Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bucks 96 - Celtics 93: Bucks hold on in the fourth, beat C's

Photo: Associated Press

Brandon Knight made the biggest shot of the game towards the end of the fourth quarter, and sealed a 96-93, Bucks win over the Celtics at the BMO Bradley Center.

Knight scored a game-high 26 points for Milwaukee, and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Six players once again scored in double digits for the Celtics. Led by Jared Sullinger's 17 to go with his 7 rebounds and 7 assists, the C's didn't hold a single lead against the Bucks but stayed close behind in the fourth quarter. Marcus Thornton scored 14 points, including three from long distance, and Marcus Smart scored 13 to go with his 5 rebounds.

After Milwaukee's John Henson was called for defensive goaltending, Jae Crowder scored a layup on the other end and cut Milwaukee's lead to one, 94-93, with 30 seconds left.

Knight hit a jumper at the top of the key over Brandon Bass right before the shot clock expired, with 6.7 seconds left in the game, and pushed the Bucks' lead to three.
"It was a phenomenal shot, well defended," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the game. "I thought Brandon Bass did a phenomenal job guarding. That is what the guys do in those moments. So hats off to him."
Celtics' last attempt came from Crowder, he missed a jumper from just inside the three-point arc (what he thought was a three-pointer) as time expired.
"We had opportunities late, we just didn't capitalize on it," Crowder said. "But we can't dig ourselves a 14-point hole on a back-to-back on the road. Nine times out of 10, that's a tough game to come out of with a win."
Photo: Associated Press
Oh, yeah. The Celtics were down by 14 points at one point in the third quarter, but if you were just tuning in at the start of the fourth, the gap didn't look to be that bad for the C's. The Bucks led by seven at the start of the fourth but only scored 16 points.

Crowder was right in what he said after the game; the C's didn't capitalize. The Bucks had a three minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter, missing eight consecutive shots before Henson scored a layup with two minutes left in the game.

Celtics went on a 5-0 run during Milwaukee's drought, but missed out on great opportunities to tie the game.

Although the Celtics outscored the Bucks 18-16 in the fourth quarter, Milwaukee was able to hold on to the win in the final minute.

The Celtics will play their last game before the all-star break at TD Garden on Wednesday night when they take on the hottest team in the league; the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have won 20 out of their last 22 games.

Game Notes:

After an inconsistent January, Jared Sullinger has turned it around this month. Although the C's have only played five games in February, Sully has been filling up the stat sheet, averaging 16.5 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists... The anticipation of the all-star break and the weather could work in Boston's favor on Wednesday against Atlanta. The Hawks take on the Timberwolves at Minnesota on Monday night and may have to wait until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning to fly to Boston due to the blizzard that's suppose to hit Massachusetts on Monday. Parts of central and northeast Massachusetts are expecting 15-24 inches of snow. The Celtics are still only 2.5 games out of the playoffs, and a win against the best team in the east would be a great way to go into the all-star break.

Josue Pavon
Twitter: @Joe_Sway10

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