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.
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