In the Celtics’ comeback, Al Horford explained when “something switched with me.”
The Celtics stunned the Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Milwaukee, winning 116-108 after rallying from a third-quarter deficit. The series is currently deadlocked at 2-2, with Game 5 scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Boston.
At 7 p.m. tonight, the Bruins will play Game 5 of their first-round series against the Hurricanes in Carolina. At two games apiece, the match is currently deadlocked.
The Celtics’ comeback was led by the 35-year-old, who scored 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter.
It might be difficult to pinpoint exactly when a game shifts, creating a major shift in the outcome. But there was a precise point in the third quarter when Horford and the Celtics discovered extra motivation.
With little under 11 minutes left in the quarter, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo went past Horford and dunked decisively, eliciting a standing ovation from the Milwaukee audience.
And the Red Sox will begin a two-game series in Atlanta tonight. At 7:20 p.m., the first pitch will be thrown.
Al Horford’s motivation: In Monday’s Game 4, when things appeared bad for the Celtics, it was Al Horford who stood up.
Following the game, Antetokounmpo scowled at Horford and said something to him. Horford later revealed what that meant to him after the game and after Boston’s historic fourth quarter.
“I don’t really know what he said to me, but the way that he was looking at me and the way he was going about it really didn’t sit well with me,” Horford said of Antetokounmpo.
“And I think at that point, something switched with me in the game.”
Horford’s goal was set, even if it didn’t happen right away (as Milwaukee led for the rest of the third quarter). On three occasions in the fourth quarter, he willed Boston back into the game, leveling the score or giving the Celtics the lead.
The most famous of those sequences was when Horford turned the tables on Antetokounmpo by dunking on him.
Marcus Smart afterward observed that it was yet another game-changing play.
“The energy changed once that happened,” Smart said of Horford’s emotional dunk.
"The energy changed once that happened"
Marcus Smart on the change of momentum after Al Horford's big dunk in Game 4. pic.twitter.com/i8O51eELeP
— NBA (@NBA) May 10, 2022
Giving Horford added motivation, in retrospect, backfired on Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. With a critical road win to square the series, Horford became the oldest player in Celtics history to score at least 30 points in a playoff game.
Horford’s sister, Anna, was the first to notice a shift in her brother’s manner.
“This is where the Bucks [f*****] up,” she tweeted, citing the video of Antetokounmpo’s earlier dunk on her brother. “I know that look. He was pissed.”
In college, Al Horford helped Florida win back-to-back NCAA championships. Prior to Florida’s 2005-2006 run, what school had won back-to-back men’s NCAA basketball championships?
(The solution is at the bottom.)
Roy Williams and Steve Fisher were the losing coaches in those national titles.