Jayson Tatum (2-of-18 FG, five points) played his worst game of the season during the Celtics’ first game of the restart on Friday night, but that did not stop the Celtics from rallying from a 15-point deficit and remaining within striking distance in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, Giannis Antetokounmpo (36 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists) was too much for the Celtics late, leading Milwaukee on a game-closing 12-5 run to seal the victory for the Bucks.
The case can be made that Antetokounmpo should have been out of the game before his late-game heroics after a hostile act was reviewed that involved Antetokonompo committing a potential sixth foul. Since it wasn’t a flagrant the refs weren’t able to call it upon review. Moments later, a charge call on Anteokounmpo that would have been fouled was also reversed to a block on Marcus smart after a review, giving the Bucks the lead for good.
Smart was the best player on the floor for the C’s all night with a team-high 23 points while Kemba Walker looked sharp during his 20 minutes of action adding 16 points before his night ended in the third quarter due to a minutes limit. Ultimately, the C’s couldn’t overcome a brutal shooting night from Tatum who made just one field goal on his own during the night (the other one was a Buck tip-in that was credited to him). His struggles from inside and out left the C’s battling uphill for much of the night after falling behind 17-2 early.
The loss drops the C’s to 43-22 on the season and just 2.5 games ahead of the Heat for the time being for the No. 3. C’s return to action Sunday afternoon against the Blazers.