A late wakeup call proved to be no problem for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Milwaukee roared back from a 10-1 deficit to a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never let Boston within single digits over the last 36 minutes of a 120-107 victory Friday night at TD Garden.
The Bucks (22-9) won their fourth straight game, their longest streak since winning the first seven of the season. How dominant were the Bucks? They committed 21 turnovers to just 5 by the Celtics, yet were never threatened despite a 28-5 disadvantage in points off turnovers. They dominated in every other category.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 30 points, scoring 17 of them in the third quarter when the Celtics tried to get within striking distance after trailing by 26 in the second quarter.
Tony Snell’s 3-pointer gave the Bucks a 32-22 lead with 42.9 seconds left in the first quarter, and Thon Maker’s 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds made it 35-22 after a quarter. Boston never cut it to single digits in the final three quarters.
Khris Middleton added 21 points, Eric Bledsoe chipped in 16 and Tony Snell posted 15. Snell didn’t miss a shot, going 6 for 6 with three 3-pointers.
The Bucks bench posted another strong showing with 40 points and 20 rebounds. The Bucks dominated Boston on the boards for a 55-36 advantage. Guard Malcolm Brogdon grabbed three offensive rebounds on one possession in the second quarter.
The Celtics (18-13) played without key big men Al Horford, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes, and it showed on the boards. It also showed on offense. If the Celtics weren’t making 3-pointers, they were losing ground.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 21 points off the bench, and Jayson Tatum added 20.
Boston shot just 38.5% (35 for 91) and 10 of 34 on 3-pointers.. The Bucks, meanwhile, made 16 of 40 (40%) 3-pointers and also assaulted the paint to shoot 51.3% (41 for 80).
After Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer called a time out with 9:13 left in the first and his team down 10-1, the Bucks outscored the Celtics, 57-22, over the next 16 1/2 minutes. Maker made three 3-pointers, and Snell went 4 for 4 for 10 points in that span.
The Celtics closed the half with a 16-7 run to get within 17 at the half. Antetokounmpo’s big third quarter allowed the Bucks to enter the fourth quarter with a 93-78 lead, and neither team really put together a big run the rest of the way. In the second half, the Bucks never led by more than 18 or less than 11.