During his 15-year NBA career, Al Horford has appeared in more than two dozen postseason series, but he has never displayed any emotion in public during any of those outings, according to Horford.
Just moments before, Horford had helped the Hawks go on a 10-0 run by driving down the baseline, slamming it home and earning a foul on two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had been fouled. Horford showed his delight by letting out a scream and pumping his fists in the air.
One of Al Horford’s most memorable moments was the defining play in the Boston Celtics’ fourth-quarter comeback victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, which lifted them to a 116-108 victory and evened their Eastern Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
The Boston Celtics‘ Al Horford finished with a career-high 30 points in the postseason. “I normally just sort of go about my business,” Horford said. It’s true that I get a little thrilled, but I think you have to pick your areas, your moments. “It was a very emotional contest.”
In this best-of-seven series, the teams have traded victories, and the action resumes Wednesday with Game 5 at TD Garden in Boston.
Horford and Jayson Tatum, who both tallied 30 points, were the primary reasons for Boston’s tie in the series. With 16 points from Horford and 12 points from Tatum in the fourth quarter alone, the Celtics outscored the defending NBA champs 43-28 to win the game.
“We really like Al,” Boston’s Marcus Smart, who finished with 18 points, said. “He’s the best veterinarian we’ve ever had.” The best veterinarian I’ve ever had. He comes in and never changes, no matter how awful or how good things are going.
Horford and Tatum were instrumental in the Celtics’ comeback, despite the fact that Jaylen Brown was dealing with foul trouble and was forced to play less than half of the fourth quarter. With forward/center Robert Williams out due to pain in his surgically repaired left knee, the Celtics were unable to complete the game.
The Celtics went on a 14-2 run to take a 106-96 lead with 3:33 left in the game, with Horford scoring the first six points and Tatum scoring the final eight to put them in command. The Bucks were unable to close the gap to less than six points the rest of the way.
Tatum had 10 points and shot 4 for 19 in Game 3 of the series, but he rebounded with 13 rebounds and five assists to help his team to a 103-101 victory.
“I had a dreadful Game 3 and we were on the verge of winning,” Tatum admitted. That was the most difficult aspect for me, realising it was the case. I couldn’t wait to get back to the game and get back to work.”
An altercation with Antetokounmpo, who finished with 34 points, 18 rebounds, and five assists in the first half of the game, spurred Horford on, according to Horford. In the first half, Antetokounmpo was whistled for a technical penalty when he stared down Horford during a dunk attempt.
Despite the fact that he didn’t say anything to me, Horford felt that the way he looked at me and the manner in which he went about it didn’t sit right with him. “At that point, I believe something in the game had flipped with me.”
The reason Horford received his own technical foul on his game-tying three-pointer was because his left arm came down on Antetokounmpo’s face as he was coming down.
Following a 40 percent shooting performance through the first three quarters of the game, the Celtics shot 16 of 19 overall and 4 of 5 from outside the arc in the fourth quarter. Horford made 6 of 6 shots, while Tatum made 5 of 6.
“They made shots down the stretch,” Antetokounmpo stated. “They did an excellent job. “They were subjected to discipline.”
Horford ignited the comeback after Boston fell behind by 11 points late in the third quarter.
Horford’s dunk with 9:51 left in the game gave the Celtics a one-point lead, but it was just one of several clutch plays he made during the game.
After Brook Lopez scored the next four baskets to put the Bucks back in front, the Celtics replied with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 85 with 8:08 left in the game. Horford’s 3-pointer with 8:08 left snapped the tie.
Six minutes and two seconds remain in the game, and the Bucks have retaken the lead, 94-92, on Antetokounmpo’s driving layup and resulting foul on Horford. However, after Antetokounmpo missed the free shot, Horford ignited a 14-2 run that put the Celtics in complete command of the situation.
In the words of Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday, who scored 16 points on 5-of-22 shooting, “Al played a fantastic game.” “I believe we came down and had several shots that we normally make, but we were unable to complete them. However, give them some credit. “They made more plays than we did.”
Horford scored a corner 3-pointer to give the Celtics the lead back with 5:40 left in the game, and he followed that up with a conventional three-point play to make it 98-94 with 5:09 left in regulation.
Because his possible game-tying basket came just seconds after the buzzer in Game 3, Horford made certain that the series returned to Boston tied at three games apiece.
“We were all aware of the significance of this game,” Horford explained. At the conclusion of Game 3, we believed that we were in position to win, but we didn’t succeed. It was just that I was completely absorbed. I recognised the urgency of the situation and what we needed to accomplish as a group. I honestly didn’t care what it needed to get through tonight. “It was one of those evenings,” says the narrator.