Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 34 points, and Marcus Smart shot 7-of-10 from 3-point range en route to 23 points as the Boston Celtics ended the Milwaukee Bucks’ eight-game winning streak, 122-114, on Friday in Milwaukee.
Boston shot 22-of-47 from behind the 3-point line as a team, including Tatum’s 4-of-7 and 4-of-9 from Jaylen Brown, who scored 18 points. Kemba Walker, who scored 21 points, added another three treys.
The Celtics’ torrid shooting powered a run that pushed their lead to 18 points with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter. The advantage reached 20 late in the third and 21 with 6:41 left in the fourth before a late Milwaukee rally.
With reigning Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo limited to 27 minutes and sitting down the stretch, the Bucks trimmed the deficit to single digits but couldn’t come all the way back.
Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 19 points, Jrue Holiday scored 17 points and Antetokounmpo scored 16 points with eight rebounds and five assists in his limited action.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo and Sam Merrill came off the bench to score 12 and 15 points for the Bucks, as Milwaukee’s reserves outscored the Boston bench, 43-19.
Despite their deficit off the bench, the Celtics had outstanding play from their starting five, and it proved to be too much for the Bucks.
Robert Williams III, starting at center after the trade of Daniel Theis to Chicago, grabbed nine rebounds and dished six assists to go with his seven points.
Moritz Wagner, acquired in the Theis trade, scored three points and grabbed five rebounds in 10 minutes. Grant Williams came off the bench for Boston to score seven points, pull down four rebounds and pass for three assists.
Grant Williams was one of six Celtics to finish with at least two assists. Smart had three to go with eight rebounds, Walker distributed five assists and added three steals, and Tatum complemented his game-high in scoring with another game-high: of seven assists.
The win snapped a two-game losing slump for Boston, the second of which came to the Bucks on Wednesday. Milwaukee lost for the first time since March 2.
–Field Level Media
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