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Antetokounmpo, Bucks hold off Celtics, 128-123

MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer dug into his team after Thursday night's win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points and 17 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 23 and the Bucks held off the Boston Celtics 128-123 despite blowing two separate 20-point leads.

''We were up 20 twice and they came back,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''... We didn't play the best basketball and how we usually play. I was kind of upset after the game. We talked in the locker room. We talked to one another. We were up 20 and we won but we've got to play for 48 minutes.

''Coach Bud came in here and he was steaming hot. He was angry and that's good. He doesn't really care about this game or the next game. He cares about how we can get better and how can we be good for 48 minutes. That's what our goal is.''

Despite the lapses, the NBA-leading Bucks (37-6) extended their winning streak to five games, while Boston lost its second game in as many nights.

''It's a very long season, still,'' Celtics guard Kemba Walker said. ''We got so many games to play. When you have losses like this, you just have to learn from it, and I think we will.''

Walker scored a game-high 40 points to lead Boston, which took the floor without Jaylen Brown. The 6-foot-6 forward suffered a sprained right thumb in a 13-point loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

''We saw a play late in the first half and we think that might have been when it happened,'' Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ''Maybe it got worse as the game went on. He didn't say much about it at halftime. Certainly, after the game it was sore. Today, more sore.''

Stevens said the training staff will do more tests on Brown's thumb on Friday.

Marcus Smart, who started in place of Brown, had 24 points.

''Coming off a back-to-back night, we knew that it was going to be tough,'' Smart said. ''But we didn't want to let that be an excuse. We just continued to fight and fight until we got to where we wanted. We gave ourselves a chance at the end.

Antetokounmpo, who also had seven assists, recorded his 35th double-double of the season.

After trailing by as many as 27, the Celtics outscored Milwaukee 36-22 to pull within 127-123 with 38 seconds to play. But Smart missed a 3-pointer and Middleton knocked down one of two free throws to seal the victory.

''Not enough, at least from the start,'' Walker said of his team's energy level. ''As the game went along, we were a little better. But, games like this happen. We just have to be ready.''

Antetokounmpo scored the first basket of the night and the Bucks never trailed.

Milwaukee hit seven of its first 10 shots, including its first four attempts from 3, and led 36-20 after the first quarter. Brook Lopez had three of those 3-pointers and had 11 points in the opening quarter. Lopez finished with 16 points.

Milwaukee set a new season-high with 76 points in the first half. The Bucks had a 76-58 lead at the break.

Boston stormed out in the second half, cutting Milwaukee's lead to 87-81 with 5:16 left in the third. But the Bucks ended the quarter on a 19-6 run.

''I think the end of the third quarter was pretty big,'' Budenholzer said. ''To finish the quarter up 19 was important because we needed all of that in the fourth quarter.''

Milwaukee shot nearly 52% (16 of 31) from long range on the night

Donte DiVincenzo had a career-high 19 points off the bench for Milwaukee.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Boston entered the night having won five straight when trailing by at least 15 points after the first quarter dating back to Nov. 10, 2017. That streak, which was the longest such streak in NBA history, ended.

Bucks: DiVincenzo went 4 for 6 from 3-point range.

HAYWARD'S STRUGGLES

Gordon Hayward, who finished with seven points on 1-of-10 shooting for the Celtics, scored his only field goal on a 3 at the end of the third.

''I thought we had some good looks, especially personally, I had some good looks,'' Hayward said. ''But we just didn't make them. We'll have to be better next time.''

Jayson Tatum had 17 points and Daniel Theis added 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host the Suns on Saturday.

