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Boston coach Brad Stevens loves the postseason because it offers a chance to ”bust narratives.”

The Celtics took their first step toward shattering the belief they can’t win without their biggest stars.

Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Boston overcame Khris Middleton’s long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer Chris Herndon Color Rush Jersey , topping the Milwaukee Bucks 113-107 in overtime Sunday to open the playoffs.

The Celtics led 99-96 with 0.5 seconds left in regulation when Middleton took an inbounds pass on the far right wing and hit a contested 35-footer. Boston outscored Milwaukee 14-8 in the extra period.

Terry Rozier added 23 points, four rebounds and three assists for Boston in his first career playoff start. Jaylen Brown finished with 20 points. Rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Rozier said he knows he’s under a spotlight this postseason with Kyrie Irving out for the season following his recent knee surgery.

”I just know I gotta step up,” he said. ”I know I gotta fill big shoes. I don’t feel no pressure. I’m glad to be in this position.”

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night in Boston.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out in overtime. Middleton had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Malcolm Brogdon scored all 16 of his points after halftime.

After a muted start, things opened for Antetokounmpo. But he said he must do a better job the defensive end against Horford going forward.

”He knows what he’s doing down there,” Antetokounmpo said. ”Hopefully in Game 2 I won’t play on my heels and I’ll play more on my toes and be able to defend without fouling.”

Part of the reason the Bucks were in bad spots is because they were hampered by turnovers. They committed 20, leading to 27 Boston points.

”That’s not getting shot up,” Middleton said. ”We feel like if we get a shot up, we’ll be good.”

An acrobatic http://www.49ersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeremiah-attaochu-jersey , spinning layup by Tatum gave Boston a 108-105 lead in overtime.

It was 108-106 when Horford snared a rebound and got it ahead to Rozier, who was fouled. He made two free throws to put the Celtics in front 110-106 with 18.8 remaining.

Antetokounmpo made one of two foul shots with 14.8 seconds left, but he fouled out of the game while going for the rebound on his miss.

Rozier added three free throws to provide the final margin.

The game went to extra time following a wild finish in regulation that included back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing seconds.

Milwaukee was held to just two field goals over the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter as the Celtics built an 86-76 advantage.

The Bucks closed to 89-87 before Marcus Morris made a falling down jumper just inside the arc to make it 91-87.

It was 92-91 with less than a minute to play when a pair of free throws by Horford made it 94-91.

Antetokounmpo got free for a dunk. But Horford was steady again after being fouled, connecting on two more from the line with 15.2 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Brogdon got free on the wing and drained a 3 with 10.3 to play to tie it at 96.

Rozier dribbled the clock down before crossing over Eric Bledsoe, stepping back and swishing an apparent game-winner with a half-second showing the clock.

But after a Milwaukee timeout advanced the ball to half court, Middleton matched it with his own 3 over Brown as time expired.

”Both teams are going to keep fighting,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said. ”That’s what this series is going to be. Each little play is going to matter.”

TIP-INS

Bucks: Antetokounmpo has now scored at least 20 points in eight consecutive games against the Celtics. … Outscored the Celtics 58-44 in the paint.

Celtics: Improved to 23-20 in postseason overtime games. Except for Horford, who entered the Sunday’s game with 91 career playoff starts, Boston’s other four starters (Tatum Browns Baker Mayfield Jersey , Aron Baynes, Brown, Rozier) had combined to play only one playoff game between them. That lone start belonged to Baynes.

QUOTABLE

”That was part of our plan, to kind of lull them into a false sense of security.” – Stevens, joking on Boston’s play during Bucks’ 26-4 run in the second quarter to take a 10-point lead

BIG PLAY

Tatum brought the crowd to its feet early in the first quarter when he took an outlet pass from Horford and went in for fast-break dunk over the outstretched arm of Antetokounmpo .

MAKING PROGRESS

Marcus Smart, who hasn’t played since March 11 and continues to work his way back from his March 16 surgery to repair a torn ligament, was also on the court getting up some shots before the game. He was recently cleared for non-contact shooting but hasn’t resumed full basketball activities.

More NBA basketball:

MIAMI — The Oklahoma City Thunder can clinch a playoff spot with a win on Monday night over the host Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Heat (43-37) are already in the playoffs, but they are coming off a brutal 122-98 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday and, six days before that, a loss to the Brooklyn Nets in overtime.

In other words http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-trent-brown-jersey , the Heat — who are 4-4 in their past eight games — are not riding into the playoffs with great momentum. They have two tough games to close out the regular season, against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors this week.

Miami’s opening-round Eastern Conference playoff opponent will be Toronto, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers or the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Meanwhile, the Thunder (46-34) can finish anywhere between fourth or eighth in the wild Western Conference. Failing to make the playoffs is also a possibility.

On Saturday, the Thunder helped themselves by prevailing 108-102 over the host Houston Rockets, who have the best record in the NBA.

Russell Westbrook and Paul George scored 24 points each as Houston’s 20-game home win streak was snapped.

“This game was important,” Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony said. “But if we don’t take care of business on Monday, then this game didn’t really mean anything.”

A desperate Thunder team will likely be a major challenge for the Heat, who have muddled through with a 14-15 record since Feb. 1 http://www.patriotsauthorizedshop.com/authentic-troy-niklas-jersey , playing below-.500 basketball for two-plus months.

The Heat are 2-1 against the Celtics this season, 1-2 against the Cavaliers, 2-2 against the 76ers and 1-1 against the Raptors, and Miami players feel like they will have a legitimate chance against any opponent.

But closing the regular season in strong fashion — starting with Oklahoma City on Monday — is the first priority.

“You want to go into the playoffs on a high note,” Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade said. “You don’t want to go into the playoffs losing three games in a row. You want to go in feeling good about yourself.”

The Heat and the Thunder are healthy for Monday’s game. Guards Andre Roberson (Thunder) and Dion Waiters (Heat) have been out long term, but everyone else will be available.

The Heat will hope to slow down Westbrook, whose scoring is down by about six points per game from last season. Still, he has exceptional numbers when compared with almost every other player in the league, averaging 25.6 points and 9.8 rebounds while leading the league with 10.1 assists per game.

George is second on the team with a 21.6 scoring average. Anthony, who turns 34 next month http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-carlton-davis-jersey , is averaging a career-low 16.3 points as he is no longer his team’s primary scoring option.

Oklahoma City’s fourth double-figure scorer is center Steven Adams, who is averaging 13.9 points and is second on the team in rebounds (behind Westbrook) with 9.1 boards per game.

Point guard Goran Dragic leads the Heat in scoring (17.5) and assists (4.8). Center Hassan Whiteside leads the team in rebounds (11.5) and blocks (1.7) while averaging 14.0 points per game.

On the wings, the Heat has several capable scorers, led by Josh Richardson, Tyler Johnson, Wade and Wayne Ellington. All four score in double figures on average. In fact, Miami has nine double-figure scorers — five more than the Thunder, who rely on a superstar approach.

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