Monta Ellis scored 27 points and his Milwaukee Bucks dominated on the glass as they outscored the Boston Celtics 99-94 in overtime at TD Garden in Boston Friday night.
Paul Pierce continued his torrid shooting, pouring in 35 points and dragging down 12 boards for Boston, but was ultimately trumped by a 17 point, 20 rebound effort from Larry Sanders as Milwaukee survived a Celtics’ rally that got the game to overtime. Milwaukee outrebounded Boston by a 57-44 margin.
That Boston was even in this game was a minor miracle as they suffered though a horrible shooting night of just 38%. Jeff Green scored 14 and Courtney Lee chipped in 12 points for the Celtics, who fell to .500 yet again at 13-13. Green left the court shortly before the final buzzer after taking a wicked elbow from Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova, head wrapped in a towel.
Kevin Garnett had yet another atrocious shooting night, hitting on just 6 of 22 shots for 12 points, but did account for a long jumper in overtime that tied the score with 37 seconds left, while his front court help in Jason Collins turned out to be of little significance, scoring but 2 points.
Sanders’ domination of the boards overshadowed solid efforts from Mbah a Moute, who scored 20 points and Brandon Jennings, who got under Rajon Rondo’s skin all game. Rondo scored just six points and earned a technical foul for taunting Jennings, but hauled down 5 rebounds and served up 11 dimes.
Jennings logged 12 points and pulled down 11 boards while dishing out 8 assists.
The Celtics trailed 88-81 with under a minute to play before Pierce took matters into his own hands, scoring five consecutive points, tying it on a three with 2.5 seconds to play. The Celtics went cold in the extra frame, while the Bucks lived at the foul line, outscoring Boston 11-6 to provide Milwaukee with the win.
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.
The Celtics have a few days off before beginning their Christmas week four-games-in-five-nights road trip in Brooklyn against the Nets on Christmas Day, then heading to California for 3 games. Milwaukee has a quick turn around, taking their 14-11 record home to host the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night.