So much for defense being a problem.
The Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks for the second time in a week Sunday night, this time by the score of 87-56, and set a couple of franchise marks in the process. The 56 points were the fewest the Celts have ever allowed in a game in the shot clock era, while the 22 they allowed in the first half marked the fewest they've ever allowed in one half in the shot clock era.
Ray Allen led the C's with 17 points, shooting 6-of-10 from the floor and connecting on both of his 3-point tries. Nenad Krstic had his second double-double in as many games with 11 points and 14 rebounds. No one played more than 30 minutes and the starting five skipped the entire fourth quarter for the Celtics, who shot 46 percent from the floor and led by as many as 31 in the second half against a tired Bucks team that packed it in early.
Milwaukee, winners of its last three games coming into Sunday night, scored just nine points in the first quarter and shot only 23 percent in the first half. Some garbage time buckets by bench guys like Earl Barron (team-high 10 points) and Keyon Dooling pushed the Bucks up to 31 percent for the game. They were outrebounded 50-32 and had just 13 assists as a team.
The Celtics committed 17 turnovers and looked slightly out of sorts in the early going. But Allen and Krstic's play, combined with a big game from the bench, saevd the offense. Glen Davis returned after a four-game absence and scored nine points to go with seven rebounds in 18 minutes. Troy Murphy had his best game as a Celtic with 11 points and seven rebounds and Carlos Arroyo looked very comfortable in dishing out six assists in 25 minutes.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Celtics (47-17), who journey to Newark for a Monday night clash against the Nets and their new point guard, Deron Williams.