Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/16

Game 1: Friday, December 16th
Game 2: Sunday, January 29th
Game 3: Friday, March 10th

Bucks 100

(13-8, 7-4 away)

Celtics 96

(9-13, 7-6 home)

7:30 PM ET, December 16, 2005

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
MIL 24 26 25 25100
BOS 26 11 33 2696

Top Performers

Mil: M. Williams 24 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 3 Stl

Bos: P. Pierce 23 Pts, 9 Reb, 10 Ast

Bucks beat Boston behind balanced offensive attack

BOSTON (AP) -- The road hasn't been an obstacle for the Milwaukee Bucks, especially when they're matched up with Eastern Conference opponents.

"We're not afraid to go into someone's house and set the tempo," said guard T.J. Ford, who scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter on Friday night to ice Milwaukee's 100-96 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Mo Williams had 24 points and nine rebounds, and Michael Redd also scored 24 for the Bucks, who rallied from a 10-point deficit to open a 17-point lead, then blew that before holding on to improve to 11-2 on the road this season.

"Winning on the road builds your confidence," said Bucks coach Terry Stotts, whose team is 6-0 away from home in the East. "When the Celtics came back and tied the game and the crowd's into it, to know that you have the ability to make plays when you need to make them, it's important."

Paul Pierce had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Boston, which has not won consecutive games all season. Marcus Banks, who missed the first 21 games with a stress fracture in his left leg, scored 12 points in 22 minutes and was part of the squad that rallied to tie it, 77-77, with 10:48 left.

"He played great," Delonte West said. "First game back and he looked real comfortable."

But Banks also tried a no-look pass under the basket to Mark Blount when the Celtics trailed by six with 3:04 left.

"I don't think Johnny Bench or (Jason) Varitek, any of them could have caught that one with a glove," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "You just don't make that pass in that type of situation. But I forgive that because he came in and gave us great energy."

The Bucks trailed by 10 in the first quarter before running off 31 of 36 points to open a 48-31 lead in the second. But Boston scored the last eight points in the third quarter, including Raef LaFrentz's buzzer-beater from just inside the halfcourt line to make it 75-70.

The crowd, which booed the hometown team late in the first half, rose to its feet. The fans were still cheering when Ricky Davis made an acrobatic layup to start a three-point play that brought Boston within two, 75-73.

After Redd made it a four-point game, LaFrentz hit a pull-up jumper from the left side to make it 77-75. Al Jefferson muscled the ball in from the lane to tie it with 10:48 left.

But Williams hit an 18-footer from the left of the basket, then LaFrentz missed from the top of the key and Ford drove past him at the other end to make it 81-77. Ford added another fast-break layup to give the Bucks a six-point lead.

Williams hit a couple of baskets, and Jamaal Magliore made one free throw, followed soon after by his rim-shaking dunk, to extend the Milwaukee lead to 92-82 with 6:15 left. Pierce and Banks hit 3-pointers in the final minute to pull Boston within three, 97-94.

But Ford made two free throws with 13.5 seconds left, then Pierce missed an off-balance 3-point attempt before Ford made one of two free throws to ice it. Ford was 6-for-8 from the line in the final 2:03.

Pierce had seven points in the first eight minutes to help the Celtics open a 20-10 lead. They led 26-17 with 2:07 left before the Bucks scored the last seven points of the first quarter and 24 of the first 29 in the second.

Game notes

Pierce has been Boston's high scorer nine games in a row and 18 times in all. ... Banks made his season debut with 3:37 left in the first half after the Celtics fell behind 46-30. ... Milwaukee is 6-0 against the East on the road and 11-2 against the conference overall. ... The Bucks shot just 68 percent from the line to Boston's 84 percent. ... Former NFL star Herschel Walker was in the crowd.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 100 96
FGM-FGA 39-80 (.488) 35-81 (.432)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 5-18 (.278)
FTM-FTA 17-25 (.680) 21-25 (.840)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-43 11-39
Assists 25 30
Turnovers 19 16
Steals 8 5
Blocks 3 6
Fast Break Points 17 10
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (1/0) 26 (1/0)
Largest Lead 17 10

Top Performers

Mo Williams Williams
Points: 24
Reb: 9
Ast: 4
Stl: 3
Blk: 0
Paul Pierce Pierce
Points: 23
Reb: 9
Ast: 10
Stl: 0
Blk: 0