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Giannis Antetokounmpo leads Bucks’ rally past Celtics: Live score, updates, highlights from 2021 NBA Christmas game



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.

MORE: Watch Celtics vs. Bucks live with Sling TV

Celtics vs. Bucks live updates, highlights from NBA Christmas game

Celtics vs. Bucks on Christmas Day score
  1 2 3 4
Celtics 35 27 32 19
Bucks 22 25 43 27

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.

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.

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

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 25
  • Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ABC
  • Live stream: Watch ESPNSling TV

NBA Christmas Day schedule

The five games are split between ESPN and ABC. All times below are in Eastern Standard Time.

TV Schedule for NBA on Christmas
Time Matchup Channel
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.

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Chelsea and Liverpool prove Premier League excitement, even if title is a foregone conclusion



LONDON — Manchester City have shown themselves to be in a league of their own, so the Premier League should be thankful that Chelsea and Liverpool are still able to keep us all entertained. Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge helped neither team and only consolidated City’s vice-like grip on the top spot, but football is about jeopardy, risk and overcoming flaws, and when it all comes together, you get an unforgettable game like this one.

Even before City moved 11 points clear at the top of table with a 2-1 win at Arsenal on Saturday, this second-versus-third clash was always a case of both sides needing to win to maintain faint hopes of catching Pep Guardiola’s winning machine. City’s win at the Emirates was their 11th successive Premier League victory and they have all been won with such monotonous ease, scoring 33 goals and conceding just seven, that every three points is now met with little more than a shrug of inevitability.

Barring an unlikely collapse in the second half of the season, City will win a fourth league title in five years and you will struggle to count on the fingers of one hand the times they have had to dig deep into their reserves to overcome adversity during that period. Guardiola has built one of the all-time great teams in English football history during his six years at the Etihad, but they may simply be too good to contribute to games like this one.

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Chelsea and Liverpool gave us such a pulsating encounter because they both have weaknesses that can be exploited by their opponents. And as a result, they both had to take risks in an attempt to secure a crucial victory.

And they also had to go into the game with unwanted distractions hovering over both clubs.

Chelsea, with three wins from their past eight in the league, were without £97.5 million striker Romelu Lukaku, dropped by coach Thomas Tuchel because of an outspoken interview about his failure to impress so far at Stamford Bridge since returning to the club from Internazionale in the summer. And Liverpool were without manager Jurgen Klopp, goalkeeper Alisson, defender Joel Matip and forward Roberto Firmino — all isolating because of COVID-19.

City, in contrast, have enjoyed a remarkably serene run of successes since losing to Crystal Palace in October, which is why they are free-rolling to another title. But the Premier League is regarded as the most exciting in world football because of games like this, and teams like Chelsea and Liverpool and the drama they create.

From the first minute, when Sadio Mane was fortunate to escape a red card for appearing to strike Cesar Azpilicueta in the face with an elbow after just 14 seconds, the game was incident-packed. Azpilicueta later said it was a “clear red card” when interviewed after the game.

Christian Pulisic, playing centrally in the absence of Lukaku, wasted a golden chance to open the scoring on seven minutes when, with only stand-in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher to beat, he was indecisive and allowed the youngster to smother the ball. It proved a costly miss when, two minutes later, Mane took advantage of his lucky escape from a sending off by pouncing on a mistake by Trevoh Chalobah to score.

Chelsea were in disarray and Liverpool looked like the team that won the title in 2019. When Mohamed Salah made it 2-0 on 26 minutes with a stunning near-post finish after gliding past Marcos Alonso, it seemed as though Liverpool were about to give Chelsea the kind of hammering they inflicted on Manchester United during a 5-0 rout at Old Trafford earlier this season.

Liverpool were unable to score a third, though, and two Chelsea goals in the space of three minutes at the end of the first half turned the game on its head.

When Kelleher punched Alonso’s in-swinging free kick clear on 42 minutes, the keeper looked to have done well to deny the Chelsea defender. But the ball dropped the Mateo Kovacic on the edge of the penalty area and, as he was backpedaling, the midfielder somehow guided a volley beyond Kelleher and into the net. It was a spectacular display of technique by the former Real Madrid player and it gave Chelsea a foothold back into the game.

And it took them just three minutes to score the equaliser when Pulisic atoned for his earlier miss by latching onto N’Golo Kante‘s pass before beating Kelleher with a precise left-foot shot past the Republic of Ireland international. As the chaos continued on the pitch, Mason Mount almost put Chelsea 3-2 up in first-half stoppage time with a scuffed volley that bounced just wide of the post.

