Biofreeze Keys to the Game: Bucks 120, Celtics 107

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

To the delight of their energized fans inside TD Garden, the Boston Celtics came out of the gates like gangbusters Friday night against Milwaukee. It took them only two minutes and 46 seconds to build a 10-1 lead and to force the Bucks into calling a timeout.

Unfortunately for Boston, that was the last time it had any form of control in the matchup.

Milwaukee returned from the timeout and dominated the remainder of the contest, with only a few hiccups along the way. The Bucks outscored Boston 34-12 over the final nine-plus minutes of the quarter to build a 35-22 lead.

The C’s never clawed back to within single digits the rest of the night. The Bucks pulled ahead by as many as 26 points and withstood any brief run Boston threw at them.

The key to Milwaukee’s game-changing response was, of all players, Tony Snell. He scored 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting during the final 3:17 of the opening period to help the Bucks pull ahead. Fueled by Snell, the Bucks shot a ridiculous 16-for-19 (84.2 percent) from the field during the final nine-plus minutes of the first quarter after it fell behind 10-1.

Key Player

It’s almost impossible to not marvel at what Giannis Antetokounmpo brings to the table. He is truly a freak of an athlete, and he played like one Friday night.

Antetokounmpo dominated his matchup with the Celtics while scoring a game-high 30 points. He reached the free-throw line for 17 attempts, of which he made 13. Those 17 attempts marked a season-high total for any opposing player against Boston; prior to his effort, no player had attempted more than 14 freebies against the C’s this season.

In addition to his 30 points, the Greek Freak stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, five assists and three blocked shots. He finished with a plus-14 rating, which trailed only teammate George Hill (plus-23) in the category.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Semi Ojeleye started at center for the Celtics.
  • Ojeleye scored 10 points in nearly 17 minutes of action.
  • Giannis Antetokoumpo scored a game-high 30 points while attempting a game-high 17 free throws.
  • The Celtics shot 27-for-36 from the free-throw line.
  • Jaylen Brown came off the bench to lead Boston in scoring with 21 points.
  • No player in the game grabbed more than nine rebounds.
  • Kyrie Irving's nine rebounds tied for the game high, and his seven assists were a game high.
  • Milwaukee made 16 30-pointers, compared to Boston's 10.
  • Both teams led by at least nine points, and the contest featured only one lead change.
  • Jayson Tatum scored 30 points.
  • Thon Maker shot an impressive 4-for-5 from long range for Milwaukee.
  • The Bucks shot 51.2 percent from the field, compared to Boston's 38.5 percent.

Quote of the Night

Brad Stevens on Boston's rebounding woes moving forward.