Celtics coach raves about Delly, Maker

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
AAP

Thon Maker was spectacular with ferocious blocks and hitting three-pointers and Matthew Dellavedova was at his defensive best as the Milwaukee Bucks demolished the Boston Celtics 116-92 in game three of their NBA playoff series.

The Bucks entered Friday's game in Milwaukee down 0-2 in the best-of-seven series and Maker and Dellavedova had seen scant court time in the two losses.

Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty tossed Dellavedova into the game in the third minute of the first quarter with the Bucks down 5-6.

The Victorian point guard aggressively went after the Celtics' guards Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier and the Bucks went on a 22-6 run.

Maker, the 21-year-old 216cm tall physical freak, came on with four minutes left in the first quarter.

He pulled off four spectacular blocks in his first four minutes.

The Celtics never recovered.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens, unprompted at his post-game media conference, pointed to the Australians' impact.

"I thought when Delly and Maker came in their energy was contagious," Stevens said.

Prunty agreed.

"I think a lot of guys brought energy but they definitely brought it when they entered the game and continued to make an impact across the board with Thon a lot of blocks and Delly with his intensity on the ball," Prunty said.

Maker finished with a personal playoff high 14 points, including three three-pointers, five blocks and five rebounds in 24 minutes.

Dellavedova had five points and four assists in 16 minutes.

The Bucks' All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo had 19 points, five rebounds and six assists, including a huge dunk from the top of the key and over the Celtics' Australian big man Aron Baynes.

Baynes was one of the Celtics' best with eight points and eight rebounds.

Antetokounmpo has been a mentor for Maker and revealed a conversation he had with the young Sudanese-born, Australian-raised giant two weeks ago.

"For me he is like my little brother," Antetokounmpo said.

"I told him he head to bring the killer mentality."

Game four is in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Indiana forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 30 points to lift the Pacers to a 92-90 come-from-behind victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in Indianapolis.

Victor Oladipo scored 18 for the Pacers, hitting five of 15 shots.

LeBron James scored 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting and also posted game highs of 12 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Love added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting.

Game four will also be Sunday night in Indianapolis.

In the other Eastern Conference first round playoff game, the Washington Wizards' guards Bradley Beal and John Wall scored 28 points each to beat the Toronto Raptors 122-103 reduce their series deficit to 2-1.