<
>

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.