BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Boston Celtics 105-98 on Friday night at TD Garden:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Despite leading by as much as 22, the Celtics appeared to run out of gas and -- with Boston leaning heavy on their out-of-fuel starters late in the fourth quarter -- the Bucks surged ahead in the final minute. Zaza Pachulia scored a game-high 20 points off the bench for Milwaukee, which saw four reserves land in double figures. Brandon Bass scored a team-high 17 points for Boston, while Gerald Wallace added 14. Even in defeat, this night belonged to Vitor Faverani. The Brazilian rookie finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 blocks
over 37 minutes.
The Celtics were up 22 with 19 minutes to play, but the Bucks surged back to tie the game at 93 with four minutes to go. Wallace, who took only one shot last game, made an open 3-pointer to push Boston back out front, but it was his loose-ball foul chasing an offensive rebound a little after that allowed Milwaukee to push ahead 99-98 on two free throws from Pachulia. John Henson blocked a Courtney Lee 3-pointer with 24 seconds to go and Pachulia made a layup at the other end to put the Bucks up 5.
C'S WATCH RUSSELL TRIBUTE
Coach Brad Stevens had his team stand and watch the JumboTron as the Celtics honored Bill Russell during the first timeout. Players joined in the long standing ovation that followed before huddling up. Stevens gushed about getting to hear Russell talk after his statue unveiling on Friday at City Hall Plaza.
The Celtics still treat Jared Sullinger like a rookie (he only played in 45 games last season) and he jokes the nanny of Boston's three other rookies (while waiting to reach 82 career games before being elevated to a true sophomore). Refs treated him like a rookie Friday, whistling him for four fouls over 10:23. Sullinger utilized some relentless work on the offensive glass to help him score 10 points (he was 6 of 7 at the free-throw line).
Lee gave Boston's bench its only real spark, scoring 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting with three rebounds and two steals (but even he was an impossible minus-20 in plus/minus)... Avery Bradley fouled out with 31.4 seconds remaining (the second time he's fouled out in the final minute in two games)... Stevens leaned hard on a nine-man rotation with Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Phil Pressey, and Kris Humphries all earning DNPs.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics should have got Brad Stevens his first NBA win in this one, but the rally put a lot of pressure on a taxed group of starters down the stretch. Boston falls to 0-2 on the young season. The Celtics practice Saturday before flying to Detroit for the first night of a road back-to-back that closes Monday in Memphis.