MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Bucks’ power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, leading the Bucks to a 98-97 win against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
Along with Antetokounmpo, who scored a double-double by capturing 13 rebounds – including 11 defensive – gave six assists, recovered a ball and made two blocks, while small forward Khris Middleton was the team’s hero for scoring the winning basket.
A triple in the final seconds of the regulatory time broke the marker in favor of the Celtics.
Shooting guard Marcus Smart worked the last few seconds for the Celtics to have an opportunity to score a basket with which he ended the regulatory time, while Celtics’ star Kyrie Irving failed to score despite having good control of the ball in penetration.
The win allowed the Bucks to continue with the best score of the league (44-14) and also beat the Celtics (2-1) for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
In addition to Antetokounmpo, Middleton also stood out as a decisive player by managing another double-double of 15 points, 13 defensive rebounds – his best of the season – and four assists.
Malcolm Brogdon scored 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, leading the Bucks to its 15th win in the last 17 games played, including nine out of 10.
Irving, in spite of failing the last basket, ended the game as the Celtics’ lead scorer with 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, in addition to handing out five assists.
But he scored nine out of 27 field shots, including four triples in eight attempts and he did not go to the free throw line.
Celtics center Al Horford with a double-double of 21 points and 17 rebounds – his best of the season – was the second-highest scorer of the team.
Horford played 37 minutes in which he scored eight out of 21 field shots, with two of six triples and three of four from the free throw line, in addition to handing out five assists recovering two balls and three blocks.
Along with Horford, small forward Jayson Tatum also finished the match with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds but neither could avoid the defeat of the Celtics, which played without small forward Gordon Hayward who is recovering from an ankle injury.
The defeat, coupled with the Philadelphia 76ers 106-102 win over the Miami Heat, forces the Celtics (37-22) down to fifth position in the Eastern Conference.