Giannis returns to help Bucks rally from 19 down to beat Boston

Milwaukee erased a 19-point deficit to beat Boston 117-113 on Christmas at Fiserv Forum.

Playing his first game since returning from the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Giannis Antetokounmpo played a starring role in the comeback. The Bucks trailed by 11 when the two-time MVP returned to the floor with 5:34 left. He scored 12 of the next 15 points for Milwaukee to tie the game at 111. After a couple Jayson Tatum free throws gave Boston a two-point advantage, Wesley Matthews hit a 3-pointer to give the Bucks the lead for the first time all game. The Greek Freak finished things off when he met Robert Williams at the rim and blocked his shot in the final seconds.

Antetokounmpo ended up with 36 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in just 30 minutes of action. He also went 10-for-15 from the free throw line.

Milwaukee got 17 points and seven assists from Khris Middleton, while Jrue Holiday added 17 points, five rebounds and four steals. Bobby Portis gave the Bucks 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

The Celtics were led by Tatum and Jaylen Brown. They each had 25 points, while Marcus Smart chipped in 19.

Bucks guard Donte DiVincenzo made his season debut, playing for the first time since undergoing ankle surgery in the summer. He played 16 minutes and Milwaukee was 13 points better than Boston when he was on the floor.

Milwaukee improved to 22-13 on the year and sit tied for second with Chicago in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks will now play back-to-back games in Orlando with the first coming Tuesday.