Celtics 87, Bucks 74: Boston Beats Milwaukee In Regular Season Finale

Rajon Rondo didn't score, but had 15 assists as the Boston Celtics defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 87-74, in the regular season finale on Thursday night at TD Garden. Boston (38-27) will face Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs.

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NBA Playoffs 2012 Schedule: Celtics Win Thursday, But Hawks Earn Home Court Advantage

The Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 87-74, on Thursday night. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Hawks had no trouble dispatching the Dallas Mavericks. As a result, the Celtics will earn the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Hawks the No. 4, giving Atlanta homecourt advantage when the two teams tip off in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

If the Hawks had lost, the Celtics would have moved a half game ahead in the Eastern Conference standings, giving them the 4-seed and the benefit of playing at home for four games if the best-of-seven series went the distance. Boston finished at 39-27 overall, compared to Atlanta's 40-26 record.

The two teams faced three times the season, with the Celtics winning twice. The Hawks won the most recent meeting, 97-92, on April 20, however.

For 2012 NBA Playoffs news, follow our stream. For Celtics coverage, visit our team page and CelticsBlog. Visit Peachtree Hoops and SB Nation Atlanta for Hawks coverage.

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Celtics 87, Bucks 74: Boston Tops Milwaukee In Regular Season Finale

BOSTON - One more, for good measure. Instead of taking the final game of the season off, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo suited up to help the Boston Celtics beat down the Milwaukee Bucks, 87-74, in the regular season finale on Thursday night at TD Garden.

Boston's win made its final record 39-27, but by virtue of an Atlanta Hawks victory over the Dallas Mavericks (106-89), the Celtics will open the playoffs on the road against Atlanta, which clinched home court advantage with its win over the Mavs in its season finale.

Rondo was held scoreless for Boston, but stretched his streak of double-digit assists to 24 games, finishing with 15 dimes. Garnett scored four and had two rebounds in 11 minutes and Paul Pierce, who left the game in the first quarter with a sprained big toe but returned, had 12 points in six minutes. Avery Bradley scored 14, Mickael Pietrus and Ryan Hollins had nine points (Hollins also had five blocks) and E'Twaun Moore added eight points.

Tobias Harris scored a game-high 16 and Jon Leuer added 15 in the loss for the Bucks.

"They handled us pretty good obviously," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. "They played tight defense that we have played in the past. We haven't played it this year. They took us out of what we wanted to run. We had to start over dribbling a little bit and just had great difficulty with getting any baskets. Ball movement, on the occasion we could move the ball, we were able to at least get a decent look. That's championship type defense."

Boston will open the playoffs on Sunday night at Philips Arena in Atlanta (7 p.m. EST). Game 2 wil be played on Tuesday night before the series shifts to Boston, where Game 3 (Friday) and Game 4 (Sunday) will be played.


Final - 4.26.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Milwaukee Bucks 18 24 19 13 74
Boston Celtics 21 39 18 9 87

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For more Celtics and Bucks coverage, visit our blogs, CelticsBlog and Brew Hoop.

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Celtics Vs. Bucks Halftime Score: Boston Up 60-42 At Intermission

The Boston Celtics are dominating the Milwaukee Bucks through two quarters during Thursday night's regular season finale at TD Garden. As a team, Boston is outshooting Milwaukee 52.3 percent to 40 percent from the floor, on their to a 60-42 lead at halftime.

Paul Pierce left the game in the first period, and was deemed unlikely to return with a sprained left big toe. He did come back, however, scoring five points in the second quarter to lead the Celtics with 12 points. Rajon Rondo was held without a point through 24 minutes, but put up a whopping 12 assists. Brandon Bass pitched in five points and six rebounds.

Boston has forced 11 Milwaukee turnovers, while giving the ball back just four times. Brandon Jennings leads the Bucks with 10 points, but shot just 4-for-11 from the field to get there. He has four turnovers to just two assists.

For more on the Celtics, head over to the SB Nation blog CelticsBlog.

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Paul Pierce Injury: Celtics Forward Heads To Locker Room Against Bucks

Paul Pierce left Thursday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks with an apparent sprained left big toe, the Boston Celtics report. He went to the locker room with Dr. Brian McKeon after he came down grimacing following his first made 3-pointer of the night. The team reports that the forward is unlikely to return.

If Pierce doesn't return, it will be difficult to tell how much of that decision has to do with the fact that the Celtics are in the playoffs and don't need to take any unnecessary risks with a star player. A win would give them home court advantage in the first round, but either way they will be playing the Atlanta Hawks to open the 2012 NBA Playoffs.

For more on the Celtics, be sure to check out the SB Nation blog CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Bucks: Celtics Still Might Back Into Home Court Advantage

The Boston Celtics conclude their regular season Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Though the Celtics have made it clear playoff home court advantage is not a priority, it's still a possibility.

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