Notebook: Bucks 99, Celtics 94



Posted Dec 21, 2012 11:58 PM

By Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Milwaukee Bucks overcame a stunning late-game comeback in regulation, and 35 points from Paul Pierce to defeat the Boston Celtics 99-94 in overtime at the TD Garden. Monta Ellis bounced back from a 1-for-14 performance Wednesday night to finish with 27 points in the victory, as the Bucks recovered in overtime after surrendering a seven-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Pierce was almost the hero for Boston after hitting the game-tying 3-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation, but the small forward and his teammates went cold in overtime, as the Bucks regained control behind Ellis. Larry Sanders (17 points, 20 rebounds) and Brandon Jennings (12 points, 11 rebounds) both had double-doubles in the win, as Milwaukee won the season series 3-1 over Boston.

QUOTABLE: "Give the Bucks credit. They've beaten us three times. They're the better team right now."
-- Celtics coach Doc Rivers

THE STAT: The Celtics struggled mightily on the offensive end in the second half, shooting just 33 percent from the field after intermission, including 27 percent in overtime. The lackluster shooting night allowed the Bucks to escape with the win.

TURNING POINT: After giving the Bucks a one-point lead with 22 seconds remaining in overtime, Ellis missed the second of two free throws, but managed to come up with the offensive rebound out of a scrum off the miss. The Celtics were forced to foul Jennings, which enabled Milwaukee to pad their lead and hold off the Celtics late.

QUOTABLE II: "It's a team game, regardless of how I play. We've got to do better in stretches. I think when our offense isn't going for long stretches we've got to be able to defend."
-- Paul Pierce

HOT: Pierce -- Boston's captain had quite the encore performance to follow up his 40-point outburst Wednesday night, scoring 35 points to carry an otherwise inept Celtics' offense. Over the past two games, Pierce is shooting a sizzling 67 percent (26-for-39) from the field.

NOT: Jason Terry -- The shooting guard was back in the starting lineup for the second straight game, but could not find his shooting touch against a stingy Bucks defense. Terry finished 1-for-15 on the night, the worst shooting night of Terry's career.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Sanders -- The third-year big man has had his way all season against the Celtics and Friday night was no different. Sanders had his third consecutive double-double against the Celtics this season. In four head-to-head matchups with Boston in 2012, Sanders averaged 13.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per contest.

ROOKIE WATCH: Jared Sullinger -- The 20-year-old power forward struggled to stay on the floor all night, fouling out with four points and seven rebounds in just 14 minutes of action. It was the first time Sullinger had fouled out in his career.

NOTABLE: Jason Collins started his second straight game at center for Boston...Garnett moved into 18th place all-time for ...Chris Wilcox sat out with a right thumb injury. Leandro Barbosa did not play due to a personal matter...The Celtics called up Kris Joseph from the Maine Red Claws prior to the game... Ersan Ilyasova got the start in the second half for Milwaukee in place of Marquis Daniels...Milwaukee won both meetings in Boston this season. Jeff Green suffered a bruised cheek and chipped teeth after being accidently elbowed by Ilyasova with 20 seconds remaining in overtime...The Bucks have won six of their past eight games...The Celtics led by 10 in the first half.

UP NEXT: For Milwaukee, Saturday vs. Cleveland, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Saturday vs. Miami. For Boston, Tuesday @ Brooklyn, Thursday @ L.A. Clippers, Saturday @ Golden State.