BOSTON - The Celtics shook off a shaky start to Friday's game against the Bucks, but they've had a hard time shaking off Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Regardless, Boston holds a 65-58 lead at halftime after clamping down on defense a bit and continuing to make shots. Isaiah Thomas leads the Celtics with 16 points, while Jared Sullinger has 11 and Avery Bradley 10.
The Celtics have had absolutely no answer for Antetokounmpo, also known as the "Greek Freak". Antetokounmpo has 20 points in the first half, scoring 17 of those in the first quarter, the highest-scoring quarter of his young career. He did, however, pick up his third follow in the second quarter.
It didn't matter who Boston put on the Freak, they were going to commit a foul on him at some point. Jae Crowder picked up three fouls in the first quarter, forcing Brad Stevens to sit him on the bench for the entire second quarter.
Meanwhile, Bradley and Thomas helped the C's claw back into things after going down 11 points in the first quarter. Boston took a lead with 9:31 remaining in the second quarter on a Bradley layup, seconds after his dunk brought them to within one point.
The Celtics would build their lead up to six points before the Bucks would retake the lead on a 7-0 run capped of by a Antetokounmpo three-pointer with 3:04 to play. That forced a Brad Stevens timeout, and it turned out to be a good one because Boston then went on a 9-0 run to build back up an eight-point lead. The Bucks cut it to five with 2.1 seconds remaining, but Marcus Smart's full-court inbounds pass to Jared Sullinger was on the money and Sullinger laid it up for an easy two points and seven-point lead.
Kelly Olynyk added nine points off the bench, including two on a thunderous alley-oop slam courtest of a nice pass from Smart.