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NBA: Boston Celtics hold off late comeback to beat Milwaukee Bucks

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Jayson Tatum scored 31 points as the Boston Celtics held off a comeback from the Milwaukee Bucks to win 122-119.

The Celtics powered to a 21-point lead late in the third quarter after Milwaukee had closed the gap to five just after half-time.

But the Bucks outscored Boston 36-21 in the final period to set up a nervy ending.

“It was ugly. We didn’t play the way we wanted to in the fourth quarter and they went on a run,” Tatum said.

“No lead is safe in the NBA. But a win is a win and we’ll take it.”

Boston, who are top of the Eastern Conference, have now won seven consecutive games and have a record of 55-14, 11 wins clear of the Bucks in second.

Milwaukee were without star player Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard scored 32 points while Bobby Portis added 24 in his absence.

Meanwhile, the Miami Heat beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-104 and the Sacramento Kings eased past the Toronto Raptors 123-89.

The Indiana Pacers swept past the Detroit Pistons 122-103 and Western Conference leaders Oklahoma City breezed past the Utah Jazz119-107.

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