Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

NBA Preview: Milwaukee Bucks (44-24) at Boston Celtics (54-14)

The Boston Celtics have an opportunity to extend their six-game winning streak when they face the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Boston (54-14) owns the NBA’s best record with 14 regular-season games to play. The Celtics were without leading scorer Jayson Tatum (27.1 ppg), Al Horford and Jrue Holiday, but managed to stretch their home winning streak to nine games by beating the Detroit Pistons 119-94 Monday night.

Point guard Derrick White recorded the first triple-double of his NBA career during the victory over Detroit. He finished the game with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kristaps Porzingis had missed Boston’s past five games with a tight hamstring, but returned to the court Monday and had 20 points and eight rebounds. Porzingis said he’s trying to keep his body in the best shape possible for the postseason.

“Definitely more cautious here,” Porzingis said. “I could have played through more stuff, 100 percent. But I understand that there will be a time and place for me to play through stiff.

Milwaukee (44-24) was without Giannis Antetokounmpo, but made 24 3-pointers en route to a 140-129 home victory over Phoenix on Sunday.

The Bucks matched an NBA record by tossing in 18 3-pointers in the first half.

Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 30.8 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, was scratched with left hamstring soreness and will not play Wednesday.

Milwaukee’s Damian Lillard had 31 points and 16 assists in the victory and became the first player in franchise history to have at least 30 points and at least 15 assists in the same game.

The Bucks also received a 22-point performance from Khris Middleton, who returned after missing 16 games while recovering from a sprained ankle. Middleton played 25 minutes and also had seven assists.

Wednesday’s game will be the third meeting between the Bucks and Celtics this season. Boston won 119-116 at home on Nov. 22, and Milwaukee earned a 135-102 home victory on Jan. 11.

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