Boston, MA — The Milwaukee Bucks clung to a 1 point deficit at the half, despite a pedestrian showing from Giannis Antetokounmpo. Then, Jayson Tatum happened.
The league-leading Boston Celtics picked up a big win Christmas Day over the 2nd place Milwaukee Bucks 139-118 behind 41 points in 36 minutes from Jayson Tatum.
Tatum scored 20 of his 41 points in the 3rd quarter, connecting on 6 of 9 contested jump shots, per NBA.com tracking. He controlled the pace of play for the entire game as the Celtics made a conscious effort to push in transition, leading to easier looks and minimizing the Bucks’ defensive strengths. Tatum’s 41 points are good for 2nd most in Celtics Christmas Day history.
The Celtics led for all but the game’s opening possession and led by double digits for much of the game thanks to their sweet shooting. Boston shot 59%/49%/80% splits, all outpacing Milwaukee en route to the convincing victory.
Jaylen Brown iced the game with a series of crowd-igniting 3’s late in the fourth, each silencing Milwaukee runs and contributing to his complementary 29 points.
Dating back to last year’s playoffs, the Celtics have now beat the Bucks 3 consecutive times by a combined 52 points. With the win, the Celtics sit comfortably atop the East standings and are now on pace for 58 wins.
The Celtics conclude their homestand with games against the Rockets and Clippers, before hitting the road for 4.