Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/1

Game 1: Wednesday, December 1st
Game 2: Tuesday, February 8th
Game 3: Wednesday, April 6th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 13th

Bucks 100

(4-9, 0-7 away)

Celtics 101

(6-8, 4-4 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 1, 2004

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 28 30 22 20100
    BOS 30 24 29 18101

    Top Performers

    Mil: M. Redd 23 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast

    Bos: M. Blount 16 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Pierce lifted late, but returns in the clutch

    BOSTON (AP) -- Paul Pierce didn't let his frustration take away from his game when it mattered.

    Pierce had a brief argument with Boston coach Doc Rivers when he was lifted from the game, but returned and made a key 3-pointer that helped the Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-100 on Wednesday night.

    Pierce, who led Boston with 23 points, was taken out with just over 4½ minutes to play and the Celtics holding a 92-91 lead. The star forward appeared agitated when Jiri Welsch came in for him. Rivers and Pierce briefly yelled at each other.

    After a chat in the huddle between Pierce and Rivers during a timeout, Pierce returned and hit his 3-pointer on Boston's first possession, giving the Celtics a 97-93 lead with 2:40 to go.

    Rivers said he was upset because he didn't think Pierce was heading out quickly enough on the fast-break chances.

    "There really was no issue, except for I wanted everybody to run the floor," Rivers said. "I didn't think he was running the floor on the last couple of possessions.

    "I don't mind him being upset at all. The game's a fiery game, and its an emotional game. I made my point and I put him back in the game, and he made a big shot for me."

    When Pierce walked back out onto the court, veteran teammate Gary Payton spoke to him briefly -- before setting him up for his 3-pointer from the right wing.

    "Paul is a competitor," Payton said. "I emphasized to him, `We don't need that. We need wins'. ... We've got a lot of young kids. They've been playing so many years and nobody can say anything to them. They don't understand sometimes you've got to listen to what the coach says."

    Pierce left quickly and didn't speak to the media after the game.

    Mark Blount had 16 points and 16 rebounds for Boston.

    Michael Redd scored 23 points for Milwaukee, which fell to 0-7 on the road -- its worst stretch since losing 16 straight during the 1976-77 season.

    The Bucks cut it to 99-98 on Maurice Williams' basket with 34.5 seconds left, but Payton hit the second of two free throws.

    Williams was called for an offensive foul as his shot went in and would've tied it with 3.6 seconds left. Pierce hit the first of two free throws with 2.3 seconds to play before Keith Van Horn had a layup with 0.9 seconds left. But Boston inbounded the ball and time expired.

    The Bucks thought Van Horn was fouled as he drove to the basket, and they heard the Celtics bench yelling to foul before the shot.

    "I saw the replay and it was a foul," Milwaukee coach Terry Porter said. "You can go ask (the referees) if they swallowed the whistle or not. (The Celtics) were instructed to foul the 3-point shooter, and (Ricky) Davis made the mistake of fouling a man going to the basket."

    Milwaukee's players were stunned that a foul wasn't called.

    "Wow! Just wow," Williams said. "Their bench is screaming, `Foul! Foul!' as Keith is going to the basket. That was tough."

    The Bucks tied it at 90 on Redd's jumper with 6½ minutes to play before Boston took the lead for good on Raef LaFrentz's putback.

    Game notes

    The Celtics honored Payton for becoming the 29th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points on Nov. 10 by giving him the game ball before Tuesday night's contest. ... The Bucks play three of their next four games at the Bradley Center. ... Boston placed guard Delonte West on the injured list with a broken right ring finger and activated forward Tom Gugliotta. Rivers said after the game that West may be lost for six weeks or longer. ... The Bucks were outscored 22-2 on fast-break points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 101
    FGM-FGA 36-82 (.439) 32-80 (.400)
    3PM-3PA 5-11 (.455) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 23-33 (.697) 34-40 (.850)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-42 21-50
    Assists 25 18
    Turnovers 17 19
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 2 7
    Fast Break Points 4 22
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 26 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 23
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Mark Blount Blount
    Points: 16
    Reb: 16
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3