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Antekounmpo, Bucks rally past C's

The Sports Xchange

October 19. 2017 12:51AM
Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving reacts after a 3-point basket against the Milwaukee Bucks in the third quarter of Wednesday's game at TD Garden. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON — Giannis Antetokounmpo spoiled the Boston Celtics’ emotional home opener Wednesday night.

The Milwaukee star, who didn’t scored a basket in the first quarter, had 16 of his 37 points and was responsible for several others in the fourth quarter, leading the Bucks to a season-opening 108-100 victory over the Celtics.

The Celtics, who lost for the second straight night under the cloud of the gruesome injury suffered by newcomer Gordon Hayward in Cleveland on Tuesday, appeared to tire late in the game as the Bucks turned a six-point fourth-quarter deficit into a win.

Thanks to Antetokounmpo.

In addition to his 16 points in the quarter, he also had two steals, two (of his 13) rebounds and two assists in the final 12 minutes, as the Bucks used a 17-4 run to take control of the game.

Hayward was still being evaluated after suffering the injury on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Coach Brad Stevens, who reported Hayward suffered a dislocated left ankle and broken tibia, visited Hayward in the hospital Wednesday and said Hayward was “down.”

Hayward addressed the crowd pregame from his hospital bed, stating, “I’m gonna be all right.”

With 3:21 left in the first half, the crowd broke into a chant of “Gor-don Hay-ward.”

Malcolm Brogdon added 19 points and Khris Middleton and Matthew Dellavedova 15 apiece in the win.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 18 points. Kyrie Irving, playing for the first time in front of his new home crowd, had 17 points and Terry Rozier added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Notes: Cleveland guard Isaiah Thomas, who helped recruit Hayward to Boston before he was dealt to Cleveland, visited the injured Hayward in the locker room. “He was back there with Gordon when he was getting his splint,” Stevens said. “He plays for another team, but he’s a special guy to us.” ... The Bucks were watching the game in their Boston hotel when Hayward went down. “Just shock,” Brogdon said. “People just turned their heads from the TV. As a basketball player, you don’t want to see people even turn their ankles. You just turn your head and you pray for him and wish him the best.”