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Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics, summary, score, highlights, NBA 2022/23

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 25: Marcus Smart #36 and Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics high five during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 25, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Bucks @ Celtics: as it happened

A blistering performance from Jayson Tatum (41 points) and Jaylen Brown (29 points) proved to be too much for the Bucks who fell to their third successive defeat.

A disappointing night for Giannis who only managed one triple all evening as the absence of Khris Middleton for the Bucks starts to show.


Bucks 118-139 Celtics

Boston get the win 

Into the final minute and Boston with a commanding lead.... Most points ever scored by the Celtics on Christmas Day !

Been a frustrating evening for the Milwaukee No. 34 tonight.
​​​​​​​The Bucks on track for their third straight defeat.


Q4 3:41

The match officials re-watching the action as Giannis is awarded a technical foul.

Tension breaks out as Smart has words with the Bucks bench. Giannis and Brown also squaring up as Bucks feeling the frustration.

Giannis hits his first three pointer pf the night

Bucks 108-124 Celtics

The Bucks refuse to throw in the towel despite just five minutes of the game remaining.

Bucks 103-120 Celtics

Jaylen Brown hits his 19th point of the night and gets Boston back on the score board as the Bucks look to crawl back into the contest.

Tatum is back on the court and has hit 39 points tonight.

Holiday refuses to throw in the towel as he drops a triple.

Q4 8:34

Tatum takes a breather now after having played just over 32 minutes as the Celtics rack up the points and hold a 19 point advantage,

Difficult to see the Bucks coming back from this defecit.

Bucks call a time out as they trail by 14 points.

Joe Ingles sinks a three with just over ten minutes remaining


Celtics lead by 14 at the end of Q3.

Boston hitting 43% from deep.

Bucks 86-100 Celtics

Boston are in insatiable form now and playing with an additional agression.

Tatum has now netted 20 points in this 3rd quarter....

Boston lead by 10

37 points from Tatum now !!!!!

Q3: 3:26

Boston stay on top as third quarter counts down...Bucks 79-87 Celtics

Tatum on a roll

Giannis being blocked out exceptionally tonight by the Boston rear-guard. 

Tatum now 31 scoring 11 of Boston's last 12 points.

Bucks 76-85 Celtics

Giannis picks up a second personal foul. 

Holiday helps the Bucks with a triple.... Giannis is 5/15 

Time out Bucks as they trail by seven. Tatum now on 24 points.

Tatum sinks a three.... Boston lead by 7

Horford sinks a triple and Boston retake a 5 point lead

Bucks 62-64 Celtics

Giannis drops a free throw and sinks one of two.

Smart with two free throws to give Boston some breathing space

Q3 is underway again ...

Bucks trail by one point at the break

Boston are good value for their lead and despite trailing for almost the entire game, the Bucks have managed to hand onto the Celtics' shirt tail with he contest very much alive. 

Tatum is inspired form for the home team and linking up well with Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. 

This is a game that looks set to go to the wire.


Bucks 61-62 Celtics 

Brown misses all three free throws and it's half time

A second remains in the half as the referee announces a clock malfunction! 

Looks like Brown was fouled just as the clock ran down.

Foul called and three free throws for Boston.

100% free throw record from Boston's No. 0 tonight

Two free throws for Tatum who sinks both to move onto 19 points.

Q2: 1:15

The Bucks bring it back to just a 2 point lead for Boston. Positive end to the half from the visitors.

Bucks 54-46 Celtics

Ingles with three free shots now....

Tatum now up to 15 points... joining Jaylen Brown.

Tatum is on fire tonight getting great support from Marcus Smart !

2Q: 4:03

Jayson Tatum up to 12 points now with Brown on 15.

Giannis leads the way for the Bucks on 11.

Bucks 46-53 Celtics

Q3: 5:35

Boston just hold a 3 point lead now as Bucks score 8 points with no reply

Middleton is missing his 26th game of the season. The 31-year-old is working on the court again but the Bucks are keen not to offer a return date for the player.


Bucks 40-47 Celtics

​​​​​​​Just over 6 and a half minutes remain in the half

Great angle of Giannis doing what he does best

Giannis at the free throw line and the Celtics fans do their bit in trying to put the Greek international off.

The No. 9 seemed to lash out at a Celtics player as both men tussled below the rim.


Bucks 36-44 Celtics

A technical foul called against Bucks player Portis Jr.


The Bucks have trailed for the bulk of the game and despite Boston's general efficiency, Mike Budenholzer's men have always managed to keep the Celtics within reach.


Bucks 30-28 Celtics

​​​​​​​11 minutes remain

That Sam Hausser triple !!!


We're back in action at the TD Garden...

