Kyrie Irving leads Celtics to 111-100 victory over Bucks

The Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 111-100 at the TD Garden

The Cs ran amok on the Bucks in the first half. Jayson Tatum ignited the spark in the first quarter, and a few key players stepped up in the second to keep the flame lit. Tatum didn't miss a shot in the first 12 minutes. He scored 14 points on 4-of-4 shooting from behind the arc, which contributed to the team's average of 61% shooting from the field in the quarter. The Cs led 34-26 after one.
Tatum is clearly beginning to get comfortable in the big leagues, and has made some statements so far this season: 

This also happened during the first quarter: 
Daniel Theis came away from the intermission and kept the fire burning for the Cs. He was all over the place in the six minutes that he played to begin the second quarter. First he hit a contested, running floater that made the bench erupt. Then he swatted a layup attempt, that was wrongfully called a goal tend. After which, he got LARGE and reached for the alley-slam. He'd finish his shift with another major block on the defensive end, and ended the half modestly, with four points, one block, and one rebound, but was surely something to gaze upon during his minutes on the floor. 

Al Horford picked up the slack after Theis' exit. He immediately hit a three-pointer, and continued to prove his worth with defensive efforts. He consistently contested Giannis Antetokounmpo near the basket, and stepped-in with help-defense time and time again. He also filled up the highlight reel by pulling off passes that most centers would only dream of attempting and according to wouldn't be as successful.

Giannis would finish the half with 18 points, and Kyrie Irving would end with a quiet 13.The Celtics led the Bucks by 13 points after the first 24 minutes, 62-49
Things didn't go as smoothly in the third quarter. The Bucks outscored the Celts 32-26 and brought the game to within seven points. It quickly became a battle of potential MVPs, as Kyrie and Giannis regularly matched each other on their offensive ends. Antetokounmpo would hit, Kyrie would return the favor, and the pattern continued. Irving finished the quarter with 14 points, and Giannis put up 16 in the same period, making it 27 and 34 on the night, respectively
Giannis was on the floor for the first 18 minutes of the second half, and wasn't subbed-out until there were only six minutes left in the fourth quarter, and the Bucks were down 102-90. He was visibly exhausted towards the end of his shift. 

Marcus Smart made his presence known in the second half in typical Marcus fashion. He finished the game with 9 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, but his greatness was seen on the defensive end. He seemed to be involved in every stop, and was a big reason why the Cs were able to stay on-top despite Giannis Antetokounmpo's 40 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.

And again, Big Money Al Horford showed why he's worth the big money. He rounded off the night with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists on 80% shooting. There's not much to say here. He does it all, and he did it all tonight. Another game where he's flirting with a triple-double.

It was Kyrie's ninth straight game wearing the mask, and he'd finish with 32 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. He was getting flashy out there...
...and if it weren't for a foul, would've connected with Jaylen Brown on this one:

And then he put the cherry on top with the dagger:
But it could be the end of an era:

Some more numbers to notice: 

Jayson Tatum: 17/6, .833 FG%
Al Horford: 20/9/8, .800 FG%
Aron Baynes: 10/4/2
Jaylen Brown 8/7/2

The Celtics' will face the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. 

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Photo: NBA