BOSTON (AP) -- Even with two new starters in the lineup, the
Boston Celtics' slide didn't end.
Walter McCarty's 3-pointer was waved off at the buzzer, the
referees ruling it came too late as the Celtics lost their seventh
straight game, 106-104 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.
Michael Redd scored 26 points and Desmond Mason added 21 for
Milwaukee, which won back-to-back road games for the second time
"For a team that has a road-heavy schedule in the second half,
we're getting off to a good start," Bucks guard Damon Jones said.
Boston, which started rookie Brandon Hunter in place of Chris
Mihm and newly acquired Chucky Atkins at point guard, has dropped
13 of 14. Hunter scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed nine
rebounds, while Atkins added 14 points and eight assists.
"When we get teams down by 12, especially ones that played the
night before, you have to be able to put them away," Atkins said.
After the Celtics took a 101-100 lead on a three-point play by
Mark Blount, Milwaukee responded with baskets by Keith Van Horn,
Damon Jones and Redd to take a 106-101 lead. Ricky Davis followed
with a basket and free throw to pull the Celtics within two.
"Once (Paul) Pierce fouled out, we knew the ball was going to
Davis more," Redd said. "We made the key plays down the stretch,
and we are big fans of the instant replay."
Pierce led the Celtics with 21 points before fouling out with
2:49 remaining. Blount chipped in 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"This was a tough one to lose because we had a lot of
opportunities," Pierce said. "When you miss 17 free throws and
lose by two points, that says it all."
Boston was 22-of-39 from the free throw line.
Trailing 40-28 after one quarter, the Bucks went on a 12-0 run
to start the second quarter behind six points from Erick
Strickland. Mason led Milwaukee with 13 second- quarter points on
Toni Kukoc scored 18 points off the bench for Milwaukee.
Bucks guard T.J. Ford missed the game with a sprained neck.
He was placed on the injured list. ... Atkins made his debut for
the Celtics after being acquired in a multi-player trade with
Detroit last week. ... Joe Smith left the game in the first quarter
with an ankle injury for Milwaukee. ... Boston's 40 points in the
first quarter was a season-high. ... The Celtics have allowed an
average of 109 points over the last six games.