Jayson Tatum had 25 points, including 11 during a third-quarter comeback, as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 116-105 on Wednesday night.
Kemba Walker led all scorers with 32 points, Gordon Hayward had a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Smart hit five 3-pointers and scored 19 as the Celtics won for the third time in four games. Boston played without swingman Jaylen Brown, scratched hours before the game with an illness.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Khris Middleton scored 26 for the Bucks, who have dropped two of four. Milwaukee hit just 15 of 24 at the free-throw line.
The Celtics outscored the Bucks 38-18 in the third quarter to overcome a 16-point deficit at halftime. Tatum got Boston within single digits, at 71-62, on a layup with 5:04 left and put the Celtics up for the first time since 1:32 into the game when he followed a block on Antetokounmpo with a try to make it 77-76 with 59 seconds to go.
Tatum hit another 3-pointer with a second left as Boston led 80-76 entering the fourth.
The Celtics carried that momentum into the fourth quarter, extending their lead to seven on a Hayward layup with 8:48 to go. Boston went up by double digits, 91-80, on a one-handed Tatum dunk with 7:23 left.
After a flurry of scoring, Daniel Theis hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 left, but Middleton responded with a trey of his own as Milwaukee got within 98-90.
Walker scored eight straight points for the Celtics to increase their lead to 13 with 3:10 left, and Milwaukee never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Bucks held a 19-point edge, 40-21, at 10:11 of the second quarter. Milwaukee would end the half leading 58-42.
The Bucks first went up by double digits, 22-10, on an Ersan Ilyasova 3-pointer with five minutes remaining in the first, finishing the quarter up 34-19.
-Field Level Media