Despite it's ugly nature through three quarters, this matchup had the atmosphere and intensity of a playoff game.
The Milwaukee Bucks held off a late push by the Boston Celtics to pull out a 98-97 victory on their home floor.
The story through the first three quarters was Kyrie Irving's poor shooting night. The Celtics' All-Star point guard was 5-for-19 from the field struggling to get much of anything to fall on the offensive end.
It was a defensive battle in which both teams were shooting under 40.0 percent from the field going into the fourth quarter with a score of 72-68.
Then, the lid came off of the rim for both teams a bit.
Giannis Antetokounmpo buried a 3-pointer to give the Bucks a nine point lead, beginning to pull away with eight minutes remaining in the game.
The Celtics weren't ready to call it quits yet, ramping up the intensity on both ends of the floor. They held the Bucks without a field goal for three and a half minutes during the middle stretch of the fourth quarter as they began to make their comeback.
Irving snapped his cold shooting night with a 3-pointer to bring the Celtics within five. They came up with a stop leading to a Jayson Tatum fast break look for a dunk, but Antetokounmpo wasn't having any of that.
Giannis HUSTLES and REJECTS Tatum 😱#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/z2eerRwrKY- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 22, 2019
Tatum responded well with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game but Giannis answered right back with a bucket. Tatum and Antetokounmpo would trade one more basket each before Al Horford and Irving crashed the party.
Horford hit a jumper, followed by a deep pull-up 3-pointer in transition by Irving to give the Celtics the lead.
Kyrie with the go-ahead triple in crunch time! pic.twitter.com/7jOSr6D4tY- Boston Celtics (@celtics) February 22, 2019
Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon both scored to give Milwaukee a three-point lead, paving the way for a Horford game-tying three with 54 seconds to go.
Khris Middleton then buried a cold-blooded 3-pointer to give the Bucks a lead they would not surrender.
KHRIS MIDDLETON FOR THE LEAD!!#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/LypvUG9vdk- Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 22, 2019
Irving scored and the Celtics came up with a stop, but Irving missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer to secure the win for Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Brogdon (15 points) and Lopez (10 points) joined him in double-figures while Middleton had a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Irving finished the game with 22 points, doing most of his damage in the fourth quarter with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Horford kept the Celtics in the game with a huge 21 points, 17 rebounds and five assists.
The Bucks continue their dominance this season - they have yet to be beaten by the same team twice and are the only team in the NBA that has not lost consecutive games.
They advance to 44-14 while the Celtics fall to 37-22.