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Irving's 32 helps Celtics hold off Bucks 111-100

BOSTON (AP) Kyrie Irving has long admired Al Horford's skillset from afar. He's now getting to really savor all the advantages that come along with being his teammate.

Irving had 19 of his 32 points in the second half, helping offset a 40-point night by Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Boston Celtics held off the Milwaukee Bucks 111-100 on Monday night.

Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Jayson Tatum chipped in 17 points to help Boston improve to an NBA-best 21-4. The Celtics have won five of their last six.

''We're just utilizing our strength's - me realizing that he can use me and I can use him,'' Irving said. ''When we utilize each other, we can get other guys great shots.''

The Celtics shot 50 percent or better from the field for the fifth straight game. That's their longest such streak since 2010.

''I think it's just the work I've been putting in. It's starting to pay off for me,'' Horford said. ''I feel like we're starting to find our rhythm as a group, and I'm finding my rhythm, too.''

It was the third 40-point game this season for Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton added 19 points while Eric Bledsoe had 18 points.

''You have to compete against them because they don't stop playing hard,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''From start to finish they play hard and play together.''

Boston led by as many as 20 in the third quarter, before the Bucks stormed back, thanks in large part to Antetokounmpo. He almost singlehandedly kept the Bucks in it, scoring 16 points in the period and trimming Boston's lead to 88-81 entering the fourth.

It was 104-97 following a free-throw by Bledsoe, but the Celtics got five straight points from Irving to get the lead back up to 12 with less than a minute to play.

Antetokounmpo and Middleton entered Monday as the most productive scoring duo in the Eastern Conference, averaging a combined 49 points per game.

They combined for 59 Wednesday. It offset some early inconsistency from the rest of their teammates, which went just 6 of 24 from the field in the first half.

TIP-INS

Bucks: Bench was outscored 18-4 in the first half.

Celtics: Are now 11-2 at TD Garden this season, the most home victories in the NBA. ... Outscored Milwaukee 60-34 in the paint. ... Tatum went 4 for 4 from the 3-point line in the first quarter. Boston shot 61 percent (11 of 18) from the field overall in the period.

QUOTABLE

''I think his mannerisms are just one that you can't see if he's rattled or not. His composure is at a very high level to only be 19.'' - Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd on Tatum.

RUNNING TIME

Kidd was called for technical after jawing with an official at 4:44 in second quarter. It ignited an 8-0 Celtics run that pushed Boston's lead to 56-37. Irving had five points during the run.

MASK OFF

Irving said he could shed his protective facemask for Saturday's matchup with Utah. He has been wearing the mask since breaking a bone in his face on Nov. 10 against Charlotte.

CENTURY CLUB

The Celtics improved to 16-2 when scoring 100 or more points.

The Bucks haven't been held under 100 points since a 99-88 loss to Washington on Nov. 20 - a span of six games.

UP NEXT

Bucks: Begin a three-game homestand Wednesday against Detroit.

Celtics: Conclude five-game homestand Wednesday against Dallas.

