BOSTON — The road team can’t seem to win and the Milwaukee Bucks couldn’t hit a shot in Game 5 Tuesday at the Boston Celtics.
It was another terrible shooting game from Eric Bledsoe and Giannis Antetokounmpo decided he wasn’t going to shoot, as the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead with a 92-87 win.
Back January, playing 32 minutes, Antetokounmpo went 3-for-8 from the field — and 11 of 14 from the free-throw line — scoring 17 points in a 13-point loss to Indiana.
Tuesday, the 23-year-old forward was 5-for-10 from the field and 6 of 9 from the line, scoring 16 points. Antetokounmpo also only had two total drives and one shot in transition.
“It’s on me,” Antetokounmpo said. “As I said, I had open shots, but they (weren’t) my shots, so I didn’t feel comfortable to take them.
“I think my teammates did a great job finding me, but come the next game, in Game 6, I got to be more aggressive, make more plays, because definitely my teammates need me.”
Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty said it’s the responsibility of everyone to find Antetokounmpo but, also, simply let the game come naturally.
“We have to make sure he’s getting the ball,” Prunty said, “but I want to make sure, for us, we get a quality possession every time. We’ve got multiple guys that are capable of knocking shots down. I don’t want it to turn into, ‘Hey, we have to do this for Giannis.’”
Bledsoe was 5-for-15 from the field, including 2 of 5 from deep in scoring 16 points. Since his five-turnover Game 1, Bledsoe has just one turnover each game thereafter.
The Bucks, who scored a series low 15 in the first quarter, entered the game shooting an NBA playoff-best 54 percent from the field, but went 37 percent this time (32 of 87).
This was the first game Milwaukee got a strong performance from Jabari Parker and lost.
The soon-to-be restricted free agent was 7 of 15 from the field, 2 of 7 from deep in scoring 17 points off the bench. He’s scored 16.6 his last three games after combining to go 1-for-5 in 25 minutes in Games 1 and 2.
Thon Maker, who also was a difference maker in Milwaukee, was a no show Tuesday. He scored 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting, grabbed two rebounds and didn’t block a shot in 23 minutes.
Khris Middleton came into the game shooting a ridiculous 61.5 percent from the field (40 of 65) and 62 percent from beyond the arc (15 of 24). Tuesday, he shot just 9 of 21 in scoring a team-high 23. Even his 3-of-6 performance from deep dropped his 3-point percentage.
Boston got Marcus Smart back for the first time since mid-March. He had nine points, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 25 minutes. Al Horford had 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Boston went without a field goal from Rozier’s 3-pointer with 9:14 in the third making it 56-40 until Jaylen Brown hit from beyond the arc with 4:26 to go in the period.
It allowed Milwaukee to go on a 12-2 run, trimming Boston’s lead to 58-52, and 61-57 soon after that. By the end of the quarter, however, it was back to 72-61.
The Celtics led by 16 before Milwaukee rallied to make it 74-70 with 7:33 left.
Middleton scored later and was fouled to get Milwaukee within 84-79, but he failed to complete the three-point play.
A few possessions later, Smart managed to squeeze a pass to Horford with three Bucks draped over him. The center easily dropped in a layup to make it 86-79 with 28.1 seconds left.
Milwaukee got within 87-84 after a layup by Bledsoe, but the Celtics hit enough free throws the rest of the way to secure the win.