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Milwaukee vs. Boston: Bucks Take the Celtics to the Cleaners

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Even though the Celtics were not at full strength, a win is a win. Especially in Boston.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks snapped a 6-game losing streak at the TD Garden on Friday night with a 120-107 triumph over the Boston Celtics. Boston was without do-it-all big man Al Horford and spark plug Marcus Morris last night, and their absences certainly showed on both ends of the floor. With the victory, the Milwaukee Bucks improved to 22-9 on the season. VERY NICE!

Have we ever seen a player like Giannis Antetokounmpo before?

The Greek Freak was in rare form against the Celtics, dropping 30 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocked shots in 30 minutes all while making 8-of-13 field goals. He got to the foul line plenty, hitting 13-of-17 tries. His first basket was an emphatic dunk off of a beautiful behind the back dribble while navigating through the paint. It was evident that Giannis was locked in from the opening tip. He went on to make countless jaw-dropping plays, including this one...

He didn’t even need to dribble to dunk the ball. This is just absolutely remarkable. His performance alone in the third quarter was arguably his best quarter of the season, MVP.

Welcome back, Khris Middleton.

The savvy swingman was in attack mode early and often en route to scoring 21 points while adding 9 rebounds and 5 assists in 34 minutes. Head coach Mike Budenholzer made it an emphasis to get Middleton involved early, and it paid dividends for them. The last few games the coach Bud and the Bucks have really tried to get him more look from midrange to get him back on track. It’s working. He also knocked down 4-of-9 three-pointers which is an excellent sign that he’s getting going again. Although it appeared he had hit a wall in the third quarter, Middleton still impacted the game on both ends of the floor, including this sick dime to Eric Bledsoe. Even though he finished with a minus-3 plus-minus, it certainly isn’t indicative of how well he played versus the Celtics.

Tony Snell has been on point this season.

He came off the bench and in 18 minutes he hit 6-of-6 shots from the field and 3-of-3 from deep to tally 15 points. He was scoring the ball in an array of ways, including spotting up from three to even confidently putting the ball on the floor and driving to the hoop for a layup in traffic. He helped the Bucks race out to a 13-point 1st quarter lead with a 10-points including hitting all 4 of his shots from three. Snell was instrumental whenever Giannis was sitting on the bench, and it absolutely helped propel the Milwaukee Bucks to victory on Friday night. This was an outstanding performance from Tony Snell in what has been a complete facelift from last season. It’s almost like coaching matters.

Shout out, Eric Bledsoe.

The guy has been a huge difference maker for the Bucks this season and his strong season continued even in a tough matchup against Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. Bledsoe was blowing by multiple Celtics defenders en route to 16 points (7-of-9 FG), 4 rebounds, and 2 assists in 30 minutes. He did turn the ball over 5 times, though. Defensively, he was consistently attached to Kyrie on his hip and was really hounding him defensively. Bledsoe’s counterpart to 15 points on 7-of-20 shooting. To say Bledsoe did his job is quite the understatement.

Bonus Bucks

  • Malcolm Brogdon had a weird game which saw him shoot 3-of-11 for 10 points, but did contribute with 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The President also had a few nice reverse layup finishes under duress in the second half. He was serviceable as always defensively, and even with the off shooting night, he still finished plus-12.
  • George Hill...is that you? It looks like he finally has his legs back under him and has played fantastic the last two games. Against the Celtics, he scored 7 points with 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes. The ball has moved a lot better when he’s on the floor and he’s also been very active off the ball. He finished a team-best plus-23 and Hill does the little things that head coaches LOVE.
  • Have yourself a night, Thon Maker! He dropped 12 points and hit 4-of-5 threes in a huge performance last night. His shooting stroke helped extend the Bucks lead even further in the first half. A few of his threes were heavily contested, and it was great to see Thon ready to catch and hoist it up. He and Tony Snell combined to shoot 10-of-11 overall. Basketball!
  • The Bucks committed 21 turnovers and only forced 5 Boston turnovers...and they still blew out Boston.
  • Milwaukee shot 16-of-40 from deep (40%), which helped distance themselves from the Celtics who shot 29.4% from three.