The Boston Celtics gave Horford another chance at NBA glory, and he repaid the favor

Alhorford Thank God, because in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, he was touched.

Two years after he left Boston Celtics At free agency, Horford’s former team gave him another chance, reclaiming the contract of the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder write off in the meantime. The 15-year-old veteran repaid every cent with a 30-point playoff that saved the Celtics season and gave him another chance with a team that has led to consecutive NBA Conference Finals in a lifetime.

facing the possibility of a 3-1 Series deficit against the best surviving player and title holder, Horford scored 16 points in a 6 out of 6 shot In an amazing comeback in the last quarter, he brought Boston’s striking championship to the second round with the two-time MVP Giannis Antikonmo so is Milwaukee Bucks With a draw 2-2.

Another drawback in a playoff career filled with them Horford stared at him. A minute into the third quarter, Antetokounmpo dipped in Horford and looked him in the eye, earning a technical foul for being mocked. Horford had tied for the toughest defensive job in the league once Robert Williams III had a late injury scratch and Grant Williams himself got into bad trouble, Antetokounmue was abusing the old man.

Horford only nodded in response and said loudly, “Okay,” as if he was celebrating the moment.

“I don’t know what he said to me, but the way he was looking at me and the way he was acting wasn’t really good,” Horford told reporters, “and at that point something turned on me.”

Milwaukee’s lead swelled to 76-65 with 15:13 remaining for Antetokounmpo’s thirteenth point in the third quarter. Antetokounmo scored 28 points and 16 rebounds, compared to 14 and Horford’s five points at that point. The season was slipping away. So, Horford’s last chance in the ring may have been another, too. The final year of the $109 million deal he signed in 2019 is not entirely guaranteed next season, nor is Boston’s path to the Finals.

So, a month after his 36th birthday, Horford went to work in the fourth quarter against the most dominant force since Shaquille O’Neal and Won 116-108. At the 10 minute mark, he drove around Antetokounmpo, dunked over and complimented him, inadvertently earning the Bucks star and earning his technical foul. The match was tied for the first time since the last minute of the second quarter.

“Man, we love Al,” a Celtics teammate said. Marcus Smart. “He’s the best vet I’ve ever had.”

“A lot of 35-year-olds can’t play that way,” Antetokounmue, 27, said of Horford in his post-match press conference. “Hopefully we’ll be lucky when we’re in his position, and when we get older we’re still in the league and can still compete at the highest level. That’s the goal. He’s playing great, which is why. He’s still in the game. Always give credit when Balance due.

Horford did not finish serving the sentence. His triple pointer eight minutes before the end of the game gave Boston their first lead in the second half, 88-85. Milwaukee didn’t give up, and regained the lead, that’s how Horford found Jason Tatum To lay the ball, tie halfway through the fourth. Horford dug another 3 to offer the next possession. He and another one after 30 seconds gave the Celtics a lead with two possessions they wouldn’t give up.

“I remember coming in my New Year and seeing Horford,” said Tatum, the 24-year-old rising star who scored 30 points on his own. “I’ve seen him play my whole life. …He has helped me a lot in the three years we’ve played together, and I’m very fortunate and fortunate to be able to call a teammate.”

Horford lay on the field after holding out a final blow and watching the ball find the net in his only 30-point game in four seasons at the Celtics. Tatum tapped his chest, as if to revive Horford, who was given another basketball. He has two wins over the team that finished his last serving round in green and 10 NBA immortals, as the championship would secure his place in the Hall of Fame.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity,” said the five-time All-Star. “…this is from sitting at home [last year]. This is from watching the playoffs. This is from not knowing what my future holds.”

The Bucks are hell to play, but Al Horford can see the light.

Boston Celtics veteran Al Horford scored a 30-point playoff high against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game Four (Michael McCalone/USA Today Sports)

Boston Celtics veteran Al Horford scored a 30-point playoff high against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game Four (Michael McCalone/USA Today Sports)

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Ben Rohrbach Writer for Yahoo Sports. Do you have a tip? Email it to Or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach