Tatum scores 42, carries Celtics past Bucks 117-103

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Jayson Tatum scored 16 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 117-103

BOSTON — Jayson Tatum scored 16 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 117-103 on Monday night.

Jaylen Brown returned to the lineup after missing five games with a tight right hamstring and scored 19 points in 30 minutes for Boston. Grant Williams had 17 points, and Robert Williams III and Al Horford each scored 10.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 20 points, eight rebounds and three assists for Milwaukee a day after posting his 26th career triple-double in a victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Jrue Holiday also had 20 points for the Bucks, who lost for just the third time in 15 games. Khris Middleton exited with a hyperextended left knee late in the third quarter.

The Celtics were coming off a 1-4 West Coast road trip.

The Bucks had sliced Boston’s lead to 95-86 midway through the final quarter before Tatum had a twisting drive for a basket and followed that with a 3-pointer from the right wing, giving the Celtics a 100-86 advantage.

Tatum put it away with consecutive 3s from the left corner, making it 114-96 with 2:15 to play.

Returning to TD Garden after rough trip, the Celtics started slowly, falling behind by 12 in the first half before turning a one-point halftime lead into a 64-56 advantage with a 13-6 surge to start the second half.

They pushed their lead to 11 after three quarters and made it 90-76 on Dennis Schröder’s 3-pointer just over a minute into the fourth.


Bucks: Middleton went to the floor awkwardly late in the third period, limped to the locker room and didn’t return. He scored only four points, ending his string of seven straight games with at least 20. … The Bucks were shooting over 60 percent a few minutes into the second quarter but missed 12 of their final 15 shots in the first half. … Antetokounmpo didn’t get his first basket until scoring on a drive early in the second quarter. He had just two baskets in the first half. … Milwaukee is in a stretch of five games in seven days.

Celtics: G Josh Richardson (protocol) was out. … Grant Williams’ 3 from the left corner gave Boston a 51-50 halftime edge. … Marcus Smart was listed as probable with an illness earlier in the day and played 30 minutes.


Grant Williams and Milwaukee’s Bobby Portis got tangled up under the basket and had to be separated late in the third quarter. They each were given a technical.


Boston opened a five-game homestand and plays on the road just twice in its last nine games before New Year’s Day.


Bucks: Host the Pacers on Wednesday. Milwaukee won the first two meetings between the teams this season, both in Indiana.

Celtics: Host Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Friday.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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