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December 22. 2012 12:46AM

Bucks drop Celtics yet again, in overtime, 99-94


December 21, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics center Jason Collins (98) guards Milwaukee Bucks point guard Monta Ellis (11) during the first half at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON - The Milwaukee Bucks blew a five-point lead in the final 29 seconds of regulation but regrouped in time to escape with a 99-94 overtime win over the Boston Celtics Friday night.



It was the Bucks' second win in as many tries in Boston this season and Milwaukee went 3-1 against Boston in the season series that is already over.

Jumpers by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett tied the game with 36.1 seconds remaining in overtime, but Monta Ellis was fouled driving to the basket with 27.5 seconds left and made the first free throw. He missed the second but Ersan Ilyasova tipped the rebound out to Ellis. Brandon Jennings was fouled with 18.5 seconds left and made both free throws.

Ahead by three, Celtic killer Larry Sanders deflected a Paul Pierce 3-pointer and then slammed the ball home at the other end to seal the victory for the Bucks.

Sanders, who saves his best games for the Celtics, had six points and seven rebounds after three quarters and finished with 17 points and 20 boards.

Boston's Jeff Green went down during a late scramble for a rebound, catching an Ilyasova elbow. He was down on the floor for several minutes and left with a towel held to his left eye.

With banged-up guards Ellis and Jennings leading the way, the Bucks ended the Celtics' five-game home winning streak.

Pierce, coming off a 40-point game Wednesday night, hit a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. He finished with 35 points.

Ellis, who went 1-for-14 in a loss Wednesday night, led Milwaukee with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Jennings had 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, Luc Mbah a Moute posted 20 points and six boards.

The Bucks won despite missing 14 free throws, but the Celtics helped by going 5-for-23 from 3-point range.

The Bucks, down by 10 in the first half, rallied to a five-point lead with 4:40 left in regulation, but Pierce led the Celtics' rally. His bomb made it 83-81 with 2:48 remaining and the Celtics' defense clamped down as Milwaukee was guilty of its third 24-second violation of the closing minutes with 1:46 left. Pierce missed again after a timeout and Ellis hit a floater in the lane to make it 85-81 with 1:11 remaining before Boston mounted its charge.

Garnett had 12 points for the Celtics, but was 6-for-22 from the floor. Jason Terry was 1-for-15, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range.

The Celtics led by 10 as late as nine minutes into the second quarter at 43-33, but the Bucks closed the half on a 10-3 run to cut the lead to three at the break. Boston led by six just over five minutes into the second half, but that lead was erased by a quick 6-0 run by the visitors.

It was 60-60 when Brandon Bass, who has come off the bench the last two games, set up one basket and scored another, keying a 10-2 run that put the Celtics back up by eight after three quarters.

Milwaukee scored one basket in the final 5:35 of the quarter, but then came out strong in the fourth quarter, dominating the offensive boards.

to take the lead for the first time since the first basket of the game, with 7:57 left.

NOTES: Rajon Rondo received a first-quarter technical foul after a get-together with Jennings before a timeout. ... Both Jennings and Ellis were question marks, Jennings twisting an ankle Wednesday night, while Ellis missed the morning shoot-around with a sore back. "We've got to have our guards in the game, so it's good they'll be able to go," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said before the game. The Bucks already were missing guard Beno Udrih, still out with a sprained ankle. ... Celtics coach Doc Rivers on playing Milwaukee four times in the first 26 games, and not at all the rest of the season: "It's amazing this is the fourth time. It's funny; I don't think any of the lineups have been the same on either team. It's early. I don't love that. I always think you should play a team in your conference late in the season. We're going to make it up. We're going to play the Knicks four times after this." ... Boston was missing guard Leandro Barbosa (personal reasons) and big man Chris Wilcox (ankle, second straight game) and recalled guard Kris Joseph from the D-League. ... The Celtics start a four-game road trip at Brooklyn on Tuesday and then head west to face the Clippers, Warriors and Kings. The Bucks open a three-game homestand Saturday night against the Cavaliers and also host the Nets and Heat. ... Jason Collins, making his second start as a Celtic, extended holiday wishes to the crowd before the opening tap.


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