The Milwaukee Bucks' quest to win a second straight NBA championship came to an end Sunday with a 109-81 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the second-round playoff series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo came out firing on all cylinders with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the first quarter. His play faded while being asked to carry almost the entire offensive load, however, and no one else stepped up to save the Bucks' season.
The team's lack of depth without Khris Middleton, who was sidelined since early in Round 1 with a knee injury, was on full display in the face of a swarming Celtics defense.
It sparked debate about whether Milwaukee did enough with the roster around Giannis to make a serious bid to repeat:
By the second half, it appeared Antetokounmpo simply didn't have the energy necessary to put the Bucks on his shoulders as he has so often over the past two seasons:
Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum enjoyed another strong outing for the Celtics with 23 points and eight assists. The C's also got a breakout performance from Grant Williams, who knocked down seven threes en route to a game-high 27 points.
Boston advances to face the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. It's a rematch of the 2020 conference finals, which the Heat won in six games.
The Celtics last reached the NBA Finals in 2010 and captured their most recent title in 2008.
On the flip side, the Bucks' core of Antetokounmpo, Middleton and Holiday are all under contract for at least one more season, but there will be questions about what type of moves should be made to reinvigorate the roster after the second-round exit.