BOSTON (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points and nine rebounds, and the Milwaukee Bucks knocked the Boston Celtics out first place in the Eastern Conference with a 103-100 victory on Wednesday night.
Malcolm Brogdon, one of the leading contenders for NBA Rookie of the Year, finished with 16 points and nine assists. He had six key points in the final 2:46 to help Milwaukee fend off a late Boston charge.
The Bucks (39-36) have won five of six, including four straight on the road.
Boston (48-27) had won four in a row. The loss put the Celtics back in second in the East, percentage points behind idle Cleveland.
After playing from behind most of the night, Boston had a chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but couldn’t get a clean inbounds pass. Marcus Smart managed only a wild air ball as time expired.
Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 32 points. Avery Bradley added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Celtics trailed throughout the fourth quarter before Marcus Smart got free for a driving layup to tie it at 93 with 2:46 left.
But the Bucks responded with an 8-3 run, led by two baskets and two assists by Brogdon.
Thomas scored four straight to get Boston within one, but Brogdon came through again – this time with a fallaway jumper over Bradley with the shot clock winding down – to make it 103-100 with just 3.9 seconds left.
The Bucks sprinted to an early 14-4 lead aided largely by the Celtics, who started the game just 1 for 7 from the field.
Boston’s offense finally got on track, and it got back into the game with a 10-0 run.
Attitudes then flared just before halftime when Smart and Khris Middleton collided in midair while trying to corral a loose ball. Both walked away bloodied on the play, and after Smart was initially called for a foul he also received a technical for something he said to an official.
After a review the personal foul was changed, and charged to Middleton.
Bucks: Had an 11-0 run early in the second quarter and led by as many as 14 in the first half.
Celtics: With his layup in the closing seconds of the first half, Thomas became just the sixth Celtic ever to score 2,000 points in a single season. Earlier in the half he extended his streak with at least one 3-pointer to a franchise-best 50 straight games. … Thomas picked up his 13th technical foul of the season in the first quarter. … Smart’s technical was his eighth of the season.
Bucks: Host the Pistons on Friday.
Celtics: Look for season sweep when they host the Magic on Friday.
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