Bucks: At the Nets on Saturday.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:47   Eric Bledsoe missed driving layup, blocked by Kemba Walker  
11:43   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
11:28   Jayson Tatum missed jump shot  
11:25   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
11:22   Personal foul on Gordon Hayward  
11:11 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made driving layup 0-2
10:59   Bad pass turnover on Kemba Walker, stolen by Khris Middleton  
10:53 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk, assist by Khris Middleton 0-4
10:34 +2 Daniel Theis made jump shot, assist by Jayson Tatum 2-4
10:25   Shooting foul on Kemba Walker  
10:25 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 2-5
10:25 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-6
10:08   Bad pass turnover on Gordon Hayward, stolen by Eric Bledsoe  
10:00 +3 Brook Lopez made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Eric Bledsoe 2-9
9:41   Gordon Hayward missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:38   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
9:34   Shooting foul on Daniel Theis  
9:34   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:34   MIL team rebound  
9:34   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:33   BOS team rebound  
9:33   Personal foul on Brook Lopez  
9:17   Jayson Tatum missed jump shot  
9:14   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
9:11   Eric Bledsoe missed jump shot, blocked by Daniel Theis  
9:08   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
9:05 +2 Daniel Theis made layup, assist by Kemba Walker 4-9
8:56 +3 Brook Lopez made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Eric Bledsoe 4-12
8:34 +2 Jayson Tatum made driving layup 6-12
8:17 +3 Brook Lopez made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 6-15
7:55   Kemba Walker missed reverse layup  
7:54   Offensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
7:45   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:42   Defensive rebound by Brook Lopez  
7:37   Bad pass turnover on Eric Bledsoe, stolen by Marcus Smart  
7:37   Personal foul on Eric Bledsoe  
7:26   Gordon Hayward missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:22   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
7:16   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed finger-roll layup  
7:13   Defensive rebound by Gordon Hayward  
7:08 +2 Jayson Tatum made floating jump shot, assist by Gordon Hayward 8-15
6:52 +3 Khris Middleton made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Eric Bledsoe 8-18
6:34   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:32   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
6:23 +2 Brook Lopez made turnaround jump shot, assist by Khris Middleton 8-20
6:02   Marcus Smart missed jump shot  
5:59   Defensive rebound by Khris Middleton  
5:55   Personal foul on Kemba Walker  
5:44 +2 Khris Middleton made jump shot 8-22
5:30   Shooting foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
5:30 +1 Marcus Smart made 1st of 3 free throws 9-22
5:30 +1 Marcus Smart made 2nd of 3 free throws 10-22
5:30 +1 Marcus Smart made 3rd of 3 free throws 11-22
5:16   Donte DiVincenzo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:12   Defensive rebound by Daniel Theis  
5:01   Personal foul on Donte DiVincenzo  
4:47   Jayson Tatum missed floating jump shot  
4:45   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
4:40   Offensive foul on George Hill  
4:40   Turnover on George Hill  
4:25 +2 Jayson Tatum made driving layup 13-22
4:12   Robin Lopez missed hook shot  
4:09   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
4:04   Marcus Smart missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:56   Offensive rebound by Javonte Green  
3:56   Javonte Green missed dunk  
3:58   Defensive rebound by Robin Lopez  
3:48   Robin Lopez missed layup  
3:44   Offensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
3:44   Donte DiVincenzo missed dunk  
3:42   Defensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
3:40   Marcus Smart missed layup  
3:37   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
3:33   Shooting foul on Marcus Smart  
3:33 +1 Ersan Ilyasova made 1st of 2 free throws 13-23
3:33 +1 Ersan Ilyasova made 2nd of 2 free throws 13-24
3:20   Jayson Tatum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:20   Defensive rebound by George Hill  
3:11 +2 George Hill made layup 13-26
2:49 +3 Marcus Smart made 3-pt. jump shot 16-26
2:32   Robin Lopez missed hook shot, blocked by Enes Kanter  
2:29   Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum  
2:26   Jayson Tatum missed driving layup  
2:26   MIL team rebound  
2:11 +3 Kyle Korver made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Robin Lopez 16-29
1:52 +2 Brad Wanamaker made jump shot 18-29
1:34 +2 Ersan Ilyasova made turnaround jump shot, assist by Donte DiVincenzo 18-31
1:18   Brad Wanamaker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:15   Defensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo  
1:08 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made jump shot 18-33
0:52 +2 Javonte Green made driving layup 20-33
0:46 +3 Donte DiVincenzo made 3-pt. jump shot 20-36
0:32   Jayson Tatum missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:31   MIL team rebound  
0:16   Bad pass turnover on Giannis Antetokounmpo, stolen by Javonte Green  
0:00   Brad Wanamaker missed floating jump shot  
0:00   BOS team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:46   Semi Ojeleye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:42   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
11:38   Personal foul on Brad Wanamaker  
11:33   Shooting foul on Enes Kanter  
