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Pierce, Garnett lead charge for C's in much-needed win
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett dunks as Milwaukee forward Tobias Harris looks on during the second quarter of the Celtics' 96-92 win over the Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee on Saturday night. (Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE)
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Paul Pierce scored 25 points and collected nine rebounds while Kevin Garnett added 18 points and Jason Terry 15, leading the Boston Celtics to a 96-92 victory over the Bucks on Saturday night.
The teams combined to go 0-for-11 to open the fourth quarter, a span of 8 minutes, 32 seconds of scoreless basketball snapped by Brandon Bass' layup that made it 68-66, Milwaukee. The Celtics drew even when Jeff Green hit his free throws after Larry Sanders picked up his fifth foul of the contest.
Milwaukee erased a five-point deficit to draw within one, 91-90, on Daniels' jumper with 25.3 seconds to play. Terry hit the back end of a one-and-one with 22.2 seconds left to make it a two-point game.
Milwaukee turned the ball over on the ensuing possession and Pierce hit one of his two free throws after Milwaukee fouled to stop the clock, extending the lead to three with 4.9 left on the clock.
After a Milwaukee timeout, the Bucks inbounded and Jennings was fouled in the backcourt. He hit one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 93-91 but Rajon Rondo hit his free throws with 3.5 left and Garnett hit two with .3 seconds left to seal the victory for Boston (3-4).
Monte Ellis overcame another cold start from the field, hitting just five of his first 15 attempts but connected on six of his last nine, finishing with a team-leading 32 points. Brandon Jennings struggled, going 1-for-10 from the field and finishing with just five points.
Samuel Dalembert made an early splash for the Bucks, scoring nine points to help Milwaukee build a slim 22-20 lead after the first quarter.
Milwaukee stretched its lead eight points late in the second on a Brandon Jennings' 3-pointer with 3:38 left in the period and made it a 10-point game when Kevin Garnett was called for his second goaltending violation of the game with 3:17 left.
Boston struggled from the field in the half, hitting just 12 of 33 shots from the field and one of four 3-pointers while being outscored in the paint, 30-14 and trailing 42-39 at the intermission.
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NOTES: Terry made his first start of the season, taking the place of Courtney Lee, as Doc Rivers continues to find what he calls "the right mix." Terry started just one game last season while with Dallas. ... Through four games, Sanders is averaging 12.5 points and shooting 67 percent from the field, scoring in double figures in all four games. He reached double figures just three times last season. ... The Celtics hold a 97-92 lead in the all-time series and had won six in a row against Milwaukee, which has won the first meeting between the teams this season.