After a tough loss in their first contest, the Boston Celtics battled on Monday night, squeaking out a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-109.
The Celtics relied heavily on their three-point shooters, as Matt Ryan (6-of-11 3PT), Brodric Thomas (4-of-8 3PT), and Sam Hauser (3-of-7 3PT) led the way from behind the three-point line. The trio finished with 23, 14, and 12, respectively. Meanwhile, Mfiondu Kabengele got things done on the inside.
Kabengele dominated the glass and made the Bucks pay on the inside. He finished the night with 15 points and 11 rebounds, with seven of his boards coming on the offensive side of the floor. His constant energy and freakish length allowed him to punish the Bucks down low. As the Celtics continue their search for a backup big, he’s most certainly throwing his name in the ring.
Meanwhile, Boston’s other potential big man answer, rookie Trevion Williams, struggled to find his footing. He still made his fair share of impressive passes, but inefficiency caught up to him. Williams shot just 2-of-6 from the field as he was unable to finish consistently around the rim. The rookie was getting some decent looks at the basket, but the shots just weren’t falling.
On the side of Milwaukee, two of the Bucks’ second-year guys led the way – big man Sandro Mamukelashvili and guard Lindell Wigginton. Mamukelashvili dropped a game-high 28 points along with nine rebounds, while Wigginton ended with 24 points, nailing some tough mid-range shots in the process. Rookie MarJon Beauchamp also put in a decent shift for the Bucks, scoring an efficient 15 points.
Boston struggled to keep their turnovers under control for the majority of the game, as they did their best impression of the 2021-22 Celtics. JD Davison and Juhann Begarin, in particular, had some troubles in that area, committing five and seven turnovers, respectively.
However, Begarin does hold claim to the moment(s) of the night. He struggled on offense all night long, air-balling a three and throwing some questionable passes, but the one thing that cannot be questioned is the youngster’s athleticism. The Frenchman threw down a couple of rim-rattling dunks in the fourth and even picked up a technical foul for taunting after the second one. He ended the game with 15 points and six boards.
Things came down to the wire in the fourth quarter, as neither side could find any breathing room. But with just under two minutes left to go in the game, the Celtics strung together some baskets, tying the game at 106 apiece with just under a minute remaining.
At least, that’s what everyone initially thought.
In typical Summer League fashion, something went awry. The referees went to the monitors multiple times in the final few minutes, changing the game score not once, but twice. But it made for the most entertaining (yet unfortunate) moment of the game.
After Wigginton made two free throws to put the Bucks up by one with six seconds left to play, Ryan dribbled up the court, threw up a prayer, and nailed a three off of the backboard… injuring his ankle in the process.
He eventually got back up to celebrate his circus shot with the team, though, as his late-game heroics earned Boston their first Summer League win. The Celtics’ next Summer League game will take place on July 12 at 9:00 p.m. EST against the Golden State Warriors.