Road weary and in their seventh game of an 8 game road trip, the Boston Celtics took on the surging Milwaukee Bucks Thursday night. The Bucks entered the evening winners of 6 straight but found the Celtics to be unimpressed.
Boston dashed their road woes aside and put on an efficient offensive performance to defeat Milwaukee by a score of 100-91.
Paul Pierce had 25 points and 9 rebounds leading all Celtics in scoring. Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett all double doubled in one of the better team victories for Boston this season.
The Bucks have become a running team over the last few games and found the Celtics to be willing participants in a surprisingly up-tempo affair in the first half. Milwaukee led Boston 58-56 at half time and then the Celtics defense became stingy and stifling in the second half.
The Celtics limited Milwaukee to just 33 second half points showing the “young bucks” exactly what it means to be a contender for a championship. While many may have their doubts about Boston’s own chances for contention, there was a clear difference between the two teams in the second half.
Brandon Jennings scored 19 to lead Milwaukee and new comer Monta Ellis added 16 points with 7 assists. For Ellis it was his home debut before the Milwaukee crowd after being acquired last week before the trade deadline. The two combined for just 12-32 from the floor. Their speed while apparent was neutralized by the Celtics defense who switched and cut off their repeated attempts at penetration.
Jennings and Ellis were not the only ones to struggle. Drew Gooden coming off being named the Eastern Conference player of the week struggled mightily as well shooting just 2-12.
“I didn’t have my best game, Monta didn’t have his best game,” Gooden said. “A lot of guys didn’t have their best game.”
Pierce summed up Boston’s win well when he said “It’s a good win definitely tonight, especially the way Milwaukee’s been playing as of late, this is a mentally strong group. We understand it’s been a long trip. This is a group that wants to get the next win and make it a great trip.”
Boston now has a second chance to take the Atlantic division lead from the Philadelphia 76′ers with a win on Friday night. Philly embarrassed Boston in their last entanglement 103-71 on March 7.
The Celtics could not cap off their road trip in any better fashion than finally reaching first place in their division Friday night. Unbuntu could still be alive.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com