The Bucks hosted the Celtics in the second of five NBA games on Christmas Day.
It was a thriller.
After facing the possibility of Giannis Antetokounmpo not playing on Christmas Day, the two-time MVP made his presence felt in his return to action. Antetokounmpo followed up a relatively quiet first half with a 29-point effort in the final 24 minutes of the game, finishing with 36 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to lead Milwaukee back from down 19 points.
The Sporting News tracked live updates and highlights from the Christmas Day matchup between the Celtics and Bucks. Follow for complete results.
Celtics vs. Bucks live updates, highlights from NBA Christmas game
Final: Bucks 117, Celtics 113
5:08 p.m. — Khris Middleton splits a pair of free throws to put the Bucks up by four with 5.8 seconds to play.
The Bucks complete the Christmas Day comeback.
5:05 p.m. — Bucks ball!
Milwaukee is eight seconds away from completing the comeback.
5:03 p.m. — The Bucks lead by 3 as Giannis Antetokounmpo is doing it all.
A big block has initiated a review as the Celtics await to see if they’ll have one last opportunity to tie things up.
Bucks lead 116-113 with 8.0 seconds remaining.
5:00 p.m. — After a wild sequence, Wesley Matthews gives the Bucks their first lead of the game with 30 seconds to play!
Milwaukee leads 114-113 and just 30.3 seconds remain in regulation.
The Bucks’ furious rally continues as they look to complete the comeback from down 19 points.
4:57 p.m. — Giannis Antetokounmpo ties it up!
Giannis gets the hoop and harm but fails to connect on the free throw.
It’s all tied at 111 with under 1:30 to play.
Jaylen Brown has an opportunity to put the Celtics back ahead with a trip to the line.
4:52 p.m. — The Celtics have an answer for the Bucks every time.
After Giannis Antetokounmpo cut the deficit to four with a turnaround jumper, Jaylen Brown calmly knocked down a jumper to make it a six-point game again.
Antetokounmpo is up to 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on the game while Brown has scored 22 for the Celtics.
Boston leads 111-105 with 3:16 remaining.
4:48 p.m. — Here come the Bucks.
A Wesley Matthews 3 cuts the deficit to six and we’ve got a two-possession game with under five minutes to play.
The Celtics lead 109-103 with 4:14 left to play.
4:38 p.m. — Jabari Parker is helping the Celtics pull back away from his former team.
The former Bucks lottery pick has nine points early in the fourth and the Celtics lead 102-90 with 9:11 left in the game.
Does Milwaukee have one more left within?
End of Third Quarter: Celtics 94, Bucks 90
4:29 p.m. — How about a 43-point quarter to get the Bucks back into it?
Milwaukee, which still has yet to lead in the game, has cut the deficit to as little as one point with a monster third quarter showing.
Giannis Antetokounmpo seems to have shaken the rust off as he’s up to 24 points in the game after scoring 17 points in the third quarter.
The two-time MVP will look to get his team over the hump in a game that could very well come down to the wire.
4:17 p.m. — The Bucks continue to surge back into it.
Under four minutes remain in the third and Milwaukee has cut the deficit to four.
Celtics lead 87-83 with 3:15 remining in the third.
4:05 p.m. — After a relatively quiet first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo has nine points in the first three minutes of the second half.
Antetokounmpo’s got 16 points now thanks to drives like these:
4:01 p.m. — It’s a solid start to the half for the Bucks, who have sliced the deficit to 10 points early on.
Milwaukee trails 71-61 with 9:10 left in the third.
So far, the Celtics have responded to every run, will they have an answer again?
Halftime: Celtics 62, Bucks 47
3:41 p.m. — A buzzer-beating 3 from George Hill trims the deficit some but the Celtics take a 15-point lead into the halftime break.
The Celtics, who are shooting 10 of 23 (43.5 percent) from deep, are led by 19 points from Jaylen Brown. Jayson Tatum has added 13 points and Payton Pritchard has scored 11 points off the bench.
Khris Middleton’s 11 points lead the way for the Bucks, while Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored seven points (on 3 of 8 shooting) in his return to action.
