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Wednesday, November 3, 2010
10 nuggets on Celtics vs. Bucks

By Chris Forsberg

Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Wednesday's Celtics vs. Bucks clash (ESPN, 8 p.m) at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):

1. Rajon Rondo had 17 assists in the Celtics’ victory Tuesday in Detroit. It was the third time in four games this season that he’s been credited with at least that many assists. Rondo’s 67 assists are an NBA record by one player through his first four games of a season. He broke the mark of 65 assists previously shared by Magic Johnson (in the fall of 1988) and John Stockton (the following year). Johnson and Stockton still share the NBA record for most assists through the first five games of a season (81 each).

Rondo
Rondo
2. It’s not only Rondo who’s piling up the assists for Boston. The Celtics have registered assists on 76 percent of their field goals this season, compared to an NBA average of 57 percent. Boston has been credited with assists on all but one of its 3-point field goals (22 of 23). Paul Pierce had an unassisted 3-pointer vs. Detroit.

3. Rajon Rondo has led the Celtics in assists (tied or outright) in each of Boston’s last eight games against the Bucks. That ties him with Dennis Johnson (1986-88) for the longest such streak by Boston player in the history of this rivalry.


4. The Bucks jumped off to a 14–2 lead against the Trail Blazers at Bradley Center Tuesday night before dropping a 90–76 decision. With that defeat, the Bucks matched the number of home losses they had all last season in games they led by 12 or more points. (Last Nov. 28, Orlando overcame a 17-point deficit to win at Milwaukee, 100–98.)

5. Brandon Jennings leads NBA sophomores in minutes played this season, but three second-year players have higher scoring averages than Jennings, who is averaging 14.3 points per game. Tyreke Evans (20.7), Stephen Curry (20.5) and DeMar DeRozan (15.7) have higher averages.

Delfino
Delfino
6. Carlos Delfino scored 11 points in the first quarter of Tuesday’s game. It was two points shy of Delfino’s single-game high for first-period points (13 first-quarter points twice in his career).

7. Andrew Bogut has four go-ahead baskets this season (either from the floor or from the free-throw line). The only starting center with more go-ahead buckets this season than Bogut is Roy Hibbert (seven).


8. The all-time series between the Celtics and Bucks is tied at 91 wins apiece. Only two other pairs of current NBA franchises that have faced each other as often as these two teams are deadlocked in their all-time series against each other: the Royals/Kings vs. the Warriors (179 wins each), and the SuperSonics/Thunder vs. the Trail Blazers (100 wins each).

9. The Celtics won their first five games against Milwaukee (all in 1968) but the Bucks evened their all-time series against Boston at 6–6 before the end of the 1969–70 season (Lew Alcindor’s rookie campaign). The all-time series has been tied 18 times.

10. Both the Bucks (at home against the Trail Blazers) and Celtics (at Detroit) played Tuesday night. The Bucks are scheduled to play 23 pairs of games on consecutive days this season, tying them with the Hawks and Bulls for the most sets of back-to-back games in the NBA. There’s a wide discrepancy between the teams with the most and fewest pairs of games on consecutive days. The Lakers are scheduled to play on back-to-back days only 15 times this season (NBA low). Last season, the Bucks posted the NBA’s third-best record in the second of “back-to-back” games (14–8, .636). The only teams with better marks in such games than Milwaukee were the Trail Blazers (15–4, .789) and Lakers (13–7, .650). The Celtics’ 11–7 (.611) record tied them with the Cavaliers for fourth-best in the league.