MILWAUKEE -- It took an 18-year-old rookie to shake the Milwaukee Bucks out of their doldrums.
Giannis Antetokounmpo brought the energy and it spread throughout his teammates Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
The Bucks backcourt duo of Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo turned in stellar performances, and the frontcourt pair of John Henson and Ekpe Udoh matched the physical play of Boston's front line.
And suddenly the Bucks' 11-game losing streak was history as Milwaukee claimed a 92-85 victory over the Celtics before a crowd of 15,471.
"It feels good to get that monkey off your back, especially the way we did it, playing some guys out of position," Bucks coach Larry Drew said.
"I thought our guys responded to what we were up against tonight and from start to finish we dictated the rhythm of the game. We mixed our defenses and then we made some shots."
Mayo led the Bucks (3-13) with 22 points and Knight came close to a triple-double with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in just 31 minutes.
Henson, getting a start at center, had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds and Udoh added nine points and 10 rebounds.
But it was Antetokounmpo who electrified the crowd in just a few seconds early in the second quarter when he turned the ball over but somehow chased down Celtics guard Jordan Crawford and blocked his shot from behind.
That ignited a break the other way and Antetokounmpo streaked downcourt and dunked off a pass from Luke Ridnour.
"There are a lot of things that people don't know yet, things I can do," Antetokounmpo said. "But as the season is going you're going to see it."
Suddenly the fans were buzzing and so were the Bucks as they began to rally from an early eight-point deficit.
"He's an athletic freak; he's always hustling," Udoh said of Antetokounmpo, the Bucks' first-round pick from Greece.
"It's great to see him grow up in front of our eyes."
Drew said before the game that Antetokounmpo would get a chance to play additional minutes because of injuries that sidelined veterans Caron Butler and Ersan Ilyasova.
And the 6-foot-9 rookie responded with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists in addition to the game-changing block while playing 28 minutes.
"There's not many players in our league that have those type of attributes, as far as length, speed, skills to handle the basketball like that," Knight said. "It's very rare that you come across a player at his size and with his length that can do those types of things. He can block shots and then be able to get a dunk on the other end all in one play because of his God-given abilities."
Milwaukee outscored Boston, 28-14, in the second quarter and held a 47-41 halftime lead.
Knight hit all five shots he attempted in the quarter and scored 12 points while Mayo added eight in the period. And the Bucks used a zone defense that seemed to stymie the Celtics.
Late in the third quarter Antetokounmpo sank a three-pointer and followed with a dunk off a pass from Zaza Pachulia to give the Bucks a nine-point lead.
Milwaukee led, 70-63, entering the final period and extended the margin with a 10-0 run to open the quarter, behind a three-pointer by Ridnour, five points from Udoh and a basket by Gary Neal.
But Boston quickly cut its deficit to 80-71 by going on an 8-0 run, before Knight came back in the game and drilled a three-pointer.
Mayo hit a clutch 20-footer with 1:38 remaining and found Knight for a layup as the Bucks made some critical plays to halt the Celtics' comeback bid.
"We were ready to play," Henson said. "I think we were loose before the game as a team, saying, 'Let's go out there and get this win.'
"I think that helped us a lot. Brandon, Giannis, from 1 to 15 we played well."
Jared Sullinger led Boston (7-12) with 21 points and 14 rebounds while Jeff Green and Crawford each had 18 points.
Drew said it was important for the Bucks to match the physicality of the Celtics. The Bucks outrebounded Boston, 49-41.
"As of late, we've been getting killed in the paint," Udoh said. "We took that challenge and came in here and got a big win.
"A fire, all it takes is a spark, so now it's time to keep it going."
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