Eric Bledsoe

Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports

Bucks 116, Celtics 92: We finally have a player worth hating and it's Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe

John Tomase
April 21, 2018 - 12:39 am

The Bucks beat the Celtics on Friday night and we officially have a series. But more importantly, we also have a villain.

Guard Eric Bledsoe made headlines this week when he responded, "Who?" to questions about being owned by Celtics guard Terry Rozier. Perhaps Bledsoe was miffed that Rozier had mistakenly referred to him as "Drew" during an interview earlier in the series.

In any event, Bledsoe had a chance to back up his words in Friday's  Game 3, and he certainly delivered, quarterbacking an offensive explosion that saw Milwaukee make 16 3-pointers in a 116-92 victory that halved Boston's series lead.

Bledsoe contributed 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists, and he seemed to have plenty to say while doing it. In one sequence, he scored on Celtics center Al Horford and then shoulder-checked him to the ground, much to Horford's chagrin when no foul was called. He later exhorted the crowd after Horford was whistled for an offensive foul.

The Bucks dunk, drove, and shot their way past the C's, who struggled to find open looks, particularly with Bledsoe outplaying Rozier for the first time in the series. Rozier had entered the game with 48 points, nine assists and zero turnovers, compared to 21 points, eight assists, and six turnovers from Bledsoe.

But Rozier was limited to nine points and nine assists while committing five turnovers, and Bledsoe excelled at breaking down Boston's defense.

The Celtics were shut down nearly across the board, with the exception of big man Al Horford, who scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting and continued bulling his way to the basket. But Jaylen Brown followed a playoff career-high 30 points in Game 2 with just 11, and the only other two players in double figures were Greg Monroe (15) and Jayson Tatum (14).

This one was over early. The Bucks raced to a 27-12 lead after one led by at least 14 for the rest of the game.

The series resumes for Game 4 in Milwaukee on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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