Jayson Tatum posted his fifth straight 30-point game, leading the Boston Celtics with 41 en route to a 139-118 Christmas Day win over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night.
Tatum and Jaylen Brown (29 points) combined for 70 points in a game for the eighth time in their careers. Tatum added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals as Boston won back-to-back games.
Derrick White, Grant Williams and Al Horford also scored in double figures, helping Boston shoot 19 of 39 from 3-point range.
Marcus Smart handed out eight assists.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had a team-high 27 points, while Jrue Holiday finished with 23, Brook Lopez scored 16 and Massachusetts native Pat Connaughton added 15 on four 3-pointers in Milwaukee’s third straight loss.
Antetokounmpo and Bobby Portis each pulled in nine rebounds, and Holiday also dished out seven assists.
After Boston led by just one at halftime, Tatum posted a 20-point third quarter to help the Celtics build a 14-point lead.
Tatum and Horford hit from downtown as the Celtics opened the second half on an 8-2 run. Following a Bucks timeout, Tatum hit three of the hosts’ five straight field goals to help increase the score to 87-78. Connaughton had eight straight Milwaukee points in the midst.
The entire Bucks team only outscored Tatum by five in the quarter, and it was a 100-86 game entering the final frame after a Grant Williams corner trey.
Joe Ingles hit a running 3-pointer as Milwaukee closed to nine early in the fourth, but Williams bookended a 10-0 Celtics run with 3-pointers to make it 110-91. Brown later scored 10 straight points to help put the game out of reach.
The Celtics shot 7 of 9 over the first 4:03. Tatum and Brown hit back-to-back triples to cap an 8-0 run, turning a 12-11 deficit into a 19-12 lead and forcing Milwaukee to call a timeout.
Milwaukee used a 10-3 run to get within 30-28 late in the first. Brown followed with a pullup 3-pointer and Hauser banked in a deep triple at the buzzer, extending Boston’s lead to 36-28.
Shortly after an 8-0 Milwaukee run, Tatum responded with a hammer dunk over Antetokounmpo with 5:07 left before halftime.
Boston’s lead was just 62-61 at the break, as Lopez hit a fadeaway with 2.8 seconds left before Brown missed three foul shots.
–Field Level Media