Just one night after blowing out the Portland Trail Blazers at home, the Boston Celtics looked uncharacteristically fresh against the Milwaukee Bucks from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI. That would all change from the second quarter on, as the Bucks stormed back to beat the Celtics, 91-88.
Boston jumped out to a hot start, scoring 17 points before the Bucks registered a bucket and it looked over from the start. The Celtics defensive rotations were crisp, their pick-and-roll defense was at it's best and they were allowing virtually nothing to go in.
But unlike the Trail Blazers in Boston Friday, Milwaukee fought back to make it a contest. With most of their misses coming from near the rim in the first quarter, the Bucks instead relied on knocking down long jumpers. After making only five shots in the first frame, Milwaukee connected on 14 shots thanks to efficient ball movement and the play of Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova had 10 of his 11 points in the quarter as the Bucks trimmed Boston's lead to one heading into the half, 48-47.
Early in the third quarter, the Bucks would continue their strong comeback, taking a brief, one-point lead at the 10:29 mark before trading baskets with the Celtics. It was truly a quarter of runs, where Boston used a 7-0 run hold a seven-point advantage, before the Bucks used a 9-2 run to close the quarter and tie the game at 69.
The fourth quarter would be all the Boston veterans though. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce scored all 13 ob Boston's points over the first nine minutes of the quarter to keep the Celtics in the contest before Jeff Green hit a huge trey to tie the game at 85. Pierce would follow with another big three-point shot to take their first lead of the final frame with only 1:44 left in the game. Brandon Jennings proceeded to hit a three with just 24 seconds left, giving the Bucks a two-point lead. Jason Terry missed a three to take the lead on the next possession, allowing Larry Sanders to draw the foul and hit one of his two free throws and extend their lead to three. Terry would miss another three at the buzzer, giving Milwaukee their first win of the year over the Celtics this season.
Pierce and Garnett combined for 16 of the Boston Celtics 19 fourth-quarter points as the Milwaukee Bucks stole one, 91-88, Saturday night from BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI.
Five Boston players would score double-digit points and Terry notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists. Milwaukee had two starters (Monta Ellis and Jennings) and two bench players (Ilyasova and Sanders) in double-digits. Sanders had double-digit points and boards for the second night in a row, scoring 17 and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Boston, and Rajon Rondo, will return to the TD Garden in Boston, MA. Wednesday night at 7:30 pm ET to face off against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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