BOSTON — Again on Nov. 1, the Celtics hit a franchise-record 24 Three-pointers and defeated the Bucks in Boston, handing Milwaukee its first loss off the season after seven straight wins.
“We nonetheless suppose we’re among the best groups,” Giannis Antetokounmpo stated after his triple double wasn’t sufficient to beat the Celtics. “Tonight we did not have an ‘A’ or ‘B’ sport. Most likely a ‘C’ sport, however we have been nonetheless near profitable the sport in Boston.”
And now, virtually two months later, the Bucks, who have been eradicated by Boston in seven video games in final yr’s playoffs, are 21-9 and forward of Boston within the Japanese Convention standings as they hit TD Backyard for the second time this season Friday night time.
Milwaukee topped the New Orleans Pelicans 123-115 at residence Wednesday night time for his or her third straight win — whereas the Celtics, nonetheless getting hammered by damage, dropped their second straight after an eight-game profitable streak — falling to the Phoenix Suns 111-103.
The Milwaukee victory got here in a matchup of two of the NBA’s greatest — Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.
“In fact, I take it as a problem,” Antetokounmpo stated after scoring 25 factors and posting eight rebounds and eight assists. “Anthony Davis is a good man and clearly he is among the best gamers within the league proper now. At any time when you’ve gotten the chance to play towards these guys, you realize, you attempt to go as exhausting as you possibly can and set up your self on this league additionally.”
Second-year participant T.J. Wilson got here off the bench to attain 9 factors and seize 10 rebounds and the Bucks’ bench performed a significant function within the newest win.
“It is an enormous assertion. You want that all through the season,” coach Mike Budenholzer stated. “You want your bench. It is a actually vital half.”
Stated Antetokounmpo, who’s averaging 33.7 factors per sport through the profitable streak: “D.J. has performed an amazing job of simply enjoying the sport and ready for his probability. He is studying proper now.”
Boston, already lacking Al Horford and Marcus Morris each resting sore knees, misplaced Aron Baynes to a damaged left hand early within the sport — Baynes slated to overlook a month with the damage.
Kyrie Irving, set to face Antetokounmpo in one other matchup of stars, scored 28 factors the primary time the groups performed (the Greek Freak had 33 factors,15 rebounds,11 assists) and led the Celtics with 29 factors, 10 assists and 5 rebounds Wednesday.
The 18-12 Celtics, who rallied from 22 factors down and defeated the Suns in extra time in Phoenix earlier this season, jumped out to a fast 11-point lead earlier than the Suns arrived and switch the sport round.
“I feel it began after the primary quarter,” Irving stated. “They only picked up their aggressiveness they usually have been just about in rhythm for the remainder of the night time.”
Irving added: “Effectively, we simply need to have consistency amongst all our items, whoever is in. Only a cohesion the place the ball is shifting, and guys really see different gamers be within the place to attain the basketball, so which means delivering on time, really caring about … really making an attempt. Sure possessions, we’re really the place down the stretch, it is like for some video games that we have performed, once we strive, we’re within the sport on a regular basis. And once we do not, we’re clearly not.
“We [can’t] look to the refs or something like that. For us as a rising group and studying from each other, we’ve to proceed to construct that cohesion.”
Requested about Horford, who has missed the final six video games and is training, Boston coach Brad Stevens stated, “Feeling higher, getting higher. Reassess just about day-after-day.”
The Celtics are Four-2 since Horford went down.
Boston comes into the sport, the second of a four-game homestand, 9-Four at residence, whereas the Bucks, beginning a three-game journey, are 7-6 on the street.