RECAP: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks earn eighth straight win by beating Celtics

By Field Level Media
Mar 24, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) drives for the basket against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Khris Middleton collected 27 points and 13 rebounds and Bobby Portis added a season high-tying 21 points off the bench to fuel the host Milwaukee Bucks to a 121-119 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

Donte DiVincenzo made five 3-pointers to join Brook Lopez with 17 points for the Bucks, who nearly squandered a 25-point lead before extending their winning streak to a season-high eight games. Milwaukee shot 50 percent from the floor and 45.9 percent from 3-point range to avenge a 122-121 setback to Boston in its season opener.

Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in his return from a one-game absence due to a sprained left knee.

Boston’s Jaylen Brown scored 14 of his 24 points in the first quarter and added 10 rebounds. Kemba Walker added 23 points for the Celtics, who have lost five of their last six games overall and 10 of their last 11 on the road.

Boston chipped away at a 90-65 deficit in the third quarter, with Walker sinking a pair of 3-pointers as part of his 10 points during a 16-3 run. Brown’s 3-pointer trimmed the Bucks’ lead to 121-119 with 1:32 left, but the Celtics’ comeback bid fell short as Daniel Theis’ 3-pointer at the buzzer caromed off the back rim.

Middleton scored 10 points during a two-minute stretch in the second quarter to push Milwaukee’s advantage to 63-51 with 3:35 to play.

The Bucks kept their foot on the gas to begin the third quarter, scoring the first nine points to increase their lead to 79-59. Antetokounmpo and DiVincenzo each drained a 3-pointer to highlight that surge and DiVincenzo converted from beyond the arc on back-to-back possessions to push Milwaukee’s advantage to 90-65.

Milwaukee saw five different players make a 3-pointer to help the team claim a 35-30 lead after the first quarter. Lopez sank 4 of 5 shots overall, while Brown kept Boston within range after making 6 of 8 shots from the floor.

Boston’s Semi Ojeleye exited the game in the second quarter with a left hip contusion. He was injured while fighting through a screen from Jrue Holiday.

–Field Level Media