Redd Breaks Out Late, Bucks Edge Celtics
Milwaukee 83, Boston 79
MILWAUKEE, Jan. 29 (Ticker) -- Michael Redd heated up at the right time for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Redd scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and T.J. Ford added 15 and eight assists as the Bucks posted an 83-79 victory over the Boston Celtics.
"He's a great player," Milwaukee coach Terry Stotts said. "We try and help him, but I have to give him credit. He had the confidence that when things aren't going his way to still knock down a shot."
Luckily for the Bucks, Redd hardly was the only one struggling Sunday. The Celtics shot just 40 percent (23-of-57) in the first 36 minutes and Bobby Simmons' follow of Dan Gadzuric's airball with less than one second remaining gave the Bucks a 57-56 lead heading into the final session.
"Neither team shot the ball particularly well," Stotts said. "But I'd rather credit that to the defense."
Redd opened the fourth with a jumper and a 3-pointer for a 62-56 lead with 11:06 to go. Brian Scalabrine answered with a shot from the arc and Wally Szczerbiak hit a pair of free throws to cut the margin to one.
The game remained close the rest of the way, with Redd nailing another jumper with 4:15 remaining to give Milwaukee a 74-70 edge. Paul Pierce halved Boston's deficit with a dunk, but Redd provided some breathing room with a layup and a 3-pointer to make it 79-72 with 1:30 to go.
"You knew he would (bounce back)," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "They had run that play (on the 3-pointer) all game and we did a pretty good job, but that was the one play where we didn't step out and try to take it out of his hands."
"We were doing a great job on him defensively, and then he hit two big shots," Szczerbiak said. "He has a quick trigger. You have to be ready for him at all times."
After Szczerbiak scored four straight points, Redd made a pair from the line before Pierce's 3-pointer drew the Celtics within 81-79 with five seconds left.
But Scalabrine and Raef LaFrentz were unable to foul Ford, who dribbled around the two big men before finding Charlie Bell for a fast-break dunk at the buzzer.
Like Redd, Pierce got into early foul trouble and struggled from the field, scoring 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting.
Playing his second game with Boston since Thursday's trade, Szczerbiak finished with 20 points and Al Jefferson had 12 and 12 rebounds for the Celtics.
"I'm just learning the plays and having fun out there," said Szczerbiak, who scored 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting in his Boston debut Friday. "We came up just short and have lost a lot of close games. My teammates and coaches are making things really easy."
Redd picked up two fouls in the first 2:27 of the game, while Pierce was called for his second with just under three minutes left in the first quarter.
"I didn't complain, I just left," Redd said. "I knew it would come back to me. Tough game for me, but I bounced back."
Neither team responded without their top offensive threat as Milwaukee took a 16-14 lead after 12 minutes.
"I took (Redd) out of his rhythm, sitting the whole first quarter," Stotts said. "As much as both teams struggled offensively, he probably got a little frustrated going into the second quarter. So much of the game is about rhythm, and that probably took him out of it a little bit."
It did not get much better in the second, when Bell scored five of his 12 points to help the Bucks build a 40-34 bulge.