NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Boston 35 27 32 19 113
Milwaukee 22 25 43 27 117
11:30 AM PT12:30 PM MT1:30 PM CT2:30 PM ET19:30 GMT3:30 12:30 PM MST2:30 PM EST23:30 UAE20:3014:30 ET1:30 PM CT17:30 , December 25, 2021
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 17,341

Giannis Antetokounmpo makes triumphant return in Bucks comeback win

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks

  1. The Celtics and Bucks have never met on Christmas Day. The Celts have won both matchups this season, scoring at least 117 points in each game. Boston has reached 110 points in eight straight games against the Bucks, its longest active such streak against any opponent.
  2. The Celtics beat the Cavaliers, 111-101, at the Garden on Wednesday night, going 3-2 over their five-game home stand. Boston last played on the road in a 111-90 loss at Phoenix on December 10, its third straight road loss and 10th of the season (7-10 record).
  3. Jayson Tatum scored 18 points against the Cavaliers, his 29th game this season with 15 or more points this season. That is the most in the NBA ahead of three players tied with 28 (Steph Curry, Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young).
  4. The Bucks led by one point, 75-74, after the third quarter in their win over the Mavericks on Thursday. They are a perfect 18-0 this season when leading after the third quarter, joining the Suns (21-0) as the only undefeated teams when leading after three quarters this season.
  5. DeMarcus Cousins went 8-for-15 against the Mavericks. That was his first 20-point performance since he scored 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting on January 23, 2021, also against the Mavericks.
  6. Both Boston and Milwaukee are relying on starters to collect rebounds this season. The Bucks are number one in the league in rebounds per game from starting players with 32.0, while the Celtics are right behind at number two with 31.9 rebounds per game from starters.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points and 12 rebounds in his return from COVID-19 protocols as the Milwaukee Bucks rallied from 19 points down to beat the visiting Boston Celtics 117-113 in a Christmas Day showdown on Saturday.

Antetokounmpo finished 13-of-23 from the field and added five assists in just under 30 minutes after missing five games in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Khris Middleton and Jrue Holliday scored 17 points apiece for Milwaukee, which won its third straight game. Bucks center Bobby Portis added 16 points and 10 boards after sitting out four games in COVID protocols.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 25 apiece to lead Boston, which lost for the seventh time in 11 ties.

Marcus Smart added 19 points and Payton Pritchard scored 16 off the bench for the Celtics.

Shortly before tip-off, Boston guard Dennis Schroder became the team's 13th player in over a week to enter the league's health and safety protocols.

Schroder was sidelined in COVID protocols along with Celtics guards Josh Richardson and C.J. Miles, forwards Grant Williams, Aaron Nesmith, Justin Jackson and Sam Hauser, and centers Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando.

Donte DiVincenzo scored three points in his season debut for Milwaukee after undergoing offseason ankle surgery and clearing COVID protocols.

Boston was up 62-47 at halftime after leading by as many as 19 in the second quarter.

Milwaukee surged back with a 43-point third quarter and pulled within 94-90 entering the fourth. The Celtics scored the first eight points of the final period in a 10-2 run to reclaim a double-digit advantage.

Antetokounmpo's point-blank layup with 1:29 remaining capped a 19-7 surge for the Bucks to tie it at 111. Wesley Matthews' 3-pointer with 30.3 seconds left gave Milwaukee its first lead at 114-113.

Brown missed a potential go-ahead 14-foot jumper with 22.1 seconds to play and Middleton made it a three-point game with a pair of free throws with 17.8 on the clock.

Antetokounmpo blocked a dunk attempt by Robert Williams III with 7.3 seconds to go and a coach's challenge gave Milwaukee the ball back after it went out of bounds off a Celtics player. Middleton made 1-of-2 free throws at the other end to seal it.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 25, 2021

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