11:33 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 20-37
11:33   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
11:30   Defensive rebound by Gordon Hayward  
11:20   Grant Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:16   Defensive rebound by Eric Bledsoe  
11:10 +3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot 20-40
11:02   Personal foul on George Hill  
10:56   Gordon Hayward missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:53   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:48   Shooting foul on Semi Ojeleye  
10:48 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 1st of 2 free throws 20-41
10:48 +1 Eric Bledsoe made 2nd of 2 free throws 20-42
10:40   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:37   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
10:30 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made dunk, assist by Khris Middleton 20-44
10:13   Out of bounds turnover on Grant Williams  
10:01   Brook Lopez missed hook shot  
9:58   Defensive rebound by Grant Williams  
9:54 +2 Kemba Walker made jump shot 22-44
9:36   Out of bounds turnover on Giannis Antetokounmpo  
9:17 +2 Kemba Walker made driving layup 24-44
9:11   Offensive foul on Eric Bledsoe  
9:11   Turnover on Eric Bledsoe  
9:00   Shooting foul on Eric Bledsoe  
9:00   Grant Williams missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:00   BOS team rebound  
9:00 +1 Grant Williams made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-44
8:50   Shooting foul on Semi Ojeleye  
8:50 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 25-45
8:50 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-46
8:32   Grant Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Brook Lopez  
8:29   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
8:23 +3 Khris Middleton made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 25-49
8:00 +3 Grant Williams made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Gordon Hayward 28-49
7:47   Brook Lopez missed fade-away jump shot  
7:42   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
7:41   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:38   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
7:33 +2 Eric Bledsoe made layup 28-51
7:18   Gordon Hayward missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:14   Defensive rebound by Kyle Korver  
7:09 +2 Giannis Antetokounmpo made finger-roll layup 28-53
6:50 +3 Kemba Walker made 3-pt. jump shot 31-53
6:33 +2 Khris Middleton made floating jump shot 31-55
6:20   Grant Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:11   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
6:07 +3 Khris Middleton made 3-pt. jump shot 31-58
5:59 +2 Kemba Walker made finger-roll layup 33-58
5:49   Khris Middleton missed jump shot  
5:46   Defensive rebound by Grant Williams  
5:40 +2 Kemba Walker made jump shot 35-58
5:23   Wesley Matthews missed jump shot  
5:20   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
5:12   Shooting foul on Wesley Matthews  
5:12 +1 Marcus Smart made 1st of 2 free throws 37-58
5:12 +1 Marcus Smart made 2nd of 2 free throws 37-58
4:51 +2 Ersan Ilyasova made reverse layup, assist by Wesley Matthews 37-60
4:30 +2 Kemba Walker made driving layup 39-60
4:16   Donte DiVincenzo missed driving layup  
4:13   Defensive rebound by Daniel Theis  
4:06   Lost ball turnover on Kemba Walker, stolen by Donte DiVincenzo  
4:03 +2 Donte DiVincenzo made layup, assist by George Hill 39-62
3:51 +3 Marcus Smart made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kemba Walker 42-62
3:35   Bad pass turnover on George Hill, stolen by Daniel Theis  
3:36   Shooting foul on Wesley Matthews  
3:36   Jayson Tatum missed 1st of 2 free throws  
3:36   BOS team rebound  
3:36   Jayson Tatum missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
3:29   Defensive rebound by Ersan Ilyasova  
3:17 +3 George Hill made 3-pt. jump shot 42-65
3:02 +3 Kemba Walker made 3-pt. jump shot 45-65
2:44   George Hill missed finger-roll layup  
2:42   Defensive rebound by Marcus Smart  
2:37 +3 Marcus Smart made 3-pt. jump shot 48-65
2:16 +3 Donte DiVincenzo made 3-pt. jump shot 48-68
2:05   Shooting foul on George Hill  
2:05 +1 Kemba Walker made 1st of 3 free throws 49-68
2:05 +1 Kemba Walker made 2nd of 3 free throws 50-68
2:05 +1 Kemba Walker made 3rd of 3 free throws 51-68
1:45   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:42   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
1:36   Semi Ojeleye missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:33   Defensive rebound by Robin Lopez  
1:23 +3 Donte DiVincenzo made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 51-71
1:07   Marcus Smart missed driving layup, blocked by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:04   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
1:04   Shooting foul on Semi Ojeleye  
1:04 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 1st of 2 free throws 51-72
1:04 +1 Giannis Antetokounmpo made 2nd of 2 free throws 51-73
0:51   Marcus Smart missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:48   Defensive rebound by Giannis Antetokounmpo  
0:44   Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:41   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
0:36 +2 Kemba Walker made layup 53-73
0:27   Lost ball turnover on Khris Middleton  
0:27   Personal foul on Khris Middleton  
0:27 +1 Marcus Smart made 1st of 2 free throws 54-73
0:27 +1 Marcus Smart made 2nd of 2 free throws 55-73
0:10   Jumpball  
0:08 +2 Khris Middleton made jump shot, assist by Giannis Antetokounmpo 55-75
0:08   Shooting foul on Marcus Smart  
0:08 +1 Khris Middleton made free throw 55-76
0:01 +3 Kemba Walker made 3-pt. jump shot 58-76
0:00   End of period