Marcus Smart, Mikal Bridges top NBA All-Defensive first team; Antetokounmpo also named to first team

Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics was the leading vote-getter for the All-Defensive first team, with Mikal Bridges of the Phoenix Suns joining him as the other guard. Former Defensive Players of the Year Rudy Gobert of Utah and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee were also voted Friday to the first team along with Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. Smart received 99 first-place votes and 198 points from the panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. Bridges, the runner-up to Smart for the league’s top defensive award, got 95 first-team votes and two second-team votes for a total of 193 points.

Middleton might have remained out even if Bucks had advanced

Khris Middleton might not have been available for the Eastern Conference finals even if the Milwaukee Bucks had made it that far. The three-time All-Star missed the Bucks’ last 10 games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in Game 2 of a first-round series against the Chicago Bulls. Middleton sat out Milwaukee’s entire second-round series as the Boston Celtics beat the Bucks in seven games to advance to the conference finals beginning Tuesday in Miami. Middleton's injury forced the Bucks to rely on Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday even more than usual.

Tatum's huge effort helps Celtics win 108-95 to force Game 7

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jayson Tatum scored 46 points, outdueling Giannis Antetokounmpo and making sure there wouldn't be another Milwaukee Bucks fourth-quarter comeback, and the Boston Celtics beat the defending champions 108-95 to force a seventh game in their Eastern Conference…

Bucks, Warriors try to close out second-round series at home

The Milwaukee Bucks want to build off the momentum from a thrilling comeback. The Golden State Warriors seek to put an embarrassing loss behind them as both teams attempt to end their second-round series Friday night. Both have 3-2 leads and are at home for Game 6. The defending NBA champion Bucks rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to win 110-107 in Boston on Wednesday night. The Warriors squandered an opportunity to close out their series by losing 134-95 at Memphis.

Holiday stops Celtics' last 2 plays, Bucks take 3-2 lead

Bobby Portis made a putback off Giannis Antetokounmpo’s missed free throw with 15 seconds left, Jrue Holiday snuffed Marcus Smart on Boston’s final two possessions and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Celtics 110-107 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 series lead. Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 11 rebounds, Holiday finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Portis added 14 points and 15 rebounds for the defending NBA champion Bucks. Milwaukee has a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference semifinal in Game 6 at home Friday night. Jaylen Brown scored 26 points for Boston.

Pivotal Game 5s on tap for Bucks-Celtics, Warriors-Grizzlies

The playoff resurgence of Al Horford has helped the Boston Celtics regain home-court advantage in their Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Milwaukee Bucks. The series is tied at two games apiece. The Celtics look to take their first lead of the series as it shifts back to Boston. Meanwhile, Golden State’s fourth-quarter rally in its Game 4 win over Memphis gave the Warriors a 3-1 lead in their series and has them on the verge of returning to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2019. The status of Grizzlies star Ja Morant for Game 5 remains up in the air after his right knee injury in Game 3. 

Bucks, Hawks to play two games in Abu Dhabi in October

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- The Bucks are heading to the Middle East for the first time ever. Milwaukee will take on the Atlanta Hawks in two preseason games in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the NBA announced Tuesday. The Milwaukee Bucks will play…

Horford, Tatum help Celtics even series with 116-108 victory

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Al Horford and Jayson Tatum scored 30 points each and led the Boston Celtics' fourth-quarter comeback in a 116-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks that tied their Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece. The best-of-seven series…

Report: Giannis misses out on MVP Award to Nuggets star Jokić

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Giannis Antetokounmpo's quest for a third NBA MVP award will continue for another year. This season's top honor went to Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokić, according to a report from the Associated Press and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.…

Brown scores 30, Celtics beat Bucks 109-86 to even series

Jaylen Brown scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half, and the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 109-86 to even their second-round playoff at one game apiece. The series shifts to Milwaukee Saturday for Game 3.  Brown shook off a dismal shooting night in Game 1, scoring 25 points in the first half on 9 of 10 shooting, including 5 for 5 from the 3Jayson Tatum added 19 points and eight assists. Al Horford had 14 points and 11 rebounds.  The Celtics played without point guard Marcus Smart after he was ruled out with a bruised right thigh. 

What to know before the Bucks take on the Celtics

MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- The Bucks continue their title defense on Sunday against the Boston Celtics. Both teams took similar paths to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Celtics swept the Brooklyn Nets, though they never won a game by more than…

Tougher challenge awaits defending champ Bucks in 2nd round

The defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks recovered from a bumpy beginning and rediscovered their championship form in plenty of time to dispose of the Chicago Bulls in their opening-round series. They likely won’t make it past the next round unless they’re playing at this level right from the start. The Bucks next face a sizzling Boston Celtics team that swept the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round. Their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup begins Sunday in Boston. The Bucks don't expect to have three-time All-Star forward Khris Middleton available for the start of the series.  

Bucks rout Bulls 116-100 in Game 5, advance to face Celtics

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 33 points and nine rebounds and the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks routed the Chicago Bulls 116-100 on Wednesday night to finish off the first-round series in five games. The third-seeded Bucks advanced to face second-seeded Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Game 1 on Sunday in Boston. The Celtics swept Brooklyn. After splitting the first two games, the Bucks won the last three by an average margin of 23.3 points. They won those three games without Khris Middleton, the All-Star who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the fourth quarter of Game 2. Patrick Williams scored 23 points for Chicago.

Bulls rule out LaVine, Caruso for Game 5 in Milwaukee

The Chicago Bulls won’t have guards Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso available when they try to keep their season alive in Game 5 of a first-round playoff series with the Milwaukee Bucks. LaVine is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols while Caruso is in concussion protocols. Both of them had started each of the first four games in this series. The defending champion Bucks have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series after winning two lopsided games in Chicago. Milwaukee won 111-81 in Game 3 and 119-95 in Game 4.

Bucks, Warriors return home looking to close out series

The Warriors and Bucks each need one more win to wrap up their respective first-round playoff series. Golden State’s Game 4 loss at Denver on Sunday denied it a sweep over a Nuggets team that dropped each of the first three games. Milwaukee has posted back-to-back dominant wins over Chicago and holds a 3-1 lead despite continuing to play without Khris Middleton. He suffered a knee injury in Game 2. Both front-running teams remain confident as they prepare to play in their home arenas.