Jayson Tatum vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo on Christmas Day: Celtics star shines brightest in win vs. Bucks

Statement made.

After losing five of its last seven games, Boston rose to the occasion on Christmas Day to pull away for a convincing 139-118 win over Milwaukee. With a few stars in action, the night was mostly about Jayson Tatum, who finished with 41 points (on 14-of-22 shooting), including a 20-point third quarter, which is when the Celtics created some distance. Jaylen Brown scored 29 points on the game as well.

Boston’s defense did its job limiting Giannis Antetokounmpo, who did manage to finish with 27 points but did so on 9-of-22 shooting from the field. Jrue Holiday added 23 points and Brook Lopez scored 16 points, but overall, the Celtics had their way offensively.

139 points is a new season high for Boston, which has enjoyed a stellar offense all season. The Celtics shot 19-of-39 from beyond the arc — Tatum, Al Horford and Grant Williams each drained 3 triples and Brown sank five. 

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates from the Celtics vs. Bucks on Christmas Day. If you missed any action, we’ve got you covered with the best highlights below.

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Celtics vs. Bucks score

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Celtics 36 26 38 39 118
Bucks 28 33 25 32 139

Best highlights from Celtics vs. Bucks game

(All times Eastern.)

Final: Celtics 139, Bucks 118

7:34 p.m. — Starters are being pulled and that’s gonna be it for this one.

Down 19, the night ends for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finishes the game with 27 points on 9-of-22 shooting.

Jayson Tatum finishes his night with 41 points, the second-most ever scored by a Celtic on Christmas.

Jaylen Brown exits with 29 points as the duo combines for 70 points on 25-of-41 shooting.

7:22 p.m. — Boston’s pulling away.

The Celtics’ lead is up to 16 points with just over four minutes remaining and Jayson Tatum has a game-high 41 points on 14-of-22 shooting. Tatum’s four points away from tying Tom Heinsohn’s franchise record for points on Christmas Day.

Celtics 124, Bucks 108 with 4:14 remaining in regulation.

End of Third Quarter: Celtics 100, Bucks 86

7:07 p.m. — Make that a 20-point quarter for Jayson Tatum.

Tatum puts his stamp on the game and is up to 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists. He’s also a perfect 10 of 10 from the free throw line.

Boston outscores Milwaukee by 13 points in the quarter to take a 14-point lead into the final frame.

6:53 p.m. — This is Jayson Tatum’s quarter. He’s got 16 points in the frame and is up to 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field.

He’s doing it at all three levels, rebounding and has dished out four assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is finding some rhythm and now has 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting. Boston’s defense is doing its job of keeping Antetokounmpo out of the paint, forcing him to opt for mid-range jumpers and 3s. He’s missed all four of his 3-point attempts.

Celtics 89, Bucks 80 with three minutes remaining in the third.

6:45 p.m. — About four-and-a-half minutes into the second half, Boston’s back up seven.

Jayson Tatum is up to 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, is struggling from the field. He’s now 5 of 15 from the field for 12 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Celtics 72, Bucks 65. 

Halftime: Celtics 62, Bucks 61

6:21 p.m.  — The first half was the heavyweight battle we all expected.

Jayson Tatum has 19 points, Jaylen Brown has 15 points, and the two have combined to shoot 12 of 21 from the field.

For Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo has 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting but it’s been the play of Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez that’s stood out. Holiday has scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting while Lopez has 12 points on perfect 5-of-5 shooting.

We should be in for a battle in the second half.

6:18 p.m. — Jayson Tatum is cooking. As the half comes to a close, he’s up to 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. 

The stars are shining brightly.

6:03 p.m. — We marveled at a missed dunk attempt in the first frame, now marvel at a mean dunk by Jayson Tatum over Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Just nasty.

Tatum’s got 12 points in the game. Celtics 53, Bucks 46.

5:58 p.m. — Giannis Antetokounmpo has got the jumper going this evening. He gets into double figures with another shot from the mid-range.

Antetokounmpo’s up to 11 points on the game, including 5-of-9 shooting from the field.

Celtics 47, Bucks 42, but Milwaukee is on a 6-0 run to tighten things up.

End of First Quarter: Celtics 36, Bucks 28

5:40 p.m. — At the end of one, the Celtics hold an eight-point lead courtesy of a last-second heave from Sam Hauser. Boston finishes the quarter shooting 8 of 13 from deep.

This one’s been all about the stars as Jaylen Brown leads the way with 13 points and Jayson Tatum has added seven points and three assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has six points, which is tied with Jrue Holiday for a team-high total.

5:35 p.m. — Take a moment for Jaylen Brown and one of the best missed dunk attempts you’re gonna see.

5:32 p.m. — OK, so it’s cooled off … a bit.

Boston is still on fire from deep and Jayson Tatum is up to seven points on 3-of-4 shooting. For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo has four points, two rebounds and two assists.

Celtics 30, Bucks 22 with 2:39 left in the opening quarter.

5:20 p.m. — Things are out to a rapid start.

Boston’s got 19 points in the first four minutes of game time thanks to 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. Jayson Tatum joined the party with a tough triple in transition for his firs points of the game.

Celtics 19, Bucks 12. 7:56 remaining in the first.


4:45 p.m. — Tip-off is nearing and the starting lineups have been submitted:

3:45 p.m. — Giannis Antetokounmpo will be without one of his main running mates. Khris Middleton has been ruled out for the Christmas Day meeting.

Celtics vs. Bucks start time

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 25
  • Time: 5 p.m. ET

Celtics vs. Bucks will tip off around 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 25. The game will be played at TD Garden in Boston.

What channel is Celtics vs. Bucks on?

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 25
  • TV channel: ABC | ESPN
  • Live streaming: Sling TV

Celtics vs. Bucks will air on ABC and ESPN. Viewers can also stream the game on Sling TV.

Fans in the U.S. can watch the biggest games of the 2022-23 NBA season on Sling TV. Stream Sling Orange for $40/month to catch all regular season games on TNT, ESPN & ABC. For games on NBA TV, subscribe to Sling Orange & Sports Extra for $51/month. Local regional blackout restrictions apply.

SIGN UP FOR SLING: English | Spanish

Celtics schedule 2022-23

Here are Boston’s next five games of the 2022-23 regular season:

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channel
Dec. 25 vs. Bucks 5 p.m. ABC/ESPN
Dec. 27 vs. Rockets 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 29 vs. Clippers 7:30 p.m. NBA TV
Jan. 1 at Nuggets 8 p.m.
Jan. 3 at Thunder 8 p.m.

Bucks schedule 2022-23

Here are Milwaukee’s next five games of the 2022-23 regular season:

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channel
Dec. 25 at Celtics 5 p.m. ABC/ESPN
Dec. 28 at Bulls 8 p.m.
Dec. 30 vs. Timberwolves 8 p.m.
Jan. 1 vs. Wizards 8 p.m.
Jan. 3 vs. Wizards 8 p.m. NBA TV

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