Paul Pierce had 17 points in the first half as the Boston Celtics lead the Milwaukee Bucks, 46-43, Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA.
Boston got back on track with their fifth-straight home win Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but needed to continue their uplifting play after such a frustrating road trip.
The Celtics opened the game by missing their first six shots before they got rolling. Boston's defense stifled the Milwaukee duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, who combined three of the Bucks' seven combined turnovers in the quarter.
Pierce got it going early, scoring 13 points in his first game after dropping 40 Wednesday night. Jeff Green was also outstanding for the Celtics in the quarter, scoring six points and grabbing three steals to give Boston an energy boost off the bench.
Boston used a 12-1 run to close the quarter, and led 25-17 after one.
Kevin Garnett, Jared Sullinger and Green were all subbed out just minutes into the second quarter and the Boston lead was promptly cut into by Milwaukee. The Bucks used a 9-2 run to cut Boston's lead to three before the Celtics' defensive stalwart rejoined the game and pushed the lead back to 10.
The Bucks closed the half on an 8-0 run, but the Celtics still held the halftime advantage, 46-43.
Milwaukee attempted 16 shots from the free throw line in the half, while the Celtics only took six shots from the charity stripe.
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