Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/16

Game 1: Saturday, November 16th
Game 2: Saturday, January 18th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 22nd

Celtics 97

(23-17, 9-10 away)

Bucks 95

(19-21, 10-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 18, 2003

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 27 31 20 1997
    MIL 29 19 17 3095

    Top Performers

    Boston: A. Walker 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    Milwaukee: T. Thomas 22 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Pierce forgets the misses and hits the big one

    MILWAUKEE (AP) --Despite struggling earlier in the game, Paul Pierce never hesitated when given the opportunity to take a big shot.

    Antoine Walker scored 25 points and Pierce made a key jumper with 35.9 seconds left as Boston defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 97-95 Saturday night for their third straight victory.

    Tim Thomas made one of two free throws with 53.8 seconds left, bringing the Bucks within two at 94-92.

    Despite making just one of his previous 10 shots and shooting 6-of-22 overall, Pierce responded with a 12-foot jumper that made it 96-92.

    "It felt good, even though I missed 10 or 15 shots in a row,'' Pierce said. "If the shot is there I'm going to take it anytime.''

    Kedrick Brown posted his first career double-double by finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs, in his first start for Boston.

    "Everyone stepped up and played their part, and that is what we need to grow as a team,'' Walker said.

    The Celtics had lost eight of 10 before their modest winning streak.

    "That was outstanding,'' Boston coach Jim O'Brien said. "We are doing a good job of finding one another and passing the ball. We have played five solid games in a row and we will try to continue on a little bit of momentum that we have.''

    Tim Thomas scored 22 points and Sam Cassell had 20 for Milwaukee, which had won a season-high five straight and six of seven. The Bucks also had beaten the Celtics at home seven straight times.

    "We've been doing a good job,'' Milwaukee coach George Karl said. "Now we have to go on another run and we have a favorable schedule to do that.''

    The Bucks trailed by 16 points with 11:32 to play before going on an 11-0 run, but the rally fell short when they missed two crucial free throws late in the game.

    "It was a lot of things,'' Thomas said. "We still had a chance to win, we just didn't get it done. That's the bottom line.''

    After neither team scored for 2:24, Cassell made one of two from the line to cut Boston's lead to 94-91 with 1:47 remaining.

    After Pierce's shot, J.R. Bremer's free throw boosted the lead to five before Toni Kukoc made a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left.

    Game notes

    Three consecutive dunks by Boston in the last minute of the first half gave the Celtics a 58-48 halftime lead. "We played like a high school team for about three minutes,'' Karl said. ... Ray Allen made three straight 3-pointers in the first 1:45 of the game. After hitting his first four shots of the game, he missed his final 10 to finish 4-of-14 from the field for 13 points. ... After playing 15 minutes Friday, Boston's Tony Delk sat out for the third time in four games (sprained left ankle). ... Walker also had eight rebounds and six assists.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 95
    FGM-FGA 37-85 (.435) 29-71 (.408)
    3PM-3PA 9-26 (.346) 10-23 (.435)
    FTM-FTA 14-22 (.636) 27-34 (.794)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-47 7-42
    Assists 26 22
    Turnovers 14 17
    Steals 6 5
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 6 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (3/0) 24 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Antoine Walker Walker
    Points: 25
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Tim Thomas Thomas
    Points: 22
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2