Pierce, Celtics beat BucksMar 23, 2012 - 3:42 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce poured in a game-high 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 100-91 victory over the Bucks at Bradley Center on Thursday.
Rajon Rondo handed out 14 assists to go with 10 points, while Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass grabbed 10 boards apiece and scored 16 and 12, respectively, for Boston. Mickael Pietrus added 13 points off the bench to help the Celtics improve to 4-3 on a season-high eight-game road trip.
"It's a good win definitely tonight, especially the way Milwaukee's been playing as of late," said Pierce. "This is a mentally strong group. We understand it's been a long trip. This is a group that wants to get the next win to make it a great trip."
Brandon Jennings led the Bucks with 19 points and Carlos Delfino chipped in 16. Monta Ellis, making his home debut for the Bucks, scored 13 points and dished out seven assists, but Milwaukee had its six-game win streak snapped.
"They're just a different caliber of opponenet," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles about the Celtics. "They execute, they set screens, they know what they're doing and they're very experienced. We were just way too sloppy on both ends."
After Luc Mbah a Moute pulled the Bucks within one to start the fourth, Boston jumped out on a 16-4 surge that found the visitors on top 90-77 just past the midway point of the final stanza.
The lead was down to seven after Jennings poured in eight straight for his club, but Garnett responded with a jumper and Rondo finished a layup off of a Jennings turnover to press the lead back to double digits, 96-85, with 3:26 to play and Milwaukee never threatened again.
Boston connected on four of its five three-point tries in the first quarter to take a 35-29 lead after one. Pietrus knocked down two from long range, while Pierce and Allen accounted for the other two.
The Celtics led by seven, 52-45, with just over three minutes to play in the second when the Bucks reeled off an 13-4 run to close the half, as Mike Dunleavy's layup gave Milwaukee a 58-56 edge heading into halftime.
Pierce began the third with two from long range to give Boston a 62-58 lead and Garnett tallied the final four of the frame to send the Celtics into the fourth clinging to a 74-71 lead.
Milwaukee will continue its stretch of three games in three nights in Charlotte on Friday...Boston will wrap up its eight-game road trip on Friday in Philadelphia, which holds just a 1/2 game lead over the Celtics for first in the Atlantic Division...With the loss, Milwaukee falls 1 1/2 games behind the idle New York Knicks for eighth in the Eastern Conference.
- BOSTON: 100
Mar 22 10:15 PM
- BOSTON: 74
End of 3rd
Mar 22 9:44 PM
- BOSTON: 56
Mar 22 9:06 PM
- BOSTON: 35
End of 1st
Mar 22 8:36 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 22 8:11 PM
- Bucks say IRS, FBI investigating email scam targeting team May 19
- Celtics' Olynyk undergoes successful shoulder surgery May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Love's Return: Cavs' big man thriving in second postseason May 11
- Celtics' president Ainge embracing expectation-filled summer May 4
- Optimism high as Celtics enter a likely active offseason Apr 29
- Hawks confident heading into 2nd round rematch with Cavs Apr 29
- Hawks overwhelm Celtics, move to 2nd round with 104-92 win Apr 29
- Hawks, Celtics alone on playoff stage in close out game Apr 28
- Stevens: Celtics' Thomas on track to play Game 6 vs. Hawks Apr 27
- Hawks-Celtics Preview Apr 27
- NBA Playoff Capsules Apr 26