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Jayson Tatum’s 42 powers Celtics past Bucks

Sportsnaut
Dec 13, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (left) drives to the basket while defended by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) during the first half at TD Garden.
Dec 13, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (left) drives to the basket while defended by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (right) during the first half at TD Garden.

Jayson Tatum had 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting and the Boston Celtics beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 117-103 on Monday night to snap their three-game skid.

Tatum connected on 7-of-13 shots from behind the arc and he also tallied five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Additionally for the Celtics (14-14), Jaylen Brown scored 19 points in his return from injury.

Grant Williams added 17 points and seven rebounds and both Al Horford and Robert Williams III scored 10 apiece for Boston, which was coming off a disappointing 1-4 West Coast road swing. Marcus Smart added a game-high 11 assists.

Brown finished 6-of-13 from the field in 30 minutes after missing the team’s entire road trip with a nagging right hamstring strain.

Giannis Antetokounmpo totaled 20 points and eight rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 20 with eight assists for Milwaukee (18-11), which had won two straight and 12 of 14 overall coming in. Pat Connaughton added 15 points and nine boards off the Bucks’ bench.

Milwaukee forward Kris Middleton had just four points on 2-of-8 shooting before exiting the game in the third quarter with a hyperextended left knee.

It was the Celtics’ second win in as many matchups against the defending NBA champions this season. Boston secured a 122-113 overtime win at home against Milwaukee in its first meeting on Nov. 12.

Boston led 51-50 at halftime and expanded on its lead to go ahead 85-74 entering the fourth quarter. The Celtics led by as many as 18 in a noncompetitive final 12 minutes.

The Celtics fell behind by as many as 12 in the second quarter and trailed 44-35 after Antetokounmpo’s three-point play with 4:35 remaining before halftime. Boston ended the quarter on a 16-6 run to go up by a point at intermission.

Boston played without guard Josh Richardson (COVID-19 health and safety protocols) and forward Bruno Fernando (back) against Milwaukee. For the Bucks, guards Wesley Matthews (COVID protocols), George Hill (reconditioning) and forward Semi Ojeleye (calf) were all sidelined.

–Field Level Media