Bucks 99, Celtics 88
The Milwaukee Bucks came into TD Garden with a plan to spoil Boston’s home opener. They did exactly that thanks to a 14-2 run in the first half that put the game in their hands for good.
The run began at the end of the first quarter and spilled over into the first few minutes of the second quarter. Monta Ellis got things rolling with a 3-pointer and Larry Sanders threw down two consecutive dunks to finish off the first quarter. That 7-0 spurt to close the frame put the Bucks ahead 25-18.
Milwaukee was also able to notch the first bucket of the second quarter when Ekpe Udoh opened up the bank with a kiss off the glass from nine feet away. The Celtics scored the next bucket, a layup from Jared Sullinger with 9:45 remaining in the second, but it was already too late.
Boston had gone nearly five minutes without scoring a point by that time. The Bucks, meanwhile, had total control.
Beno Udrih responded to Sullinger’s layup with one of his own just 14 seconds later. Udrih then canned a 3-pointer with 8:23 remaining in the first half to put the Bucks ahead by 12 points, the largest lead of the game to that point.
All in all, it was a 14-2 run for Milwaukee over the span of six minutes of playing time. Boston’s deficit never dropped below double-digits for the remainder of the game and the Bucks pulled ahead by as many as 22 points.
Key Box Score Line
Brandon Jennings was an All-Star point guard tonight. How do we know that? Well, he outperformed an All-Star point guard all night long.
Jennings was grooving from the opening tip and finished with game highs of 21 points, 13 assists and six steals. His counterpart, Rajon Rondo, did notch a double-double of his own, but Jennings was the one player in this game who seemed unstoppable.
The fourth-year guard shot 9-of-17 from the field, including several difficult floaters off of the glass. He continually penetrated Boston’s defense and he knew exactly what to do when he got in the paint. The fact that only three of his 21 points came from 3-point range will tell you just how well he finished around the basket.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics scored 58 points in the second half on 61.8 percent shooting.
- Brandon Jennings recorded game highs of 21 points, 13 assists and six steals.
- Rajon Rondo recorded a double-double, too, with 14 points and 11 assists.
- Four reserves scored exactly 10 points, including three from the Bucks.
- Milwaukee scored 52 points in the paint.
- Jared Sullinger led the Celtics in rebounds with seven off of the bench.
- Milwaukee shot 46.5 percent from the field, 44.3 percent from 3-point range and 91.7 percent from the free-throw line.
- Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 15 points.
- Both teams had six players score in double-figures.
- Ersan Ilyasova grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
- Jason Terry scored 10 points off of the bench on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-for-2 from downtown.
Quote of the Night
Doc Rivers discusses the current mindset of his team: "I don't see the urgency yet. At times I think we thought we would show up, because we have a lot of players on the team, and that would mean we would win. And when you make this many changes, I think our guys have to understand that you have to invest, invest into the team to become a team."