You won’t believe how the Celtics secured a stunning win over the Bucks – without Giannis!

BOSTON (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Patrick Beverley made a spin move in the lane and launched a jumper over Boston…

BOSTON (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks guard Patrick Beverley made a spin move at the line, launched a jumper over Boston's Luke Kornet and then returned to the defense in a crouch, holding his hand a few inches off the ground to mock the Celtics center.

Too small?

No, too soon.

Upset by the insult to his teammate, Payton Pritchard scored 10 points in the quarter, matching all of the Bucks' production and helping the Celtics open up a big lead before holding on for a 122-119 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night. the night.

“That kind of lit a fire under me,” said the 6-foot-1 Pritchard, who had 19 points and six rebounds, most of them in the second quarter, when Boston turned a five-point lead into an 18-point cushion. points. . “He's trying to clown one of our teammates. So I definitely took it a little bit personally.”

Jayson Tatum scored 31 points for Boston, which took advantage of the absence of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to win its seventh straight game. The Celtics have not lost to an Eastern Conference team at home all season.

Derrick White had 23 points and eight assists, while Jaylen Brown finished with 21 points and eight rebounds for Boston.

Damian Lillard scored 32, including a 3-pointer in the final second. Bobby Portis had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks, who had won two straight.

Although the game featured two East division leaders, the Celtics have an 11-game lead over the second-seeded Bucks in the race for home field advantage. Any further juice in the matchup was lost when Antetokounmpo was ruled out for the second straight game with a left hamstring issue.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said the game wasn't necessarily a playoff preview.

“Nothing is guaranteed in life,” he said. “We may see them; they can see us; we may not do it. You never know what's going to happen. I know both teams are developing an identity and obviously there is a DNA that both teams have. But you don't want to overthink things. And you don't take anything for granted.”

They were 10-10 when the Celtics scored 13 of the next 15 points to open an 11-point lead. The Bucks cut the score to two before the end of the first quarter, but Boston used a 21-8 run (with 10 points coming from Pritchard) to make it 56-38.

Pritchard also had the most rebounds (four) and assists (three) in the quarter.

“Everyone had always talked about his shooting,” Mazzulla said. “But I think this year, in particular, he has made an impact because of his rebounding, his defense and his pace. He is developing into a very well-rounded player who knows that he can have a positive impact on the game in many different ways, and it is a great asset for us.”

Pritchard also ignited the crowd when he took a offensive board away from Brook Lopez, a player a foot taller. Frustrated, the 7-foot-1 center shoved him in disgust.

Pritchard celebrated by flexing his muscles and bumping hands with Kristaps Porzingis; Tatum waved his arms to encourage the crowd, which rose to give Pritchard a standing ovation.

“Just a winning play,” Pritchard said. “He's 7 feet tall and I'm 6 feet tall, you know, not by NBA standards. “I'm just a competitor.”

Boston led by as many as 21 points, but the Bucks didn't get within single digits until the final minutes, when they scored 10 straight points (eight of them including consecutive long three-pointers by Portis) to turn it around. a 13-point lead in a one-possession game.

But Portis missed a 3-pointer, Tatum made a pair of free throws and then the Celtics star scored a layup to make the score 114-107 with 1:38 left.

Antetokounmpo also missed the Victory at the Bucks' home by 140-129 over Phoenix on Sunday. He has missed five games this season; Milwaukee is 3-2 without him.

The 29-year-old Greek star ranks third in the NBA in scoring (30.8), sixth in rebounds (11.2) and 15th in assists (6.4) this season.


Bucks: Host Brooklyn on Thursday night.

Celtics: At Detroit on Friday night.



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