When a game is so eventful in the first half, it rarely delivers a second half of the same quality because of coaches plugging the holes that had led to the earlier excitement. But while the goals stopped flowing, the entertainment didn’t.

Salah forced a crucial save from Edouard Mendy with a 25-yard lob on 57 minutes and Mane was also denied by the Chelsea keeper. Kelleher, not to be outdone, then produced a stunning save to prevent Pulisic from scoring his second of the game.

In total, there were 25 chances over the 90 minutes, with both sides registering six on target. Neither could find a winner, though.

“For the outside world it was quite a good game to watch, but we came here for three points and didn’t get them,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said.

Even if one team had done enough to claim all three points, it’s difficult to imagine they would have been able to close the gap on City, who are destined for another title. And the challenge facing both chasing clubs only grows more daunting in the next month, with Salah (Egypt), Mendy and Mane (both Senegal) now heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

But the Premier League still knows how to excite, even if the title is already a foregone conclusion.

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Michael Scudamore has Do Your Job in mind for Doncaster | Racing News



Doncaster’s Lightning Novices’ Chase could be next on the agenda for Do Your Job following his creditable effort in defeat at Kempton over the festive period.

Runner-up to My Drogo and Belfast Banter in Grade Two and Grade One novice hurdles in the spring, Michael Scudamore’s stable star made a successful start to his chasing career at Warwick in November.

The eight-year-old fell at the eighth fence when stepped up in class for the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, but bounced back to finish second to Edwardstone in the Wayward Lad last week.

With Scudamore keen to avoid a rematch with the winner, who is seemingly bound for the Kingmaker at Warwick, Do Your Job could instead bid for Grade Two honours at Doncaster on January 29.

Reflecting on his Kempton performance, the trainer said: “I was very pleased. He jumped well and travelled well and did everything right, he was just beaten by a better horse on the day.

“The main objective was a clear round really and maybe if we hadn’t fallen at Sandown we might have pressed on a bit more and made it more of a staying race.

“The most important thing was to get a clear round under his belt and get some more experience over fences for him.

“I think we’ll stick to novice races while we can and we might look to the race at Doncaster. That is what we have pencilled in at the moment, anyway.

“It would certainly be Plan A to try and avoid Edwardstone and I was very pleased to read he was going to go for the Kingmaker. Hopefully they stick to that plan!”

While Do Your Job looks set to remain in novice company on his next start, Scudamore admitted is considering a step into the handicap arena for the Grand Annual at Cheltenham – a race he won with Next Sensation in 2015.

He added: “I’m sure he’ll have an entry in that. He also ran very well at Aintree last year, so there’s that to consider as well.

“He looks like a horse that could have the right sort of profile for a Grand Annual and we’ll see nearer the time.

“In some ways it might make more sense to go for a handicap now, but as we saw at Kempton some of these novice events don’t have a lot of runners in them and there’s some decent prize-money on offer, so it seems silly to pass them over when you’ve only got one chance to run in them really.”

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Adiwang hopes to fight Saruta next



Lito Adiwang was booted out of ONE Championship strawweight rankings after coming up short against Jarred Brooks. ‘The Thunder Kid’ is already itching to step back inside the cage and hopes to fight a ranked fighter next.

Of the fighters in the ONE Championship strawweight division rankings, the 28-year-old Filipino seeks to score a date with No.2-ranked Yosuke Saruta.

“I want a big comeback. I still want a big name. I want to challenge Yosuke Saruta. Maybe if ONE allows it, and he wants it, then I’ll take it. Saruta is someone who I really want to test myself against,” said Adiwang in an interview with ONE Championship.

The 28-year-old admits it is a dangerous fight and a huge risk to take. The high-risk, high-reward scenario is something that Adiwang would like to take as he seeks to put his name back in the rankings again by beating a former champion.

“It’s a big risk for me because I’m coming off a loss, but I want a great comeback and a big name in my return so I don’t fall far off from the rankings.”

Lito Adiwang seeking for a better year in 2022 at ONE Championship

Adiwang now holds a professional record of 13-4 and has been competing in ONE Championship since October 2018. He won his first five fights before receiving his first loss against Koha Minowa via a split decision two years later.

The Benguet-based fighter had three fights in 2021. However, he also suffered his second loss in ONE Championship against Jarred Brooks.

Still in his prime, Adiwang goes back to the drawing board and seeks to polish his MMA skills in 2022.

“I have to check my mistakes inside the Circle, but I also have to check my mistakes outside the Circle. It has to be a balance. Sometimes, I forget other personal obligations and those are the things that I have to work on. I have to balance things out based on last year. I have to correct this in 2022.”

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