NBA Game Summary - Boston at Milwaukee
(Wednesday, April 13th)
Final Score: Boston 111, Milwaukee 108
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored a game-high 32 points and hit a big jumper with 19 seconds left to help Boston edge the Milwaukee Bucks, 111-108, at the Bradley Center.
The victory and New Jersey's loss in Indiana allowed the Celtics to clinch a playoff berth. Boston also moved to 3 1/2 games ahead of idle Philadelphia for first place in the Atlantic Division. The Celtics defeated the 76ers on Tuesday night.
Antoine Walker and Ricky Davis netted 17 points apiece for the Celtics, who have won five of their last seven games. Walker also grabbed nine rebounds and Gary Payton finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
"We still have something to prove," said Payton. "We still want to win the division. We have four games that we need to win. We are currently in the playoffs, but we still have a lot of work to do."
Michael Redd notched 28 points to lead the Bucks, who have dropped three straight and 12 of their last 14 games. Dan Gadzuric scored a career-high 22 points and also hauled in 12 boards, while Desmond Mason chipped in 15 points.
"I think we're playing hard," said Redd. "It's just a matter of executing on defense. The last couple games we haven't been able to do that."
The Bucks led 84-80 after three quarters and found themselves with a slim, 97-96 edge near the midway point of the quarter. That's when Boston went on a 12-6 run to grab a 108-103 cushion. Davis drilled a three-pointer to cap the spurt with 2:47 remaining. However, Gadzuric's three-point play and a pair of free throws from Maurice Williams evened the game at 108-108 with 40 seconds left.
Pierce then nailed a 14-foot jumper with 19 ticks left to give Boston the lead for good. Redd missed a jumper in the lane at the other end and Davis hit 1- of-2 from the line to make it 111-108. The Bucks did have a chance to tie the game with one second remaining, but Mason threw the inbounds pass away to seal the win for Boston.
The Celtics came out strong, scoring the game's first nine points. However, that would be the largest lead for either team in the game. Boston would hold an edge throughout the first quarter and led 30-26 after 12 minutes.
Milwaukee went on a 7-2 run to start the second quarter and grab a one-point lead. The teams would go back-and-forth with the lead for the rest of the game, but it was the Bucks that led, 52-51, at the break.
Pierce led all scorers with 12 at the half and Redd paced Milwaukee with 11.
The Bucks outscored Boston, 32-29 in the third quarter and would carry an 84-80 edge into the final 12 minutes.
The Celtics shot 58-percent compared to 49-percent for Milwaukee...Raef LaFrentz finished with 11 points for the Celtics...Zaza Pachulia netted 11 points for Milwaukee and Joe Smith chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds...The Celtics took three of four from the Bucks this season.
04/14 00:21:00 ET