The Boston Celtics pulled away in the second half to defeat the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, 117-103. The victory pushes them back to the .500 mark (14-14) in what was one of their better games this season.
Here are the Stars, Studs, and Duds from Boston’s victory.
Jayson Tatum: The Bucks had no answer in how to limit Tatum who got wherever he wanted to when he wanted to all game long. He would finish with a game-high 42 points to go with five rebounds and four assists (a number that should have been a lot higher if not for a few too many open misses by teammates).
Grant Williams: He has been one of the NBA’s most improved shooters this season, particularly from 3-point range. Williams’ long-range proficiency was on display once again as he came off the Celtics bench to score 17 points which included him knocking down five of his seven 3-point shots in addition to grabbing seven rebounds
Jrue Holiday: There weren’t many Milwaukee players playing well, outside of Holiday. He had a strong game overall before finishing with 20 points and eight assists.
Marcus Smart: He missed five of his six shots from the field, but this was one of the better games we’ve seen from Smart this season. His defense was strong all game, and his decision-making on offense was about as good as we’ve seen from him. He finished with a game-high 11 assists, often passing up good shots for himself, in exchange for great ones for his teammates.
Giannis Antetokounmpo: The two-time league MVP’s final numbers (20 points, eight rebounds) looked much better than his actual impact on the game. You can add this game to the list of games that will result in Al Horford getting strong consideration for one of the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
Celtics' Transition Defense: Too many times in the second half, fans couldn’t even get in a full cheer after a Boston basket, before the Bucks countered with a basket of their own. For the game, Milwaukee had 18 fast-break points compared to 10 for Boston.
Khris Middleton: The one guy who usually plays well against Boston, was woeful on Monday night. Middleton played 24 minutes, missing six of his eight shot attempts before finishing with just four points.