Garnett, Celtics outlast BucksMar 1, 2012 - 7:15 AM Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett scored 25 points, Rajon Rondo had a triple-double and the Boston Celtics staved off a comeback attempt in the final minutes Wednesday night to beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-96.
Rondo had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Celtics, who won their second in a row on the heels of a five-game losing streak. They salvaged a 1-4 road trip Tuesday with a win over Cleveland and managed to hold on against the Bucks, who used a 13-0 run to cut a 15-point deficit to two points in the last minute.
Garnett, who had 10 rebounds, made four straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 25 points with 10 rebounds and Drew Gooden had 23 points for the Bucks. Brandon Jennings scored just six and missed two straight shots on a key possession in the waning moments: a driving layup that Garnett didn't contest and then a three-point try from the left corner that could have made it a one-point game.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said he preferred the second half to the first Wednesday, mostly because of Rondo's game management. The guard picked up his third triple-double of the season.
"Even though we had 50 points (in the first half) it was almost happenstance. We had a couple of threes at the end," said Rivers. "It just looked organized and good (in the second half) and I thought it was Rondo's doing."
"That was good basketball," Rivers added, "good, solid basketball and that's how we have to play."
He probably didn't mean the part where the Celtics let Milwaukee climb back into the game after Garnett's jumper made it 98-83 inside three minutes.
Jennings knocked down a pair of threes during the 13-0 burst and Ilyasova scored the last three points, drawing the Bucks within 98-96. But after Garnett made a pair at the line, Jennings slashed through the lane and missed a layup that hit off the backboard, then the front of the rim.
He scrambled to the left corner and got the ball, but his three-point try was off the mark as well. Garnett made his last two free throws with 2.1 seconds on the clock.
"We tried to scramble at the end and we made it interesting, but generally you are not going to beat them in that type of game," said Milwaukee head coach Scott Skiles.
Earlier, Ilyasova had 10 points in the first quarter for Milwaukee while Rondo scored eight to lead the Celtics, who shot almost 48 percent to keep the game tied 25-25 going into the second.
Gooden scored 10 of his 16 first-half points in the second quarter and the Bucks led by as many as nine on the way to a 54-50 edge at the break. Rondo ended the half with 13 points, then had five assists and six rebounds in the third quarter to help Boston take a 77-67 lead into the fourth.
Boston has won four straight against the Bucks and 12 of the last 15 meetings...The Celtics started a four-game homestand that also includes visits from the Nets, Knicks and Rockets...Milwaukee began a three-game road trip that finishes with games in Atlanta and Orlando on Friday and Saturday.
- MILWAUKEE: 96
Feb 29 9:53 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 25
End of 1st
Feb 29 8:07 PM
- MILWAUKEE: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 29 7:42 PM
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