3:36 p.m. — Boston 3 party!
The Celtics have now drained 10 triples in the first half, just two shy of their season average. That … has been a problem for the Bucks and the difference so far in the game.
3:32 p.m. — The Bucks are clawing back into it!
Khris Middleton sinks his third triple of the game to cut the deficit to 10 and the Celtics call for a timeout. Middleton’s up to 11 points in the game.
Boston leads 52-42 with 1:55 left in the first half.
Jaylen Brown leads all scorers with 17 points while second-year guard Payton Pritchard is up to 11 points and four assists in 16 minutes off the bench.
3:26 p.m. — After trailing by as many as 19 points, Milwaukee is looking to make the halftime deficit more manageable.
A potential obstacle is foul trouble, as Giannis Antetokounmpo has picked up his third foul with more than five minutes left in the first half.
3:14 p.m. — A triple from Jayson Tatum gives the Celtics a 16-point lead and Mike Budenholzer signals for another Bucks timeout.
Boston leads 40-24 with 9:56 left in the second quarter.
Tatum now has five points on the game and the Celtics are now 5 of 11 from deep.
3:11 p.m. — Jaylen Brown sustained a chipped tooth but is available to return.
Jaylen Brown has a chipped tooth but is available to return.
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) December 25, 2021
End of First Quarter: Celtics 35, Bucks 22
3:07 p.m. — One quarter’s in the books and the Celtics have made a strong statement.
Behind Jaylen Brown’s 14 points, Boston leads by 13 points after one quarter. As a team, Boston is shooting 57.7 percent from the field, including 4 of 9 from deep.
Brown exited the game and headed to the locker room after an incidental blow to the face from Jayson Tatum.
Jaylen Brown headed to the locker room is not what the Celtics need. Caught a forearm to the face from Jayson Tatum on a rebound. Hopefully Brown is alright. Off to a great start today.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) December 25, 2021
The Bucks, who are shooting 10 of 24 from the field, are led by seven points from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
2:58 p.m. — Thanks to a hot start, the Celtics have built a double-digit lead as the first frame comes to a close.
Boston leads 31-16 with 2:46 left in the quarter.
Jaylen Brown leads all scorers with 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting, while the Celtics are shooting 13 of 20 from the field as a team.
The Bucks, on the other hand, are shooting 7 of 18 from the field early on. In his return to action, Giannis Antetokounmpo has three points on 1 of 5 shooting.
Fittingly, his first field goal was a dunk.
2:45 p.m. — Boston gets out to a quick seven-point lead, causing Mike Budenholzer to signal for an early timeout.
Celtics lead 12-5 with 9:16 remaining in the first quarter.
2:41 p.m. — A 3 from Romeo Langford gets the Celtics on the board first and the Christmas Day festivities are underway in Milwaukee.
2:15 p.m. — Donte DiVincenzo looks ready for his first NBA action since May 27.
12:42 p.m. — The Celtics have announced that Dennis Schroder has entered health and safety protocols. He will not play on Christmas Day.
11:54 a.m. — According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Marcus Smart (hip contusion) will be a gametime decision.
11:30 a.m. — Bruno Fernando, Enes Freedom, Sam Hauser, Justin Jackson, CJ Miles, Aaron Nesmith, Josh Richardson and Grant Williams are each out for the Celtics. Only Brook Lopez is listed out for the Bucks.
9:59 a.m. — Good news for the Bucks: Donte DiVincenzo will make his season debut against the Celtics today, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
How to watch Celtics vs. Bucks on Christmas Day
NBA Christmas Day schedule
The five games are split between ESPN and ABC. All times below are in Eastern Standard Time.
|12:00 p.m.||Hawks at Knicks||ESPN|
|2:30 p.m.||Celtics at Bucks||ABC|
|5:00 p.m.||Warriors at Suns||ABC|
|8:00 p.m.||Nets at Lakers||ESPN|
|10:30 p.m.||Mavericks at Jazz||ESPN|
You can stream all of the action on Sling TV.