The two up-and-coming Eastern Conference squads combined for 18 turnovers before hitting the halftime locker room and, when they weren't giving the ball away, passes were getting deflected left and right—especially the Celtics'.
Boston seemed to have a little bit of trouble dealing with Milwaukee's length at all five positions and struggled to make crisp, undeterred passes whenever they got into their half-court offense.
Yet, in spite of their woes, the Celts found themselves with a small, 46-42 advantage going into the intermission thanks to nine first half points from Jared Sullinger as well as seven off the bench for Kelly Olynyk.
The second half was much cleaner in terms of protecting the ball. But the Celtics were forced to finish out the game without Avery Bradley, who did not return after the break due to a lower left leg bruise, per the team.
In true next-man-up fashion, though, Boston was able to get a couple of different guys going offensively while Jae Crowder and Evan Turner wreaked havoc in Milwaukee passing lanes.
Put together, the all-around effort from the green culminated in a 16-0 run during the third quarter that gave them a 17-point lead heading into the fourth period in which they never looked back.
Final: Celtics 99, Bucks 83.
- With Avery Bradley out for the entire second half, Brad Stevens turned to rookie RJ Hunter and, to put it simply, the former Georgia State standout did not disappoint. In 18 minutes, Hunter poured in seven points, grabbed seven boards and recorded one steal and a block. Hunter has been impressive in every game he's gotten into so far this year and it's becoming increasingly difficult for Stevens to keep him on the bench. The Celtics couldn't go wrong with getting the late first-round pick about 20 minutes of burn a night, though it's hard to tell where those minutes might come from.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16 points despite playing just seven first-half minutes due to foul trouble. He didn't have his usual stat-sheet-stuffer type of game but the Greek Freak is going to be a hell of a player some day. Antetokounmpo was drafted two slots after the Celtics took Kelly Olynyk in 2013.