December 22, 2018 / 4:06 AM / 9 months ago

Antetokounmpo, Bucks hold off Celtics

EditorsNote: 6th graf, add first name of Snell; 8th graf, delete repeated first name of Bledsoe

While Giannis Antetokounmpo got off to a slow start, his Milwaukee teammates used their size and 3-point shooting to build a 26-point first-half advantage, and the visiting Bucks went on to beat the Celtics 120-107 on Friday night.

Antetokounmpo took only four first-half field-goal attempts and scored 11 points before the break. He finished with 30 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.

Khris Middleton added 21 points and Eric Bledsoe had 16 for the Bucks.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 21 points off the bench. Jayson Tatum finished with 20 points despite missing 10 of 15 shots from the field.

Milwaukee’s lead was tenuous throughout the third quarter as Boston cut its deficit to single digits.

But each time Boston got close, Milwaukee turned to Antetokounmpo, Middleton or Tony Snell.

The Bucks seemed in total control as they extended their lead to 18 with 9:20 left in the game on a Snell jumper that made the score 100-82. A 10-3 spurt once again gave Boston a chance to cut the deficit to 10, but Gordon Hayward missed a free throw.

Bledsoe made the Celtics pay, scoring five straight points as Milwaukee pushed the lead back to 108-94.

The Celtics jumped out to a 10-1 lead with Tatum and Semi Ojeleye each scoring five early points. The Bucks took control quickly, going on a 16-0 run.

A Kyrie Irving 3-pointer made the score 19-14, but then Milwaukee closed the quarter on 16-8 run to go up 35-22.

Boston was playing without Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes. The Bucks outrebounded the Celtics in the first half, 31-13, including grabbing nine on the offensive glass.

The Celtics finished with 36 rebounds. The Bucks had 55.

—Field Level Media

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