Regular Season Series (Game 2 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

Celtics 97

(24-25, 8-17 away)

Bucks 121

(18-28, 13-10 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 8, 2005

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 31 15 15 3697
    MIL 36 42 20 23121

    Top Performers

    Bos: R. LaFrentz 13 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

    Mil: M. James 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    James sinks eight 3-pointers, finishes with 28

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mike James could feel a night like this coming after feeling good all week during practice.

    James scored a career-high 28 points, including eight 3-pointers, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a big first half and a 121-97 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night.

    James, a former Celtic, had 19 points and five of his 3-pointers before halftime as the Bucks used a 22-0 run late in the second quarter to take a 78-46 halftime lead.

    The 78 points were the most for the Bucks in a half in 18 years and the second-highest total for a half in the NBA this season.

    Raef LaFrentz led the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics (24-25) with 13 points. Paul Pierce, named to his fourth straight All-Star Game earlier in the day, had just seven points -- 15 below his average.

    Boston had its three-game winning streak snapped and failed to move above .500 for the first time since Nov. 12.

    Boston head coach Doc Rivers called the game "stinky."

    "We cut our own self in the throat," Pierce said. "Things didn't go our way, and then we really couldn't stop the bleeding."

    James shot 9-of-15 in eclipsing his previous career high of 24 points set with the Celtics early in the 2003-04 season. He was traded to the Detroit Pistons in time for their championship run before signing with the Bucks in the offseason.

    James ended the first half with a bang, picking off a long downcourt pass, dribbling to the top of the key and sinking a wide-open 3-pointer with less than a second remaining. The Bucks left the court to a standing ovation from the crowd of 13,764.

    "Once you get it going, it seems like the basket is the size of a garbage can," said Milwaukee forward Joe Smith, one of five Bucks to score in double figures. "He got it going early and just rolled with it."

    Michael Redd, left off the All-Star squad, had 17 points.

    The Bucks outscored Boston 42-15 in the second quarter.

    "It was probably our best offensive quarter of the year," Bucks coach Terry Porter said. "It's a lot of fun when you play that way."

    Boston's Kendrick Perkins was ejected following a scuffle underneath the Bucks basket with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter.

    Perkins fouled Desmond Mason as he drove the baseline for a layup. The two got tangled up, and Perkins threw Mason to the floor.

    Members of both teams engaged in a shoving match, but no punches were thrown. Ricky Davis also picked up a technical.

    "That was something I wasn't expecting," Mason said. "My teammates helped me stay out of trouble, which I appreciate."

    The 121 points were a season high for Milwaukee.

    "When we get it going like that, we can play that way," Mason said. "But the thing is we don't do it often enough."

    Game notes

    Milwaukee scored 78 points in the first half against the New York Knicks on March 24, 1987. Their franchise high for points in a half is 87 against the New Orleans Jazz on March 14, 1979. ... The output was just two shy of the Celtic franchise record for points allowed in a half. Boston allowed 80 against the Syracuse Nationals on Jan. 19, 1963. ... Before the game, the Celtics traded F Walter McCarty to the Phoenix Suns for a conditional second round draft pick. They activated F Justin Reed.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 97 121
    FGM-FGA 38-78 (.487) 41-76 (.539)
    3PM-3PA 4-15 (.267) 10-19 (.526)
    FTM-FTA 17-26 (.654) 29-36 (.806)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-32 12-40
    Assists 26 25
    Turnovers 16 17
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 5 3
    Fast Break Points 15 20
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (1/1) 22 (3/0)
    Largest Lead 6 40

    Top Performers

    Raef LaFrentz LaFrentz
    Points: 13
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1
    Mike James James
    Points: 28
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0