Celtics

Celtics-Bucks takeaways: Schroder leads the way in C's win

Celtics

The Boston Celtics were able to hold off the short-handed Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night for their second straight victory.

The Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle), Khris Middleton (health and safety protocols), and Brook Lopez (back) for the thriller at TD Garden. Jaylen Brown (hamstring) was sidelined for the C's.

It was Grayson Allen who stepped up for the Bucks and forced overtime with a clutch stepback jumper late in the fourth quarter. The C's still managed to prevail thanks to the efforts of Dennis Schroder, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, who combined for 84 of their 122 points.

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Here are three instant takeaways from Boston's 122-113 win, which brings its record to an even 6-6.

Dennis Schroder plays the hero

The TD Garden crowd showered Schroder with MVP chants during overtime, and it was warranted. The Celtics' new point guard put on a show with 38 points -- his most so far with Boston -- to lead his team to victory. He finished 16-of-27 from the floor and added eight rebounds for good measure.

Schroder capped off the brilliant performance with the dagger in OT.

That's three straight games with 20 or more points for Schroder, who signed a one-year deal worth $5.9 million this past offseason. His 38 points were three off his career-high.

Without him, this would've marked another tough overtime loss for the C's.

Marcus Smart shows off playmaking ability

Boston counted on Smart to be more of a playmaker when it signed him to a four-year, $77.1 million contract extension during the offseason. On Friday night, the longest-tenured Celtic put on a passing clinic.

 

Smart tallied six assists and each was highlight-reel worthy. His dime to Grant Williams in the second quarter was just about as smooth as it gets.

And then there was this dish to Robert Williams.

The ridiculous pass to Al Horford later on was one of the prettiest you'll see all season.

Smart finished with 19 points to go with his six assists and six rebounds. Fourteen of those points came in the third quarter, including this go-ahead 3-pointer.

Schroder certainly led the way offensively, but Smart's effort is what propelled the C's to victory.

Impressive homecoming for Pat Connaughton

With Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Lopez out, the Bucks had to count on their role players to step up to make it a close game vs. Boston. Connaughton, who hails from Arlington, Mass. and starred at St. John's Prep, did exactly that.

Connaughton finished with 15 points (6-for-10) with five rebounds in the losing effort. While he didn't get the result he hoped for, it's fair to say it was a night he won't forget.

The 2021-22 Celtics sure love overtime

The C's simply refuse to play a normal game.

Friday night marked their fourth OT game in 12 games this season. To put that into perspective, they played in four OT games all of last season and five during the 2019-20 campaign.

Boston will hope to avoid another overtime when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers in the second night of a back-to-back. Tip-off for the matchup is set for 8 p.m. ET Saturday night on NBC Sports Boston.