Bucks Beat Celtics, Snap Three-Game Slide
Milwaukee 92, Boston 86
BOSTON, March 10 (Ticker) -- Sharpshooter Michael Redd and the Milwaukee Bucks made sure they didn't give up any ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Redd scored 26 points and Bobby Simmons added 18 and eight rebounds as the Bucks snapped their three-game losing streak with a 92-86 triumph over the Boston Celtics, whose postseason hopes took a hit.
"This was a big win for us, there is no two ways about it," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "Boston has been playing well and we needed a win in a bad way. I was proud of our guys the way we gutted it out and we got a lot of contributions from a lot of people and we did a lot of little things that you have to do to win on the road."
Paul Pierce's three-point play gave the Celtics a 66-59 advantage with just over four minutes left in the third quarter. The Bucks stayed within striking distance, trailing by only two points at the end of the period.
Boston's Wally Szczerbiak and Brian Scalabrine opened the fourth quarter by hitting 3-pointers for a six-point bulge just two minutes into period.
But Simmons made a layup and Charlie Bell, who scored eight points, hit a floater in the lane as the Bucks went ahead, 86-82, with 3:17 remaining.
Trailing, 88-85, Boston had chance to tie after Bell fouled Pierce on a 3-point attempt with 13 seconds to go.
"I just tried to get up on him and I knew he was going to go for the three," Bell said. "I just wanted to make it tough for him and I think I got a little too close and him being Paul Pierce, he is going to get that call."
But the superstar swingman made just 1-of-3 from the line. Redd sealed the victory with four free throws in the final moments.
"I just probably got a little anxious thinking about overtime instead of making free throws," said Pierce, who had 24 points and eight assists. "I guess I'm human after all. I'm going to make some plays down the stretch and I'm not going to make some plays and tonight was one of those days and it wasn't my day."
"It was very vital that we came in here and got a win tonight and it helps our confidence as well," said Redd, who made 11-of-11 free throws. "We had been down and lost a couple of games in a row, but tonight definitely gives us a boost."
Pierce had scored at least 30 points in 13 of his last 14 games.
"To hold Pierce under 30 is an accomplishment to begin with," Stotts said. "Our guys worked hard on him, not only the guys covering him, but making him play in a crowd, doubling him some."
Jamaal Magloire scored 16 points and rookie Andrew Bogut and T.J. Ford added 11 apiece for the Bucks, who shot 43 percent (33-of-76) from the field.
"The team went to us early," said Magloire, who had eight rebounds. "Andrew had a good game, both rebounding the ball and scoring it, and ... that was the difference in the game."
Szczerbiak scored 18 points and rookie Ryan Gomes added 12 for Boston, which is five games out of the final playoff spot with 20 games remaining.
"We had our chances tonight in the game that we never really played great, never had any offensive rhythm," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We had one stretch where we did; other than that, we didn't and we just didn't come through."