Jared Wickerham

Bucks 99, Celtics 88: Milwaukee spoils Boston's home opener

Kevin Garnett scored a team-high 15 points for the Boston Celtics, but the Milwaukee Bucks spoiled their home opener with a 99-88 win Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

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Boston Celtics have long road ahead

Two games, two losses, and a lot of questions. The winless Boston Celtics have had their problems, but they also have a long road ahead.


Bucks 99, Celtics 88: Boston loses home opener

Rajon Rondo had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists for the Boston Celtics, while Kevin Garnett had 15 points, but the Milwaukee Bucks coasted to victory, 99-88, in the home opener Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.

After having only four points at the half, Garnett turned it on in the second half, scoring 10-straight to open the third frame.

Boston trailed 46-32 coming out of halftime, but fell even further behind despite Garnett's big quarter as they dropped to 76-58 at the end of the third.

The speed and athleticism of guards Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis was just too much for Rajon Rondo and the Celtics interior defense early on. Jennings scored 21 and notched 13 assists on the night to lead the Bucks, while Ellis added in 14 points. Ersan Ilyasova had a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with his seven points.

Boston was careless with the ball early, turning it over 18 times total in the game, but it was on the boards where they really struggled consistently throughout the contest. The Bucks out rebounded the Celtics 46 to 36, including 11 offensive rebounds.

On the night, Milwaukee had 16 fast break points and 13 points off of turnovers, showing just how sluggish the Celtics transition defense has been. Most of those points came in the paint, as the Bucks dropped in a whopping 52 points inside.

With just over a minute remaining in the third quarter Paul Pierce connected on his first shot after missing his first six shots of the night. Pierce ended up with 11 points on the night.

Jeff Green also struggled in the first half, scoring only four points. He turned things around in the second half, showing glimpses of what fans saw throughout an outstanding preseason. Green finished with 11 points and two rebounds.

As a team, Boston shot 44 percent from the field, including 35 percent from three-point range. Milwaukee connected on 46 percent of their shots from the field and notched 44 percent from three.

The Celtics drop to 0-2 with the loss and will travel to the Verizon Center on Saturday night to match up with the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. ET.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit SB Nation's team blog, CelticsBlog.


Bucks 46, Celtics 30: Boston trails at the half

Rookie Jared Sullinger had six points and six rebounds in the first half, but the Boston Celtics trail the Milwaukee Bucks, 46-30, at halftime from the TD Garden in Boston, MA.

Dribble penetration was again an issue on the defensive end, this time with Bucks' guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings getting in the lane and putting the ball in the basket. Ellis and Jennings combined for 21 points in the first half.

The Celtics trailed 25-18 after the first quarter thanks to bad offensive possessions early on. Over the first seven minutes of the second quarter, Boston connected on only 2-of-13 shooting, scoring four points.

For the game, the Celtics are shooting 30 percent from the field and have turned the ball over nine times. Paul Pierce has not connected on a shot, missing all four attempts. Brandon Bass leads the Celtics scoring among starters with six points.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit SB Nation's team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics vs. Bucks: Game preview, time and more

Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics are in search of their first victory of the season when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in the home opener Friday night in Boston, MA.

Event: Boston Celtics (0-1) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (0-0) - Regular season, Game 2.

Date/Time: Friday, November 2, 2012

Location: TD Garden (Capacity: 18,624), Boston, MA.

Broadcast Info: Friday night's home opener will be televised on Comcast SportsNet New England and can be heard on the radio on the WEEI Sports Radio Network (93.7 FM).

Odds: Boston is a 7.5-point favorite over Milwaukee on Friday.

Celtics and Bucks in 2011-12: Boston and Milwaukee met three times last season, with the Celtics winning all of the meetings -- 102-96 at the end of February, 100-91 at the end of March and 87-74 in the regular season finale.

Last Time Out: The Celtics were defeated by the Miami Heat, 120-107, in the season opener down in Miami on Tuesday night. Paul Pierce scored a team-high 23 points, Rajon Rondo had 20 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds and Leandro Barbosa scored 16 all in the fourth quarter. Friday night is Milwaukee's season opener.

Game preview: While a Boston-Milwaukee match-up doesn't carry the same clout that a Celtics-Heat game does, Friday evening's duel between the Celtics and Bucks could prove to be an interesting one. The number one reason is scoring, and between the new-look, offense-happy Celtics and the two headed backcourt monster that is Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, we might see another game where both teams reach the 100s. Of course, Doc Rivers has stressed the importance of suring up his team's transition defense, and that will be important to stop an athletic team like Milwaukee. The Celtics are still testing out different lineups as well, so don't be surprised to see Rivers doing a lot of tinkering.

Prediction: The loss to the Heat stung the Celtics, and if you know anything about this prideful bunch, you know that they're going to be hungry to right the problems and get that first victory. Final score: Boston 102, Milwaukee 93.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team blog, CelticsBlog.


Celtics vs. Bucks: Boston takes on Milwaukee

Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics hope to move on from their season opening loss when they face the Milwaukee Bucks in the home opener on Friday evening.

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