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Key Players
G. Antetokounmpo
34 F
K. Irving
11 G
31.7 Min. Per Game 31.7
23.2 Pts. Per Game 23.2
5.2 Ast. Per Game 5.2
3.1 Reb. Per Game 3.1
54.8 Field Goal % 48.7
54.5 Three Point % 48.4
76.6 Free Throw % 86.6
  Defensive rebound by Al Horford 0:17
  Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:19
+ 1 Al Horford made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:22
+ 1 Al Horford made 1st of 2 free throws 0:22
  Personal foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo 0:22
+ 3 Eric Bledsoe made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 0:29
+ 3 Kyrie Irving made 3-pt. jump shot 0:44
  Personal foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo 1:01
  Team rebound 1:01
  Giannis Antetokounmpo missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:03
+ 2 Kyrie Irving made floating jump shot 1:12
Team Stats
Points 100 111
Field Goals 35-78 (44.9%) 43-78 (55.1%)
3-Pointers 9-21 (42.9%) 10-22 (45.5%)
Free Throws 21-24 (87.5%) 15-19 (78.9%)
Total Rebounds 33 52
Offensive 3 8
Defensive 25 37
Team 5 7
Assists 17 25
Steals 6 5
Blocks 2 3
Turnovers 9 14
Fouls 17 20
Technicals 2 1
40 PTS, 9 REB, 4 AST
20 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST
1234T
away team logo Bucks 12-10 26233219100
home team logo Celtics 21-4 34282623111
Team Stats
away team logo Bucks 12-10 101.9 PPG 38.6 RPG 22.0 APG
home team logo Celtics 21-4 101.4 PPG 41.7 RPG 21.2 APG
Key Players
G. Antetokounmpo F 26.9 PPG 10.0 RPG 4.8 APG 52.9 FG%
K. Irving G 24.4 PPG 3.8 RPG 5.1 APG 49.1 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Antetokounmpo F 40 PTS 9 REB 4 AST
K. Irving G 32 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
44.9 FG% 55.1
42.9 3PT FG% 45.5
87.5 FT% 78.9
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 39 40 9 4 0 0 4 5 14/24 0/1 12/14 1 8 53 -11
K. Middleton 41 19 8 5 2 1 1 2 6/11 1/3 6/6 0 8 39 -5
E. Bledsoe 34 18 3 3 1 0 2 3 6/9 3/6 3/4 1 2 26 -3
T. Snell 39 11 0 0 0 0 0 1 4/8 3/4 0/0 0 0 11 0
J. Henson 21 0 3 1 1 0 1 1 0/6 0/0 0/0 1 2 5 -8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Antetokounmpo 39 40 9 4 0 0 4 5 14/24 0/1 12/14 1 8 53 -11
K. Middleton 41 19 8 5 2 1 1 2 6/11 1/3 6/6 0 8 39 -5
E. Bledsoe 34 18 3 3 1 0 2 3 6/9 3/6 3/4 1 2 26 -3
T. Snell 39 11 0 0 0 0 0 1 4/8 3/4 0/0 0 0 11 0
J. Henson 21 0 3 1 1 0 1 1 0/6 0/0 0/0 1 2 5 -8
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Brogdon 31 10 2 3 0 0 1 2 4/13 2/6 0/0 0 2 17 -9
J. Terry 12 2 1 0 1 1 0 1 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 1 5 -5
D. Liggins 12 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 4 -6
T. Maker 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0/4 0/0 0/0 0 1 1 -8
M. Teletovic - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bolomboy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dellavedova - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Parker - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Vaughn - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Payton II - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Wilson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 237 100 28 17 6 2 9 17 35/78 9/21 21/24 3 25 161 -55
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 33 32 4 1 2 0 3 2 13/24 2/4 4/5 1 3 37 0
A. Horford 34 20 9 8 0 1 2 4 8/10 1/2 3/4 2 7 44 +21
J. Tatum 32 17 6 0 0 0 1 1 5/6 4/5 3/4 0 6 22 +8
A. Baynes 15 10 4 2 0 1 0 3 3/6 0/0 4/4 2 2 19 +6
J. Brown 22 8 7 2 0 0 1 3 4/9 0/2 0/0 3 4 18 +6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 33 32 4 1 2 0 3 2 13/24 2/4 4/5 1 3 37 0
A. Horford 34 20 9 8 0 1 2 4 8/10 1/2 3/4 2 7 44 +21
J. Tatum 32 17 6 0 0 0 1 1 5/6 4/5 3/4 0 6 22 +8
A. Baynes 15 10 4 2 0 1 0 3 3/6 0/0 4/4 2 2 19 +6
J. Brown 22 8 7 2 0 0 1 3 4/9 0/2 0/0 3 4 18 +6
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Smart 29 8 4 7 1 0 4 3 3/8 1/3 1/2 0 4 23 +3
T. Rozier 24 7 4 1 1 0 0 2 3/5 1/2 0/0 0 4 14 +15
D. Theis 10 6 1 0 0 1 1 0 3/4 0/1 0/0 0 1 7 -1
M. Morris 24 3 6 2 1 0 1 1 1/6 1/3 0/0 0 6 13 +2
S. Ojeleye 12 0 0 2 0 0 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 3 -5
G. Hayward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nader - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Larkin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bird - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Allen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Yabusele - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 111 45 25 5 3 14 20 43/78 10/22 15/19 8 37 200 +55