Final - OT
  for this game

Garnett, Celtics nearly blow huge lead, beat Bucks in overtime

Apr 9, 2008 - 3:54 AM By Nick Berenz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The "Big Three" were all back for the Boston Celtics, but it was the bench that had to hold on in overtime for their seventh straight victory, 107-104, over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

The Bucks were able to overcome a 25-point deficit against mainly reserves as Michael Redd hit a 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime.

Kevin Garnett scored 21 points in 19 minutes but didn't see any action after midway through the third quarter. Despite seeing limited action, the Celtics had enough to win their league-high 29th road game.

Garnett looked energized from the start with eight quick points during a 17-2 run over the first five minutes of the game. In just 13 first-half minutes, Garnett was 6-of-7 from the floor with 19 points. The Celtics led 60-45 at the half.

"I'm taking these games as preparation for the playoffs," Garnett said. "It was a little nerve-racking because you want your guys to do well but I just tried to keep my energy high and their energy high."

The third quarter got off to a similar start to the first for Boston, which opened the half on a 14-4 run to extend the lead to 74-49 with 7:26 remaining.

But the Bucks were able to put together a 11-0 run to close the lead to 80-66 at the end of the third and take advantage of the Celtics' back-ups in the fourth.

"Obviously, I didn't like the way we gave up the lead, but it was great for (our bench)," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "It didn't go well for (our bench) but it was great for them."

The Bucks tied the game at 87-87 with 4:09 remaining behind a 12-2 run capped by a Bobby Simmons' 3-pointer and a free throw by Andrew Bogut on the screen.

With 16.7 seconds remaining and the Celtics leading, 99-96, James Posey missed a pair of critical free throws. Bogut finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, his fifth consecutive double-double.

"We just tried to keep playing hard after an abysmal first quarter in which we were terrible," Bogut said. "If we could play the way we did in the fourth quarter, we could beat a lot of teams."

Redd took the ensuing inbounds pass and got free with a pump fake on Tony Allen and made a shot from the arc from the left corner with 10.5 seconds remaining to tie the game at 99-99. Redd finished with a game-high 25 points.

"It was a great moment for our team, I had to pump-fake Tony Allen just to get the shot off," Redd said. "We're going to finish the season off strong and play hard and be professional, there was no surrender on this team."

Eddie House missed an open 3-pointer with just over four seconds remaining as the game went to overtime.

"As a whole, I was disappointed because we had no business being in overtime, but it is what it is," said House, who was 1-of-8 from the floor, including 0-of-6 in regulation.

Desmond Mason gave the Bucks their first lead of the night at 101-99 with 3:32 remaining in OT but it was short-lived. James Posey scored five of his 16 points in the extra session and sealed the game with a pair of free throws with 53 seconds remaining.

"We were able to gut it out and make plays down the stretch," Posey said. "In overtime, our will was a little bit stronger than theirs, and we were able to get a win."

Rookie guard Ramon Sessions got the start in place of injured guard Mo Williams and scored 13 points as well as a team-high seven assists. Williams missed his second consecutive game with an injury to his pelvic area.

It was the Bucks' third consecutive loss and seventh in the last team's last nine contests.