Celtics' Garnett, Pierce do in Bucks late
NOV 10, 2012 10:49p ET
A game that featured 17 lead changes and multiple momentum swings can be summed up pretty easily.
"They made shots when it counted," Bucks guard Monta Ellis said. "It was a hard-fought game. They made more shots than we did and they came out with the (win)."
Saturday's game was even at 74-74 with just over five minutes to play. Boston went 8 of 10 from the field the rest of the way. When it mattered, future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett stepped up, accounting for six of the eight makes, drilling jump shot after jump shot.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers managed the duo's minutes beautifully. In fact, Pierce actually spent time in Garnett's spot in the middle on offense and handled it well.
There just wasn't much the Bucks could do.
"As a staff we knew at halftime that this was going to come down probably to the end," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said. "Who would execute and who could execute and get a good shot and make a shot.
"They were getting about the same quality shots as we were. They knocked theirs down and we missed a few."
Milwaukee found early success getting easy dunks from their big men off the pick-and-roll. Boston adjusted accordingly and that's when the Bucks' offense lost its rhythm.
With Mike Dunleavy in foul trouble and Brandon Jennings just 1 of 10 from the field, the Bucks were fortunate to even have a chance to tie at the end. A couple of missed free throws by Boston gave Milwaukee the ball back, down two, with eight seconds left.
Ellis drove the lane and dished off to Ersan Ilyasova. The Bucks forward appeared to be hit hard, causing the ball to be taken away by Jeff Green.
"From where I was standing, I thought it was a foul," Skiles said. "But there were a lot of bodies in there, I don't question anything. I have to take a look at it. We could have used a couple of points there."
A schedule oddity left the Bucks playing the Celtics for the second time in eight days. On opening night in Boston, Milwaukee cruised to a 99-88 victory. Things were different Saturday night. The Bucks weren't as sharp, but played tough.
They ran into a talented team that's searching for its identity. Boston entered the game just 2-3 on the season, but took a major step in the right direction in the second half.
"I told them, it's one win," Rivers said. "We just have to keep learning each other. When you bring eight new guys to a basketball team, you're going to have some struggles. And we're struggling, and still won the game. That's good."
The NBA features some of the best athletes in the world. And Saturday night, two of the best to ever play the game stepped up and did the Bucks in.
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