Pierce, Celtics hold off BucksMar 7, 2011 - 7:11 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce led a balanced attack with 23 points, as the Boston Celtics held off the Milwaukee Bucks, 89-83.
Nenad Krstic added 17 points for the Celtics, who have won five in a row. Kevin Garnett donated 14 points and 11 rebounds.
"I told our guys before the game, 'We have two teams with a hundred injuries. They have starters out. We have our entire bench out.' It was going to be a funky game and someone was going to have to win it. Let it be us," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said.
Brandon Jennings finished with 23 points, six boards and five assists for the Bucks, who finished a four-game homestand with a 1-3 mark. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 19 points and seven boards in defeat.
Ray Allen's jumper with 2 1/2 minutes to play gave the Celtics an 84-82 lead. John Salmons was off the mark with a jumper at the other end, but Milwaukee got the ball back following turnovers from Jennings and Pierce.
Carlos Delfino tried to put the Bucks in front with a three-pointer, but it was off the mark. Mbah a Moute grabbed the offensive rebound to give Milwaukee another chance, but the shot clock ran out on the home team.
Following misses from Pierce and Jennings, Garnett made a jumper with 38.5 seconds left to give the Celtics an 86-82 margin. No time came off the clock on the ensuing inbound pass, as Allen fouled Salmons away from the ball.
Salmons' free throw cut the gap to three, but Garnett blocked Mbah a Moute. Pierce recorded a three-point play in the final seconds to seal the victory.
"The whole game, we felt like we hung in there, we did a good job of hanging in there with them, but I feel like we shot ourselves in the foot, turning the ball over and not executing when we needed to at a crucial moment of the game," Mbah a Moute said. "That really cost us."
The Bucks led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, but Boston used a late surge to take a 27-26 edge after 12 minutes.
Milwaukee started the second frame on a 15-4 run to grab a 41-31 lead on Keyon Dooling's jumper with under five minutes remaining.
The Celtics charged right back and got within three, but Jennings' trey gave the Bucks a 49-43 margin at the break.
Boston started the third quarter on an 11-5 flurry to tie the game at 54-54. The remainder of the stanza was close, with Allen's three-point play at the end of the frame giving the Celtics a 69-65 edge.
Boston has won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Bucks...Celtics forward Glen Davis missed his second straight game with patellar tendinitis in his left knee...Boston shot 51.5 percent from the field...Allen had 13 points...Salmons tallied 11 points and six assists.
- BOSTON: 89
Mar 6 11:32 PM
- BOSTON: 69
End of 3rd
Mar 6 10:53 PM
- BOSTON: 43
Mar 6 10:06 PM
- BOSTON: 27
End of 1st
Mar 6 9:34 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 6 9:10 PM
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