NBA Game Summary - Milwaukee at Boston
(Friday, December 14th)
Final Score: Boston 104, Milwaukee 82
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored a season-high 32 points as the Boston Celtics routed the Milwaukee Bucks, 104-82, running their win streak to eight games and matching the best home start in franchise history.
The Celtics have rolled to the NBA's best record (19-2) and now need just five wins to match their total from all of last season, when they went 24-58 and finished in the basement of the Atlantic Division.
Rajon Rondo had 17 points and dolled out eight assists, while Kevin Garnett donated 15 points and hauled down seven rebounds for Boston, which also opened the season with eight straight wins -- their longest since a nine-game stretch from March 16-31, 1993 -- and moved to 12-0 at TD Banknorth Garden, a feat also accomplished by the 1984-85 squad.
Celtics guard Ray Allen missed the game with a sore right ankle, but Tony Allen filled in nicely, finishing with 11 points and four steals on the night.
Maurice Williams scored a team-high 14 points for Milwaukee, which is just 2-6 in the month of December and fell to 2-11 on the road this season. Bobby Simmons came off the bench to donate 11 points and Yi Jianlian chipped in with 10, as just three players finished in double-digits.
"They (the Celtics) came out with a lot more energy," said Bucks head coach Larry Krystowiak. "I thought we played a good first half, and that's not good enough. They regrouped at half time, came out with a lot of focus, a lot of energy, and we didn't match it. I think they just kind of overwhelmed us with that energy and we were forced some shots, turning it over and it ended up with easy baskets for them."
Leading by two at the half, Boston surged ahead in the third quarter, outscoring Milwaukee 32-15 overall. Pierce drained four three-pointers during the outburst, including two inside of a 14-5 run to open the stanza as the Celtics rolled to a 60-49 advantage and never looked back.
Desmond Mason briefly stopped the bleeding with a floating jumper at the other end, but the Bucks managed just eight points the rest of the way and trailed 78-59 heading to the fourth.
The Celts then closed it out down the stretch, with the reserves getting ample playing time as the club won going away.
"I wanted to be more aggressive that I have been, especially with Ray Allen (out), just to pick up some slack and tried to get us going, but regardless of what the offense does, we are going to turn games around because of our defense," said Pierce. "I thought we made a great defensive run in the third quarter, we brought the field goal percentage down, we made them turn it over and that's what opened up the game."
Led by Garnett and Pierce, who combined for 17 points, the Celtics held a 25-21 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Bucks then pulled ahead in the second, on the strength of a 7-2 run to open the stanza. Williams got things started with a short jumper, while Mason capped the spurt by converting on the last of his two free throws to give Milwaukee a 28-27 edge.
The lead then changed hands at least six times as the clock ticked down inside of two minutes. A Pierce finger roll lay-in gave the Celtics a 44-42 lead with 1:31 left in the half, and he followed that with two from the charity stripe.
Williams answered with a layup for Milwaukee, which trailed 46-44 at intermission.
According to the Celtics, Ray Allen could also miss Sunday's game in Toronto...The 1984-85 club finished 35-6 at the old Boston Garden...Michael Redd was held to a season-low seven points for Milwaukee...The Bucks shot just 21.1 percent from beyond the arc (4-of-19)...Milwaukee held the edge on the boards, 42-41.
12/14 23:34:39 ET