSmart's right shoulder was in contact
Smart grabbed at his shoulder as the whistle blew out and let his arm fall down while he called a Celtics trainer. Halftime: The Celtics stated that Smart would be able back to play despite the injury being a bit stinger but also mentioned a right leg contusion.
Smart hit his quad with back-to-back possessions in the third quarter. He was feeling a bit numb for parts of the third quarter, and was forced to use the exercise bike to keep warm during the fourth quarter.
Smart missed six games because of a right-quad contusion. Smart has been able to play through the pain this season. Reporters were told by Smart that he was kneed on January 23. Domantas SabonisOn Jan. 10, he said that his quads swelled after he was hit in the “perfect spot”.
Udoka stated that the quad was more bothersome than his shoulder. He's going to go through a lot, and it could impact him. … He is being iced now so that he will be fine.
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.