With Giannis scratched, Celtics beat Bucks 122-113 in OT
Dennis Schröder scored a season-high 38 points - eight in overtime - and the Boston Celtics took advantage of Giannis Antetokounmpo's absence to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 122-113 on Friday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 27 with 11 rebounds for Boston, which has won four of five since opening the season 2-5.
Jrue Holiday had 17 points and 13 assists, and Bobby Portis scored 22 for the defending NBA champions. Grayson Allen scored 21, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the final 73 seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Robert Williams III had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Smart scored 12 of his 19 points in the third quarter, when the Celtics turned a four-point deficit into a seven-point lead.
The reigning NBA Finals MVP, Antetokounmpo was scratched about 90 minutes before the game with a right ankle sprain. Pat Connaughton, a native of suburban Arlington, Massachusetts, started in his place and scored 15 points as the Bucks lost for the sixth time in their last nine games.
The game featured 22 lead changes - and eight ties - in the first 30 minutes before Boston went on a 13-2 run to turn a one-point deficit into a double-digit lead.
It was 106-100 with 73 seconds left in regulation when Allen hit a 3-pointer, then Tatum turned the ball over and George Hill made a putback of Holiday's missed 3 to cut the deficit to one point. After Schröder sank a floater, Allen hit a step-back 3-pointer to tie it 108-all with 14 seconds left in the fourth.
Tatum's short jumper at the end of regulation bounced off the front of the rim.
Smart scored 12 consecutive Celtics points over a 4:24 span in the third quarter before Tatum hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 13-2 run and gave Boston its first double-digit lead of the game.
In addition to Antetokounmpo, the Bucks were also without Khris Middleton (COVID-19 protocols), Brook Lopez (back) and Donte DiVincenzo (foot). The Celtics were without Jaylen Brown (leg). ... The Celtics did not shoot a free throw in the first half. A ccording to Celtics broadcaster Sean Grande, the last time the Bucks came to Boston as the defending NBA champions, on Feb. 13, 1972, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 51 points with 17 rebounds. JoJo White had 31 for Boston.
Bucks: At Atlanta on Saturday.
Celtics: At Cleveland on Saturday and Monday.