NBA

Celtics make statement with 41-point demolition of Bucks, Ingram bullies Nuggets

By Sports Desk March 31, 2023

The Boston Celtics produced a stunning 140-99 blowout on the road against the full-strength Milwaukee Bucks in Thursday's potential Eastern Conference Finals preview.

Although the Bucks did roll out their full team, they were playing their third game in four days and were on the second leg of a back-to-back, and their fatigue showed in a horrible first half defensively.

The Celtics piled on 34 points in the first quarter, and added another 41 in the second to open up a commanding 75-47 lead at half-time. Instead of coming out of the locker room with extra intensity, the Bucks proceeded to give up another 39 in the third period to kill the game.

Boston's All-Star duo were nearly faultless, led by Jayson Tatum's 40 points on 12-of-18 shooting. He finished eight-of-10 from three-point range, and a perfect eight-of-eight from the free throw line while adding eight rebounds and zero turnovers.

Jaylen Brown was just as impressive as he made his way to 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting with five rebounds, five assists and just one turnover, while Sixth Man of the Year candidate Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 14 points (six-of-13), five assists and four steals off the bench.

Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo led his side with 24 points and seven rebounds through three quarters before sitting out the last, although he was a disappointing 11-of-27 from the field and missed all five of his three-point attempts.

The win pulled the Celtics (53-24) to within two games of the Bucks (55-22) in the race for the Eastern Conference's top seed, and for the best record in the league.

Ingram shows recent improvement is no fluke

New Orleans Pelicans wing Brandon Ingram has performed at an All-NBA level since the All-Star break and continued to shine in a 107-88 triumph over the Nikola Jokic-less Denver Nuggets.

Ingram, 25, posted the first triple-double of his career last Thursday and followed it with a career-high 13 assists on Saturday, and he now has his second triple-double after 31 points (13-of-22), 11 rebounds and 10 assists against the Nuggets.

Across his past eight games, Ingram is averaging 29.6 points, 8.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 51.8 per cent from the field and 48 per cent from deep.

The result improved the Pelicans' record to 39-38, leapfrogging the Minnesota Timberwolves into the Western Conference's seventh seed, with Zion Williamson's return potentially imminent after working out on-court prior to Thursday's game.

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  • Doncic 'one of best in the world' - Kidd praises star man after Mavericks win Doncic 'one of best in the world' - Kidd praises star man after Mavericks win

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