Antetokounmpo, Bucks hand Celtics holiday heartbreaker, Walker fuels Knicks
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 36 points in his return from Covid protocols, powering the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-113 Christmas comeback win over the coronavirus-depleted Boston Celtics.Antetokounmpo, who had missed five games, scored 29 points in the second half as the Bucks rallied to deny a gutsy Celtics squad that had nine players unavailable because of Covid-19 concerns, and 10 unavailable counting Al Horford, who cleared protocols but was deemed not yet game fit.
With the minimum required eight players in uniform — after German guard Dennis Schroder was ruled out by Covid concerns earlier Saturday — the Celtics took it to the NBA champions early.
Behind 14 first-quarter points from Jaylen Brown, they raced to a 35-22 first-quarter lead.
Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart combined for 69 points for the Celtics, who led by as many as 19 and were up by 13 with 5:28 remaining.