Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Brandon Knight finished off a 26-point night by drilling a critical jumper with 6.7 seconds remaining in the Milwaukee Bucks' 96-93 victory over the Boston Celtics.
The Bucks led nearly the entire way in their sixth win in seven games, though they had to dig deep after Boston cut what was once a 14-point second-half deficit down to one in the final minute.
Giannis Antetokounmpo amassed 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Milwaukee halt the Celtics' season high-tying three-game win streak, with Khris Middleton adding 11 points and eight boards for the Bucks.
Marcus Thornton netted 12 of his 14 points after halftime to lead Boston's near-comeback, while Jared Sullinger had 17 points and Marcus Smart recorded 13 in defeat.
Down by six midway through the fourth quarter, the Celtics scored five straight points as Milwaukee came up empty on six straight possessions to pull within 92-91 with three minutes to play.
After Avery Bradley misfired on a 3-point try that would have put Boston ahead, John Henson converted a second-chance hook shot for the Bucks to make it a three-point game with 2:05 to go. Henson was called for a goaltend on Jae Crowder's attempt with 28.7 seconds remaining, however, to trim the lead to 94-93.
Knight then worked the shot clock down before stepping back and firing home a tough 18-footer, which held up when Crowder missed the mark just prior to the buzzer.
The Bucks closed out the second quarter on a 7-0 run to build a 53-46 halftime lead, then continued to increase the margin during the early stages of the second half. A Jared Dudley trey sparked a 13-6 sequence to begin the third quarter, putting Milwaukee ahead by a 66-52 count 3 1/2 minutes into the period.
Thornton got Boston back within striking distance by the conclusion of the period, however, with the sixth man following up a successful jumper with a 3- pointer that trimmed the lead to 80-75 entering the fourth.
Milwaukee overcame a 9-2 game-opening run by the Celtics to forge a 23-23 tie after one quarter, and neither team was ahead by more than three points in the second prior to the Bucks' strong finish.
Knight finished 4-of-8 from 3-point range, while Boston went just 7-of-29 from beyond the arc as a team ... Celtics forward Tayshaun Prince returned from a four-game absence caused by a hip flexor, scoring eight points in 18 minutes ... Thornton hit 3-of-7 tries from long distance and is 16-of-33 on 3-pointers over his last six outings ... Boston had prevailed in its three previous games in the second of a back-to-back set.