Bobby Portis and Giannis Antetokounmpo spark 25-0 spurt in Bucks’ 135-102 blowout of Celtics

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Bobby Portis and Giannis Antetokounmpo combined to score 20 straight points during a 25-0 spurt midway through the first half, and the Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 135-102 victory over the NBA-leading Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Portis scored 28, Antetokounmpo added 24 and both players had 12 rebounds to help the Bucks win for just the second time in six games. Damian Lillard chipped in 21 points while returning to Milwaukee’s lineup after missing the Bucks’ 132-116 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday for personal reasons.

The Bucks led by as many as 43 points in Jrue Holiday’s return to Milwaukee, and their 75-38 lead at the break was their fourth-biggest halftime advantage in franchise history. The Bucks hadn’t played a game since Monday, while the Celtics were back in action one night after beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 127-120 in overtime.

Boston allowed its highest point total of the season and rested all its starters for the entire second half. The Bucks didn’t play any of their starters in the fourth quarter.

Payton Pritchard scored 21 and Sam Hauser 15 for the Celtics, who missed 16 of their first 17 3-point attempts and ended up going 9 of 34 from beyond the arc. Milwaukee shot 56.5% overall and was 18 of 42 on 3-point attempts.

After Boston’s Oshae Brissett dunked to cut Milwaukee’s lead to 31-23 with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter, the Celtics wouldn’t score again for over 6 1/2 minutes. Boston’s drought finally ended when Jaylen Brown dunked with 7:38 left in the second period.

Portis scored 13 points and Antetokounmpo had seven during that 25-0 spurt.

After Portis scored eight of the last 10 points in the first quarter to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 41-23, the Bucks scored 15 straight points to open the second period.

Portis, who had been 1 of 12 from 3-point range this month, was 5 of 6 from beyond the arc on Thursday.

Holiday scored six points and shot 2 of 9 in his first game at Milwaukee since the Bucks traded him in September as part of the package to acquire Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland sent him to the Celtics a few days later.

Holiday played for the Bucks from 2020-23 and was part of their 2021 championship team. He had faced his former team once already this season, when the Celtics beat the Bucks 119-116 in Boston on Nov. 22.

Holiday received a standing ovation when a tribute video aired on the Fiserv Forum scoreboard during the game’s first timeout.


Celtics: Host the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Bucks: Host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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