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Middleton’s basket lifts Bucks to win over Celtics

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By Agence France-Presse

Khris Middleton nailed a three pointer in the final seconds and Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points as the league leading Milwaukee Bucks edged the Boston Celtics 98-97 on Thursday.

Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 27.2 points a game this season, scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter for the Bucks, who also won the season series over the Celtics two games to one.

Antetokounmpo added 13 rebounds and Middleton had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon had 15 points for the Bucks, who have won 15 of the last 17 games, including nine of the last 10.

This was the first game back from the all-star break for both teams as Milwaukee improved to 44-14 on the season.

Antetokounmpo’s hand-picked all-star team lost to one selected by LeBron James. But he scored 38 of his team’s 164 points while grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out five assists.

Al Horford finished with 21 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for Boston against Milwaukee, and Jayson Tatum had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving tallied 22 points and had a chance to win the game for Boston, but he stumbled while driving to the basket and missed an awkward shot as time expired.

Irving has battled a variety of injuries this season. He missed two games prior to the all-star break with a strained right knee.

The Celtics have now lost three of their last five games.