Ford Keys to the Game: Bucks 96, Celtics 102

Ford Keys to the Game

Bucks 96, Celtics 102

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings

Rajon Rondo extends his hand in an attempt to block the view of Brandon Jennings.
Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

Something clicked for the Boston Celtics during the third quarter of tonight’s 102-96 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Doc Rivers loved every second of it.

“The second half, [Rajon Rondo] called 12 different sets, and we got to the first option, second option, and it just looked organized and good,” Rivers happily explained. “And that’s who we were, and that’s who we have to be.”

Who the Celtics were in the third quarter could be described as an unstoppable offensive machine. They went on a 25-6 run in the third period that was unprecedented for them to this point in the season.

No, it’s not that Boston hasn’t put together huge runs at times during this 2011-12 campaign. What stood out tonight was the manner in which the Celtics put together this run, which was nearly perfection.

The Celtics trailed 58-52 before Brandon Bass slammed home a dunk with 8:55 remaining in the third quarter. From the time that basket fell through the hoop until 2:16 remained in the quarter, Boston shot a ridiculous 12-of-14 from the field that helped them take a 77-64 lead.

Bass played the roles of instigator and star during the Celtics’ incredible run. He started it all off with his slam and went on to score a total of nine points during the run.

He wasn’t the only one who got in on the action, though. Five of Bass’ teammates also scored during the 25-6 run, including four points apiece from Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Chris Wilcox.

When the wheels started turning for Boston’s offense, there was no stopping its momentum. The Celtics’ near-perfect offense over a stretch of 6:39 of the third quarter swung the game into their favor and they never let it go.

Milwaukee did make a run, but it would have needed a miracle down the stretch in order to pull off this comeback. And the only miracle that was happening on this night was Boston’s showcase of nearly perfect offense.

Key Box Score Line

I flipped a coin for this spot, and it landed on Rajon Rondo’s side.

Although Kevin Garnett tied for the game high in scoring with 25 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds, Rondo is the man whose box score gets most of the love in this section.

Rondo recorded the 16th triple-double of his career and third of this season by dramatically outperforming his opposing point guard, Brandon Jennings. Rondo logged 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the contest while Jennings scored just six points and was a relative non-factor in the contest.

Rondo’s 15 points are 15 more than he scored last night in Cleveland, and those 11 rebounds were one more than Garnett, the team’s starting center, grabbed tonight. The point guard also dished out his 10 assists while committing just three turnovers.

The Celtics are at their best when Rondo is racking up assists and causing havoc in all areas of the game. As Jennings can attest to, Rondo did just that tonight.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Milwaukee shot just 40.6 percent from the field.
  • Boston's largest lead was 17 points.
  • The Celtics scored at least 25 points in all four quarters.
  • Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
  • Two Bucks, Ersan Ilyasova (25 points) and Drew Gooden (23 points), scored at least 20 points.
  • Kevin Garnett tied Ilyasova for the game high in scoring with 25 points.
  • Chris Wilcox grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
  • All five of Boston's starters scored in double-figures.
  • Boston grabbed 52 rebounds and Milwaukee grabbed 49.
  • Brandon Jennings shot just 2-of-11 from the field.
  • Ilyasova attempted a game-high 19 shots and made a game-high 11.
  • Garnett also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a game-high two shots.
  • All five of Boston's starters attempted between 10 and 18 shots.
  • Wilcox's 13 rebounds were broken down into six at the offensive end and seven at the defensive end.
  • No Milwaukee player committed more than two turnovers.
  • The Celtics attempted nine less shots than the Bucks but made one more.
  • Gooden shot 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
  • The teams combined to shoot just 7-of-31 from 3-point range.

Quote of the Night

Doc Rivers on his team discovering how to execute offensively: "I'm worried now we have a day off, we may forget."