Tatum’s 31 Points Lead Celtics to 122-119 Win vs. Bucks

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA News
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics, spurred by an inspired 19-point performance from Payton Pritchard, secured a narrow 122-119 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks during Wednesday’s NBA action, marking their seventh consecutive win.

Pritchard’s exceptional play, particularly in the second quarter, was pivotal in establishing a substantial lead for Boston, responding to a taunting gesture by Bucks’ Patrick Beverley towards teammate Luke Kornet.

“It kind of lit a fire under me,” Pritchard said. “He’s trying to clown one of our teammates. So I definitely took it a little personally.”

Jayson Tatum led the scoring for Boston with 31 points, exploiting the absence of Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was sidelined with a hamstring issue. Derrick White and Jaylen Brown also made significant contributions, with 23 and 21 points, respectively.

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The Celtics have maintained an undefeated record against Eastern Conference teams at home this season, while the Bucks, despite Damian Lillard‘s solid 32 points and Bobby Portis‘s double-double, felt the impact of Antetokounmpo’s absence.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla cautioned against viewing the game as a playoff preview, emphasizing the season’s unpredictability.

“Nothing’s guaranteed in life,” Mazulla said. “We may see them; they may see us; we may not. You never know what’s going to happen. I know both teams are developing an identity, and there’s obviously a DNA there that both teams have. But you don’t want to overthink things. And you don’t take anything for granted.”

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Boston’s second-quarter surge, fueled by Pritchard’s 10 points, showcased the team’s depth and resilience. Mazzulla praised Pritchard’s overall impact, highlighting his growth beyond shooting to becoming a versatile player essential to the team’s success.

“Everybody always had talked about his shooting,” Mazzulla said. “But I think this year, in particular, he’s been impacting by his rebounding, impacting by his defense, his pace. He’s just becoming a really well-rounded player who knows he can have a positive impact on the game in many different ways, and it’s a huge asset for us.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

Pritchard’s hustle, particularly a notable rebound over Brook Lopez, energized the team and the home crowd, reinforcing his role as a fierce competitor regardless of his size.

“Just a winning play,” Pritchard said. “He’s a 7-footer and I’m 6-foot — you know, little in the NBA standard. I’m just a competitor.”

The game remained competitive, with the Bucks closing the gap to a single possession in the final minutes. However, strategic plays and free throws from Tatum ensured a Celtics victory despite Milwaukee’s late push.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics, Damian Lillard, Milwaukee Bucks Updates

The absence of Antetokounmpo, who has missed five games this season with the Bucks going 3-2 without him, underscored the challenge faced by Milwaukee.

The Greek star’s absence was felt, but the Bucks look to rebound in their next game against Brooklyn, while the Celtics aim to extend their winning streak in Detroit.

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