Boston 87, Milwaukee 56
Well, if the last game these two teams played was ugly, tonight was a game that will forever make us reconsider words like 'beauty', 'stunning', or 'garbage time'. The Celtics set a franchise record tonight for fewest points allowed, and keep their longest losing streak of the season at two games.
The Celtics led all game, peaking at a 31 point spread. In no quarter did the Bucks outscore the Celtics, and the best part of this blowout was that no Celtics starter played more than 30 minutes. The Boston bench mob had 5 guys who played more than 15 minutes, and if you figure Nenad Krstic to be an eventual bench player, Boston's anticipated playoff bench scored 46 combined points, or over half of Boston's points tonight, which is a big deal for a team still trying to find out how players fit into the rotation.
Ray Allen led all scorers with a 6-10 17 point performance, but Boston's starters shot a combined 53% from the field (and that's counting Rondo's poor 1-6 outing), and they led the domination. Boston's defense was absolutely smothering early on, and Milwaukee frequently looked uncomfortable, frustrated, and second rate.
The bench continued to really push the lead, led by the newly acquired Carlos Arroyo. While Arroyo didn't shoot much better than the starter, Rajon Rondo, (Rondo shot 17% from the field, Arroyo shot 20%), he looked a lot more stable as a floor leader tonight, keeping the second unit focused as the game ticked away, but also seamlessly inserting himself alongside the starters, keeping the offense moving and fluid.
In fact, all the new guys looked pretty good tonight, with players signed or acquired on the deadline and after (Pavlovic, Arroyo, Murphy, Green, Krstic) combining for 37 of Boston's 87 points.
All in all, it was a welcome blowout and a nice bounce back win after an unfortunate loss in Philadelphia. Let's hope it is a building block, and not an aberration.