Gators in the NBA: Horford matches career high in back-to-back games

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo watches Boston Celtics' Al Horford dunk during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Celtics center Al Horford scored 26 points in Boston’s series-clinching win over Milwaukee Saturday to equal the highest scoring total of his postseason career. Big Al shot lights out with a 13-of-17 performance from the field and added eight rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal in Game 7. He scored in double-digits in every game against the Bucks and will now be the lone remaining representative of Gator Nation in the NBA Playoffs after Corey Brewer, Udonis Haslem and Bradley Beal’s teams were all eliminated in the first round. While many analysts are predicting Boston’s series with Philadelphia going the 76ers way, Al Horford might have something to say about that.
“Al Horford played well throughout the entire series, He caused a lot of problems, whether it was driving to the basket, mid-range shots, post moves. He’s a veteran that’s been around, been through a lot of battles, been through game 7’s before and he deserves credit for the way he played,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said after the Game 7 loss.
“He provides stability for all of us,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said about Horford after the Game 7 win.
Horford put together another stellar effort Monday when he and the Celtics began the conference semifinals with a bang, beating the Sixers 117-101 to open the series and take a 1-0 lead. Horford again scored 26 points and added seven rebounds and four assists while missing just two shots all night.

Around the NBA, Bradley Beal and the Wizards were bounced from the playoffs Friday as they fell at home 102-92 to the Raptors in Game 6. Beal led the way for Washington scoring 32 points and converted 6-of-10 from deep. Washington led the entire game but was outscored 29-14 in the fourth quarter as both of Washington’s all-star guards looked tired. The Wizards won both games in the series that Beal shot over 50 percent in and lost the others by an average of 10 points.
Thunder forward Corey Brewer had a lackluster series along with the rest of his teammates and was unable to impose the kind of team basketball he is used to playing under coach Billy Donovan. The Thunder had only two assists in a stretch of two quarters in Game 5 and struggled to play together throughout the entire series and OKC was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round for the second straight season.
Note: Former Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes says he plans on returning to the NBA next season. He hired an agent and would still have to sit out 13 games of a 20-game suspension for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policy in 2014.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Boston Celtics
Al Horford (C)
Dallas Mavericks
Dorian Finney-Smith (F)
Memphis Grizzlies
Chandler Parsons (F)
Miami Heat
Udonis Haslem (F)
New York Knicks
Joakim Noah (C)
Oklahoma City Thunder
Corey Brewer (F)
Orlando Magic
Marreese Speights (F)
Washington Wizards
Bradley Beal (G)
Devin Robinson (F) – Westchester Knicks