Rapid Reaction: Bucks 92, Celtics 85
Rapid reaction after the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 92-85 on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Brandon Knight flirted with a triple-double (20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) while John Henson registered a double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) and the Bucks snapped an 11-game losing streak by rallying past the Celtics for the second time this season. Milwaukee shot 47.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc (8-of-17), which included Knight making all three of his attempts and O.J. Mayo (team-high 22 points) adding a couple as well. Rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo added 10 points off the Milwaukee bench and made some highlight-worthy plays (one first-half block/dunk in transition sequence was particularly noteworthy). Jared Sullinger led Boston by posting team highs with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Jordan Crawford and Jeff Green each added 18 points apiece for the Celtics.
The Celtics endured an abysmal second quarter (getting outscored 28-14), but that only negated a strong start. The game got away from Boston late in the third quarter. The Bucks were up three (61-58) with 3:29 to play in the frame, but Antetokounmpo followed a 3-pointer with a dunk and Milwaukee's lead stretched to nine. Luke Ridnour hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, pushing the Bucks' lead to double figures, where it would stay for much of the rest of the game. A late flurry had Boston within seven a couple times in the final 90 seconds, but the Celtics could never get within two possessions.
Sullinger was tagged with his second flagrant-1 foul in the past seven days (he also earned one in Atlanta). It turned out to be a big sequence as Khris Middleton made both free throws before Mayo hit a jumper after Milwaukee retained possession, and the Bucks doubled their lead from four to eight early in the third quarter.
Courtney Lee (sore left knee) missed his second straight game. ... Lee, Rajon Rondo (ACL rehab) and Kelly Olynyk (sprained right ankle) did not travel to Milwaukee. ... Keith Bogans got some early second-quarter run, while MarShon Brooks played the final 4 ½ minutes. ... Gerald Wallace played 24:30 without a shot or a point. He did contribute four rebounds and four assists. ... The Celtics shot 41.7 percent, but only 21.1 percent beyond the arc; Milwaukee shot 46.2 percent, but thrived behind the 3-point line. ... Boston led by as much as 11 early on.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (7-12) missed a chance to pull even with the Toronto Raptors atop the Atlantic Division. Instead, they fell to maybe the worst team in the league for the second time this season. On the positive side, a brutal November is over. Boston had played 19 games in 31 days to start the 2013-14 season. December is far more agreeable (only 12 games over 31 days with ample rest/practice time). The Celtics have the next two days off before hosting Milwaukee (yes, another game with the Bucks) on Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Play Podcast Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Congressman Peter King join the debut podcast to discuss security at this year's Boston Marathon.
Play Podcast Boston Marathon runner Demi Clark and her husband Brian, talk about the impact of witnessing the bombings last year. Dr. Jonathan Katz speaks about dealing with trauma.
Play Podcast Scott Burnside is joined by Craig Custance, Katie Strang, Joe McDonald and Pierre LeBrun to break down each series of the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs.
Play Podcast Buster Olney talks with Tim Kurkjian and Aaron Boone about the Braves hot start, the Nationals' injury woes, John Farrell's ejection after a blown replay and much more.