The Boston Celtics are now 8-12 on the season after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks, 108-100. In three games, this is the first time the Celtics have beaten the Bucks. Jordan Crawford led the Celtics with 25 points and 5 assists.
Everyone knows that basketball is made up of runs, but tonight's game was a prime example of that. Boston opened up the game with a 22-9 lead, but Milwaukee came back with a 16-6 run, cutting the lead to 3. Then the Celtics responded with a 17-5 stretch of their own, giving themselves a 15-point lead with only 2:48 left in the first half. But guess what? The Bucks chopped away, and answered with an 11-3 run, making for a 48-41 Celtics lead at halftime.
Milwaukee went back to their zone to start the second half, which continued to stifle the Celtics' offense, and they extended their run to 27-14, a 59-57 lead for Boston. But thanks to outstanding play from guards Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee, including 17-straight points to begin the fourth quarter, the Celtics stretched their lead, outscoring the Bucks 25-14 until there was less than 8-minutes left in the game.
Boston led 90-80 with 5:13 left but Milwaukee exploded with a 7-0 run before Crawford continued his terrific fourth-quarter with a deep three-pointer. Fast forwarding to the 1:21 mark, the Celtics led by 6, at 99-93, when Bucks guard Brandon Knight hit a 25-foot three-pointer, slicing the lead in half. On the other end, Jared Sullinger was doubled on the post but managed to get out of trouble before hitting a clutch 18-foot jumper from the top of the key. After an unreasonable amount of free throws to close the game, the Celtics won, 108-100.
Jordan Crawford was the star of the night, scoring 25-points on 8-of-14 shooting. He also chipped in with 5 assists to only 2 turnovers. Jeff Green also had a strong game in 32 minutes, totaling 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Lee and Crawford catch fire in the fourth
Leading 69-65 in the fourth quarter, guards Jordan Crawford and Courtney Lee sparked the Celtics with 17-straight points. Crawford scored 15 of his 25 total points in the final period, making him the obvious player of the game.
In his first game back after suffering a sprained knee, Lee was extremely effective, scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting in only 15 minutes. Most importantly, Lee sparked the Celtics in the fourth quarter, raising the intensity on both ends of the floor. Once Rajon Rondo comes back from his torn-ACL, it will be interesting to see how minutes are divided amongst these talent guards.
Early in the game, Avery Bradley hit an absolutely incredible shot from behind the backboard. Bradley rebounded an air ball with one-second left on the shot clock, hoisted it up over the backboard, and then hit nothing but net. Sounds impressive? Yeah, definitely, check out the replay here:
Bradley went on to have another efficient performance, scoring 15 points on 12 shots. He also played some hard-nosed defense in the third quarter, disturbing the Bucks' rhythm on offense.
Do you dig the long ball?
The Celts and Bucks combined for 42 shots from downtown, hitting 45.2 percent of them. Boston opened up the game hitting their first four three-pointers, but then went cold until the fourth quarter, when they finished the way they started, hitting five of their final seven attempts. For the game, the Celtics shot 11-for-24 from outside.
The Celtics will stay home the next few days before the Denver Nuggets come to town for a 7:30 PM game on Friday night. After that, the Celtics will travel to New York for a two-game set with the Knicks and Nets on Sunday and Tuesday, respectively.