Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 10 assists and the Celtics coasted to a 102-86 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night. The Bucks made more moves off the court than on it: They announced the hiring of former Pistons vice president John Hammond as general manager during the third quarter.
"We all want to get this thing turned around," said Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak, who is 26-53 in his first full season. "We've got someone leading the ship now. I'm looking forward to sitting down and talking about a plan to make the Bucks respectable again."
Boston has already clinched the NBA's best record, and coach Doc Rivers has been taking advantage of the cushion to rest his starters.
The Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen sat out last Saturday's game and the whole fourth quarter on Tuesday. None of the starters played more than 25 minutes on Friday, and all sat out the entire fourth quarter again.
Garnett scored 12 points with eight assists, leaving with 5:30 left in the third and Boston leading 72-47.
"I think we've done a good job -- we'll know later -- of resting them throughout the season," said Rivers, who went three weeks without a scheduled practice at one point. "I told them, 'Legs over minds.' The veterans are smart enough, but we've still got to save their legs."
Boston headed to Atlanta for Saturday night's game against the Hawks, their likely first-round playoff opponent. Atlanta held a two-game lead over Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, with three games to play; both the Pacers and Hawks won on Friday night.
Rivers said he would distribute the minutes much like he did on Friday.
"It becomes an eight-game series," Celtics guard Ray Allen said. "You get a free look at them, and once you go into that first game ... you just saw them."
Michael Redd scored 18 for the Bucks, Andrew Bogut had 14 and Ramon Sessions scored eight with 14 assists as the Bucks lost their fifth consecutive game. Michael Ruffin had nine rebounds off the bench despite a sprained ankle.
"We've got some guys laying it on the line late in the season," Krystkowiak said.
Rondo had 12 points and six assists in the first quarter, when Boston opened a 31-21 lead. The Celtics made it 20 points in the second before Redd's five-foot runner left the score 57-39 at the half.
Celtics F Leon Powe sat out with a sore right foot. G Eddie House did not dress because of a strained right groin. ... Bucks F Charlie Villanueva missed the game with a strained right hamstring. G Royal Ivey played 12 minutes, but was poked in the eye. ... Before the game, Garnett was given the Red Auerbach award "for the player who exemplifies what it means to be a true Celtic." ... The Celtics set a franchise record for fewest free throws attempted (5) and made (4).