MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jrue Holiday scored a season-high 40 points and made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left in overtime as the Milwaukee Bucks edged the short-handed Boston Celtics 131-125 on Tuesday for their 11th consecutive victory.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists as the Bucks (40-17) moved within a half-game of the Celtics (41-17) in the Eastern Conference standings.
Boston was playing without both its All-Stars – Jayson Tatum (non-COVID illness) and Jaylen Brown (facial fracture) – as well as Marcus Smart (sprained right ankle) and Al Horford (swelling in right knee).
The Celtics still nearly earned their fifth straight win.
Wisconsin native Sam Hauser made a game-tying 3-pointer from 29 feet away with three seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Boston’s Derrick White then scored the first five points of overtime.
The Celtics still had a five-point lead with two minutes left, but the Bucks scored the final seven points of the game.
Holiday stole the ball from White and dunked to cut Boston’s lead to 123-122 with 1:32 left. After each team made two free throws, Holiday put the Bucks ahead for good with his 3-pointer.
Grant Williams lost the ball on Boston’s next possession, Grayson Allen got the steal and a clear-path foul was called on the Celtics with 3.2 seconds left.
Antetokounmpo made the ensuing two free throws and capped the scoring with a dunk at the buzzer.
White, the reigning Eastern Conference player of the week, led the Celtics with 27 points. Brogdon added 26 and Mike Muscala had 18.
Khris Middleton had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.
Celtics: Boston lost despite having a 27-10 edge in points off turnovers. … Mike Muscala got his first career technical foul in third quarter for saying something to the Bucks bench after dunking in the third quarter.
Bucks: Antetokounmpo’s nine assists increased his career total to 3,271. He’s one behind Paul Pressey for the career franchise lead. … Antetokounmpo and Holiday won’t be the only Bucks representatives at the All-Star Game this weekend. Johnny Watson, the Bucks’ executive producer for arena and event presentation, will direct and produce in-game entertainment at the All-Star Game for an eighth time. Bucks disc jockey DJ Shawna and in-game host Melanie Ricks will handle those same roles at the All-Star Game.
Celtics: Host Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The Celtics will be looking to complete a sweep of the four-game, regular-season series.
Bucks: At Chicago on Thursday.