Thanks to Giannis Antetokounmue, Al Horford scores a 30-point playoff high to save the Boston Celtics in Game 4.

Milwaukee – Alhorford knew he was going to get his revenge.

After Giannis Anticonmo sank him early in the third quarter on Monday night, the Milwaukee Bucks star received a technical blunder for saying something in Horford’s direction. As Horford walked back down the field, he nodded and said “Okay” as he looked in the direction of Antetokounmpo.

“I didn’t understand what he said,” Horford said, “but the way he looked at me didn’t go well with me.” “That made me go.”

The next quarter, Horford returned the favor. Hold the ball in the ocean and hit Antetokounmpo with a mock pump. Antetokounmue drove Pete and Horford to his right, and soared at the edge to score a landslide victory over the two-time MVP, making a huge shriek in the process.

It was the turning point Boston needed as they beat Milwaukee in a 116-108 win in Game Four. The series, now pegged at a second, returns to Boston on Wednesday night.

Horford experienced a technical error after being submerged, inadvertently hitting Antitokonmo in the face in an instant celebration that made him scream from side to side. Milwaukee led by 10 points late in the third quarter, but Horford’s heroic kicks gave an empathetic character to the 10-0 streak that put the Celtics back in the game, eventually in control.

“Qualifying is very emotional and exciting,” Horford said. “Tonight, things weren’t quite right. Things were tough out there at three for a while. [Marcus] Smart kept talking in the crowd and kept telling us to stay with her. Definitely just a lot of feelings at that point. Yes, that’s how it was.”

Smart said it was Horford’s Dunk that gave the Celtics the emotional boost they needed to get through what had become a difficult game.

“It’s a big play at a big moment,” Smart said. “It’s a physical match. We’ve been on the other end a few times, so it was good to have this match.”

Horford had 16 points and was 6 of 6 from the field in the fourth quarter as a whole, knocking out a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws. He finished with 30 points, his highest in a playoff for the 35-year-old who’s been playing in his 132nd post-season career.

It came after he put up 22 points and 16 rebounds in Saturday’s third game loss, a defeat that dealt Horford and the entire team harder than usual.

“At the end of the third game we felt we were in a position to win the game and we didn’t,” Horford said. “I was really locked in. I understood the moment and what we had to do as a group. Just come on and we’ll do whatever it takes tonight. It was one of those kinds of nights.”

The team followed Horford’s lead in the last quarter, scoring 43 points in a 16-of-19 shot to escape with the win. 43 points in the fourth quarter equals the most in the last quarter in Celtics franchise history (tied to Game 5 of the 2001 first round against the Philadelphia 76ers), according to ESPN stats and information. Boston’s 84.2% shot was the best in any post-season quarter for the team since at least 1997-98.

The Bucks turned the technical free throw after Horford’s unintended hit on Antikonomu, and Horford hit his foul on the play. Milwaukee scored the next two baskets to extend the lead, but Horford was there again, ending a 7-0 run with a 3 pointer.

When the Bucks took the lead again with an Antetokounmpo corner kick with 6:02 left, Horford answered with three more pointers to give Boston the lead for good. After putting the Celtics ahead 95-94, Horford reverted to old-fashioned three-point play on Boston’s next possession to give the Celtics seat more to celebrate.

The Celtics rode that wave of emotion through to the end, but everything started to roll with the dunk.

“It was a play as hell,” Jason Tatum said. “Especially any time Al turns back the clock and looks like his old self, it makes everyone sit on the bench. Al plays with great passion. When Al plays with passion like this, everyone should follow him.”

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