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BOSTON -- Whatever Brad Stevens’ halftime spiel is to the Boston Celtics, it has worked amazingly well lately.
Boston rallied for its third win in a row as they overcame a 19-point, first-half deficit with a 116-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
This victory, like the previous three, was fueled by a second-half Celtics' surge.
Still, what they did on Wednesday night might be the most impressive, having trailed the Milwaukee Bucks by as many as 19 before delivering big shots and tremendous stops defensively through the final 24 minutes. All while playing without Jaylen Brown, who missed the game with an illness.
Several Celtics stepped up, among them Gordon Hayward, who tallied his first double-double of the season with 21 points (16 in the second half) and 10 rebounds.
The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA MVP, had a strong game as well, tallying 22 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.
Here are three takeaways from the C's stirring comeback win:
Kemba Walker: After yet another lackluster first half shooting the ball, Walker again saved his best for the second half and finished with a game-high 32 points, 21 in the second half.
Marcus Smart: Other than the fourth-quarter technical, Smart had one of those sneaky-good games for the Celtics. He had 19 points and six assists, but more than anything else, he gave Antetokounmpo fits all game long. He was in full-blown instigator mode on a night when they absolutely needed his toughness.
Jayson Tatum: Having struggled to make shots in Boston’s first three games, Tatum came alive in the second half, scoring 20 of his 25 points. Even more significant was Tatum’s points came in a more efficient manner than we saw in the first three games, evident by him shooting 10-for-22 on Wednesday.
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