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Bucks beat Celtics 127-121, take over 2nd place in East

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday each scored 29 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the short-handed Boston Celtics 127-121 on Thursday night to take over second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Bucks (50-30) scored the final nine points to move a half-game ahead of the Celtics (50-31) and a full game ahead of Philadelphia (49-31), who lost at Toronto on Thursday.

Milwaukee withstood a triple-double from Jaylen Brown, who had 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Marcus Smart shot 7 of 12 from 3-point range and was the Celtics’ leading scorer with a season-high 29 points. Daniel Theis had 22 points.

Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown is fouled by Milwaukee Bucks' Wesley Matthews during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 127-121. (AP PhotoMorry Gash)

Khris Middleton had 22 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo had 11 rebounds and five assists. Holiday had eight rebounds and eight assists.

RAPTORS 119, 76ERS 114

Pascal Siakam had 37 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third career triple-double, Gary Trent Jr. scored 30 points and Toronto beat Philadelphia.

Siakam shot 14 for 28, going 1 for 7 from 3-point range. He made 8 for 10 free throws.

Precious Achiuwa scored 20 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, and Scottie Barnes had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Raptors win for the seventh time in eight games.

Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden had 13 points and 15 assists for the 76ers, whose hopes of winning the Atlantic Division title took a hit.

HORNETS 128, MAGIC 101

LaMelo Ball had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and Charlotte routed short-handed Orlando.

Charlotte pulled within one game of Atlanta and Brooklyn, who are tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with two games left in the regular season. The Hornets have already locked up a spot in the play-in tournament. At 41-39, they guaranteed their first non-losing season since 2015-16.

Chuma Okeke had 20 points for Orlando.