The Celtics won another very ugly game as they prevailed over the Milwaukee Bucks and avenged the loss in their home opener. They started off slow, struggling to hit shots and once again lacking defense. Milwaukee scored 30 of the first 38 points in the paint. But, in the second half, the Celtics tightened the defense and were able to execute down the stretch to get their 3rd win of the year.
Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo (9) drives to the basket as Milwaukee Bucks'
Brandon Jennings (3) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball
game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Doc shook up the starting lineup again, moving Jared Sullinger and Courtney Lee to the bench in favor of Brandon Bass and Jason Terry. Bass scored 8 points on 3-6 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and 1 block before he fouled out with 1:48 left in the game. Jason Terry was the only player hot early, scoring 15 points on 5-7 shooting along with 2 assists. Chris Wilcox had another solid outing off the bench with 6 points on 3-5 shooting along with 3 rebounds.
Jared Sullinger played just under 7 minutes and finished with 2 points and 4 rebounds. Courtney Lee played 28 minutes and went 0-3 and had just 1 rebound to show for his time on the court. Jeff Green finally showed some of the ability that the Celtics have been waiting for. He finished with 12 points (3-8 from the field and 6-8 from the line) to go with 3 rebounds and 2 blocks. He also made some key plays down the stretch.
Boston Celtics' Courtney Lee (11) and Milwaukee Bucks' Samuel Dalembert
(21) battle for the loose ball during the second half of an NBA
basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jim
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 25 points on 8-18 shooting to go with 9 rebounds and 3 assists. He was also 6-8 from the line. KG was KG-like with 18 points (6-8) along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Rajon Rondo finished with 10 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 steal. He kept his streak of double digit assists going, now at 30, but ended his streak of games with 11 or more assists at 27, which ties the record for the most in league history. The Celtics got a scare when Rajon Rondo left the game after banging knees with Samuel Dalembert after a hard screen. Rondo spent some time on the bench flexing the right leg before returning to the game moments later. After the game Rondo said that he was ok and credited the knee pads he wears for preventing it from being worse. He'll ice it and expects to be fine.
The Celtics were out-rebounded 44-40. They started out slowly, but were very aggressive on the boards down the stretch. They are still turning the ball over too much. Most of their 14 turnovers were in the first half and they were more focused in the second half. The Bucks had 15 fast break points to 12 for the Celtics. The Bucks seemed to have an open path to the basket off of turnovers in the first half but the Celtics played much better defense in the second half. The Celtics were outscored in 48-32 in the paint. After a poor shooting first half, they finished the game shooting 44.4% from the field. They held the Bucks to 39.8% shooting for the game.
Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (34) reacts in the finals seconds of the
Celtics 96-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of
an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Milwaukee. The
Celtics defeated the Bucks 96-92. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
It doesn't get any easier for the Celtics. They have Sunday off and then head to Chicago to play the 4-2 Central Division leading Bulls.