It took a miracle for the Boston Celtics to force overtime Friday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.
All it took was one missed rebound from the C’s for the Bucks to take home the win.
Monta Ellis was sent to the free-throw line with 27.5 seconds remaining in overtime while the game tied up at 94-94. He cashed in on the first free throw to give Milwaukee a lead, but his miss on the second attempt gave Boston plenty of life.
All the Celtics needed to do was haul in the rebound and call for a timeout. Such a sequence would have given Boston the ball with less than 30 seconds remaining in overtime with a chance to take the lead. It would have given Doc Rivers an opportunity to draw up one of his patented out-of-bounds plays to go after that lead.
It didn’t play out that way. Far from it, actually.
Jeff Green rose up on the left side of the basket to grab the miss but the ball was tipped off of his hands. The ball bounced out toward the left corner of the court and Ellis sprinted toward it. As he did, Green took an errant elbow from Ersan Ilyasova that sent him tumbling to the floor while covering the left side of his face.
As Green fell to the floor, Ellis corralled the loose ball near the left sideline. In a matter of seconds, the Celtics had not only lost an opportunity to take the lead and win the game, but they also lost the services of Green.
Boston called for timeout and Green was ushered off of the court and to the locker room by the team’s medical staff. He has been diagnosed with a bruised left cheek and multiple chipped teeth.
Likewise, the final result of this game didn’t look good for Boston. Milwaukee tacked on four more points after Ellis’ critical offensive rebound and the Bucks strutted out of TD Garden with a 99-94 victory.
Key Box Score Line
Paul Pierce was the only Boston player who had it cooking Friday night. The oven was hot for him for the second consecutive game.
Pierce was coming off of a season-best 40-point game Wednesday night in which he made 13 of his 16 field goal attempts. He didn’t match those numbers tonight, but he sure came close. No. 34 finished with a game-high 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting while also hauling in a team-high 12 rebounds.
The captain’s shooting was much needed on this night, because the rest of his teammates combined to shoot just 32.4 percent from the field. That fact makes it even more shocking that Pierce also piled up five assists in the contest.
Box Score Nuggets
- Paul Pierce, who scored 25 points, was the only Celtics player to score more than 14.
- Boston shot just 38.3 percent from the field.
- Milwaukee scored 50 points in the paint on 25-for-43 shooting.
- Larry Sanders grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds.
- Milwaukee grabbed 57 rebounds compared to Boston's 44.
- Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry combined to shoot 7-of-37 from the field.
- Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 27 points on 9-of-21 shooting.
- Pierce accounted for six of Boston's 15 turnovers, while Brandon Jennings accounted for seven of Milwaukee's 23 turnovers.
- Pierce led the Celtics with 12 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 11 assists.
- Milwaukee shot just 22-of-36 from the free-throw line.
- Jeff Green (14 points) and Courtney Lee (11 points) combined to outscore Milwaukee's entire bench (23 points).
- Both teams made five 3-pointers.
Quote of the Night
He's a rookie. I'm going to stop there. Doc Rivers on Jared Sullinger's inability to stay out of foul trouble