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Milwaukee at Boston

Bucks defeat Celtics in OT

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Milwaukee's Larry Sanders dominated inside against Kevin Garnett, one of his boyhood idols, and he made sure Paul Pierce didn't have another chance at a clutch basket from long range.

Monta Ellis scored five of his 27 points in overtime, Sanders scored 17 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and saved it with a blocked shot, leading the Bucks over Boston Celtics 99-94 on Friday night.

And it certainly wasn't easy.

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Milwaukee captured the final meeting between the teams this season despite blowing a seven-point lead late in regulation.

"I just love playing against KG. He's one of the guys I liked watching growing up," said Sanders, breaking into a smile when asked if it was something about seeing Boston that brings out his best.

The Bucks won for the sixth time in eight games, taking three of four against the Celtics, who had a five-game home winning streak snapped despite 35 points by Pierce.

Pierce, who had sent the game to OT with a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, was blocked by Sanders as he attempted a tying 3 in the closing seconds of OT.

"I knew if he got it off he had a pretty good shot at making it," said Sanders, who posted career-bests in rebounds and points. "It probably would have been bottom."

With the Bucks leading 97-94, Pierce came off a screen, got open briefly on the right wing before Sanders came flying out. Sanders then broke down court for a dunk to seal it.

"He's the only one that really had it going," Rivers said of Pierce. "I always jokingly -- and it's the truth -- say, 'It's a make-miss league' and tonight was evident of that."

Jeff Green scored 14 points and Garnett had 12 on 6 of 22 shooting. The Celtics shot just 38 percent, with Jason Terry going 1 for 15.

Pierce had scored a season-high 40 points in Boston's previous game.

"I think right now, it's this point in the season where I'm in a good groove," Pierce said. "I'm feeling good about my shot. I'm feeling good about my pace of the game. I'm just trying to do what I can to help this ball club win."

But he didn't have a chance on the last shot.

"I thought I got fouled on it," he said. "But you know, that's the way the game goes sometimes."

Terry was also 5 for 17 in a loss the last time against Milwaukee.

"That was frustrating. For me, being a shooter, you're getting looks that you want and they're not falling for you, especially when your team needs you most," Terry said. "Again, I'll take this on my shoulders. Maybe it's the Bucks? I don't know. That's two tough ones for me against them."

Luc Mbah a Moute added 20 points for Milwaukee.

Green had to leave with a towel over his left eye in the closing seconds of OT. The Celtics said he had a bruised left cheek and chipped teeth.

In overtime, Ellis' consecutive baskets, coming nearly two minutes apart, had given the Bucks a 94-90 lead with just over a minute to play. But, like in regulation, Pierce made a jumper and Garnett hit a long jumper, tying it with 37 seconds left.

"The fact that we showed some resolve was a good sign for us," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.

After a timeout, Ellis was fouled by Courtney Lee and hit the first of two, making it 95-94. Milwaukee came up with the ball after a scramble on the missed free throw and Pierce was forced to foul Brandon Jennings with 18.5 seconds left. Jennings hit both free throws.

The Celtics had trailed 88-81 with under a minute to play in regulation before Pierce scored five points, tying it on a 3 from the top with 2.5 seconds to play. Sanders airballed a foul-line jumper at the horn, sending the game to OT.

The basket came after a steal by Rondo after Terry missed a wide open 3 and Green batted the rebound out to Pierce.

Jennings' 3-pointer right in front of Boston's bench with 7:56 to play moved the Bucks ahead 74-72, their first lead since the game's opening basket. Boston tied it on Green's two free throws on the ensuing possession, but Milwaukee scored seven of the next nine, making it 81-76 on Sanders' left-handed hook with 4:39 to play.

Pierce's 3-pointer from the left wing - after he let two defenders go flying by - cut it to 83-81 with 2:45 to go. After he got a steal on the other end, he back-rimmed a 3 before the Bucks had a 24-second violation, giving the ball back to Boston with 1:46 left.

But Pierce's jumper rolled out on the next possession and Ellis hit a driving floater from the right side of the lane, making it 85-81 with 1:11 to go.

Sanders then had an alley-oop off Ellis' pass to give the Bucks a six-point edge with just under a minute to play.

Coming off his hot shooting night in Wednesday's win over Cleveland, Pierce looked sharp early. He missed his initial shot then hit seven straight, scoring 17 points until missing a pair of open 3s late in the second quarter.

Notes

  • The Bucks' usual starting guards were in there despite suffering recent injuries. Jennings had twisted his right ankle during Wednesday's game in Memphis and Ellis missed the morning shootaround with a sore back. "We've got to have our guards in the game, so it's good they'll be able to go," Skiles said before the game.
  • Rivers didn't feel either team had an advantage even though they've already met three times in a short time. "It's amazing," he said. "This is the fourth time. It's funny. I don't think any of the lineups have been the same on either team, so it's four new times every time we play them."
  • The Celtics next play on Christmas Day in Brooklyn against the Nets, opening a four-game road trip that has them on the West Coast for the final three.
  • Milwaukee hosts Cleveland on Saturday night, the opener of three straight at home.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Monta Ellis scores 27 points as the Bucks take out the Celtics for the third time in four games.  (US Presswire)
Monta Ellis scores 27 points as the Bucks take out the Celtics for the third time in four games. (US Presswire)

Scoreboard
Milwaukee (14-11) «172619261199
Boston (13-13)25212418694
MIL:M. Ellis 27 Pts
MIL:L. Sanders 20 Reb
MIL:B. Jennings 8 Ast
BOS:P. Pierce 35 Pts
BOS:P. Pierce 12 Reb
BOS:R. Rondo 11 Ast
Players of the Game
MilwaukeeBoston

Larry Sanders

Paul Pierce
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
1720335125
Milwaukee
B. Jennings, PG484-112-4118112
M. Ellis, PG419-219-1175127
L. Mbah a Moute, SF408-154-1062220
L. Sanders, C398-101-3203417
M. Daniels, SG190-50-02100
E. Ilyasova, SF263-71-25248
E. Udoh, PF261-31-23103
M. Dunleavy, SF182-74-43029
D. Lamb, SG61-40-00013
J. Przybilla, CDid Not Play
S. Dalembert, CDid Not Play
D. Gooden, PFDid Not Play
B. Udrih, PGDid Not Play
T. Harris, SFDid Not Play
J. Henson, PFDid Not Play
Totals 36-8322-3657221599
 43.4%61.1% 
Boston
R. Rondo, PG453-80-051106
P. Pierce, SF4313-236-8125435
K. Garnett, PF386-220-071012
J. Terry, SG321-151-10104
J. Collins, C150-02-32042
J. Green, PF284-96-632314
C. Lee, SG275-90-020311
B. Bass, PF232-62-26126
J. Sullinger, PF142-20-07264
C. Wilcox, CDid Not Play
L. Barbosa, SGDid Not Play
A. Bradley, PGDid Not Play
K. Joseph, SFDid Not Play
F. Melo, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-9417-2044232294
 38.3%85.0% 
Other Games
Atl 80 Final
Phi 99
Orl 90 Final
Tor 93
Ind 99 Final
Cle 89
Wash 68 Final
Det 100
Chi 110 Final
NY 106
Dal 82 Final
Mem 92
NO 94 Final
SA 99
Char 100 Final
GS 115
Sac 85 Final
LAC 97