Winning Streak: Celtics’ insane defensive streak stays alive after win vs. Bucks

The Boston Celtics’ new-look offense has received plenty of attention during the team’s hot start to the 2023-24 season. However, Celtics’ 12-3 record has just as much to do with its defense.

In fact, the C’s have yet to allow a single player to score more than 30 points against them in a non-OT game this season, per Celtics in-house writer Taylor Snow. The Milwaukee Bucks were hoping to ruin that streak on Wednesday night, yet the Celtics prevailed 119-116 while holding two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to just 21 points. Damian Lillard fell shy of the mark as well, notching 27 points.

Prior to the Eastern Conference showdown, Antetokounmpo averaged 30.2 points per game — the fifth-highest rate in the NBA. But with the help of veteran center Al Horford and Antetokounmpo’s former teammate, Jrue Holiday, the C’s made life difficult for The Greek Freak all night.

As for the Celtics’ other games, no one has truly had a monster outing against them outside of their two overtime losses. In early November, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards dropped 38 points (with eight of those coming in overtime) to hand the Celtics their first defeat. And on Monday, LaMelo Ball had 36 points (with four of those coming in overtime) in Boston’s first loss to a team with a losing record this season.

Besides Edwards and Ball, who have been fantastic early on, the Celtics have done a solid job at limiting opposing stars. While there were some questions about Boston’s defense coming into the 2023-24 campaign, the arrival of Holiday and center Kristaps Porzingis has helped make up for the loss of guard Marcus Smart and forward Grant Williams.

After surviving the Bucks, the Celtics’ impressive defensive streak might be in jeopardy again. Next up for the C’s are the Orlando Magic, who just toppled the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, 124-119. Although no one on the Magic averages more than 20 points per outing, they beat the Celtics three out of four times last season and are currently 10-5.

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