Bucks 28-36 Celtics

Incredible, Hauser shoots a triple from way down town to give the Celtics a six point lead after Q1

High scoring first quarter as Boston lead 28-33 as Giannis gets his first personal foul of the night.

Giannis bags his eighth point and Brown hits a basket for Boston to make it 28-33.

Last minute of the quarter as Giannis makes a return to the court.

Giannis takes a break as Matthews drops two free throws.

Brown and Tatum leading the way for the Celtics with 10 and 7 points respectively.


Six three point shots from Boston with the home side holding an eight point lead.

Less than four minutes to go and it's been a bright start from both teams with Boston looking good for their lead in front of a packed (and partisan) TD Garden crowd.

Q1: 4:34

Baskets just failing to drop now for Boston as they regain a 7 point lead....

Bucks 18-25 Celtics

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown looking in scintillating form already this evening. Boston lead by 7.


Bucks call a time-out after an electric start from the home side.

Bucks 14-21 Celtics


Free scoring start from both sides with Tatum and Giannis now finding their shooting range.... as Boston lead 16-12 


Tip off and it's the visitors who win possession.

Bucks in their white uniforms tonight... Boston in a dark green and we're good to go....

Full Christmas Day x NBA fixture list

So, two down (Dallas just beaten the Lakers after trailing at half time) with the 76ers prevailing in NY against the Knicks.

Next up the big one as the Bucks head to Boston. Later tonight we'll have the Grizzlies at Golden State and Suns at Nuggets rounds off a marathon NBA session.

Bucks name starting five

Mike Budenholzer selects his five starters for the TD Garden game tonight: Jrue Holiday, Allen Grayson, Pat Connaughton, Giannis Antetokounmpo & Brook Lopez.

Celtics confirm starting line-up

Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford for Boston this evening.

Giannis now on Fortnite

The Greek star is now available to use on Fortnite as part of the Icon Series with both ​​​​​​​the Giannis Antetokounmpo Bundle and the Hoplite Giannis Bundle are available now in the Item Shop! 

Confirmed.... Middleton to miss the Christmas Day game

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has confirmed that his team will be without the power forward this evening at the TD Garden.

Antetokounmpo (34) celebrates with forward Khris Middleton (22)

Khris Middleton (22) / Benny Sieu / USA TODAY Sports

Middleton out for the Bucks

Initial reports indicate that the Bucks will be without Khris Middleton tonight as the 31-year-old appears set to miss a fifth straight game due to knee problems. 

We'll bring definitive confirmation as soon as it's official but a major disappointment for Bucks fans.


The Bucks travelled to Boston last year on December 25th and ran out narrow winners (117-113) in a pulsating battle...We'll take more of the same this evening please !

 Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo / Stephen Lew / USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo pre-game...

Speaking ahead of the Christmas Day clash, Bucks' Greek international Giannis Antetokounmpo said: "We are being comfortable -- we just expect to, I don't know, that people are just going to hand us games. It doesn't work that way. ... You've got to go out there and play good basketball, build good habits, defend and compete."

Tonight's game is the first time that the Celtics host the Milwaukee Bucks for the first time since last season's Eastern Conference semifinals.

Boston got back on the winning track with Friday's 121-109 win over Minnesota in which Jaylen Brown (36) and Jayson Tatum (30) combined for 66 points.

The Celtics had lost three straight and five of their previous six games, going without a home win since 30 November 30 prior to beating the Timberwolves on Friday.

Having played a game more this season Boston head into tonight's game (23-10) for the season so far with the Bucks on 22 wins and 10 defeats with the Milwaukee side having played just 32 games against Boston's 33.

Battle at the top in the East

It's a 1st vs 2nd clash tonight at the TD Garden.

Gameday in Boston

The pick of today's action, is undoubtedly the clash at the TD Garden in Boston which sees the second placed team in the East, Milwaukee Bucks travel to Massachusetts in a repeat of the Eastern Conference semifinals last season, where the Celtics prevailed. In a series that went to seven intense games, the Celtics finally overcame Giannis and Co. to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they faced the Miami Heat. Needless to say, the Bucks will be looking for revenge in this one. With Jayson Tatum averaging 30 points per game - the same as Giannis - that prospect may be easier said than done.

Today's Bucks-Celtics clash is one of five Christmas Day NBA games with the 76ers beating the Knicks (112-119) at the Garden in the opening game.

The Lakers are currently in action against Dallas and the later games see the high flying Grizzlies face Golden State and the final game sees Phoenix travel to Denver.

The action is set to start at 5:00 pm (ET) / 2:00 pm (PT)

Hello and a warm Christmas Day welcome to our live NBA coverage this evening as we head to the TD Garden in Boston as the Celtics welcome the Milwaukee Bucks.