Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 12/16

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

Bucks 92

(30-31, 13-18 away)

Celtics 86

(26-36, 18-14 home)

    7:30 PM ET, March 10, 2006

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 22 17 29 2492
    BOS 26 20 24 1686

    Top Performers

    Mil: M. Redd 26 Pts, 3 Reb, 6 Ast

    Bos: P. Pierce 24 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Blk

    Bucks get key win over Celtics; Pierce streak ends

    BOSTON (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks gave themselves some more breathing room in the race for a playoff spot.

    Michael Redd scored 26 points, and the Bucks beat the Boston Celtics 92-86 on Friday night.

    "This is a big win for us," Bucks coach Terry Stotts said. "There's no two ways about it. Boston's been playing well. We needed a win in a bad way."

    The Bucks extended their lead to 4½ games over the Celtics for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and snapped a three-game losing streak.

    "It helps our confidence out," said Redd, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. "We had been down and lost a couple games in a row. Tonight definitely gives us a boost."

    The Chicago Bulls' loss on Friday night dropped them three games behind the Bucks.

    Paul Pierce scored 24 points and added eight assists for the Celtics. It was only the second time in the last 15 games he failed to reach 30 points.

    "He's the engine -- when he plays well, they usually win," Redd said.

    With 13 seconds remaining and Boston trailing 88-85, Pierce had a chance to tie the game with three free throws, but he only converted one.

    "To hold him under 30 is an accomplishment to begin with," Stotts said. "Our guys worked hard on him. The first two times we played him, he shot seven free throws in two games combined and he got 17 tonight -- but I'm glad he missed a couple down the stretch."

    Milwaukee trailed by as many as nine points, but came back to tie the game at 68 in the third quarter on Jamaal Magliore's dunk.

    The Celtics regained the lead and went ahead 76-70 on Brian Scalabrine's 3-pointer, but the Bucks used a 10-3 run, culminated with a reverse layup by Redd, to take a 80-79 lead.

    "We needed this win," said Celtics guard Wally Szczberiak, who scored 18 points. "This is a huge loss on our own floor. That's a big swing game when you're chasing someone in the playoffs. We made it harder on ourselves."

    All five starters scored in double figures for the Bucks, who won for only the third time in 10 games. Bobby Simmons scored 18 points and Magliore added 16. T. J. Ford and Andrew Bogut each scored 11.

    Ryan Gomes added 12 for the Celtics, who had won their last two contests.

    The Celtics used a 9-2 second-quarter run, highlighted by Pierce's layup, to build a nine-point lead. They took a 46-39 lead into halftime, paced by Pierce's 13 points.

    Game notes

    Celtics guard Delonte West missed his third straight game with a strained right groin. ... It is the third time the Bucks have swept the season series against the Celtics. They also did so in 1970-71 and 1998-99. ... The Celtics are 8-5 since Gomes entered the starting lineup. ... Pierce and the 76ers' Allen Iverson are the only two players to score 15 points or better in every game this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 92 86
    FGM-FGA 33-76 (.434) 29-75 (.387)
    3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 5-21 (.238)
    FTM-FTA 22-28 (.786) 23-28 (.821)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-48 7-36
    Assists 21 23
    Turnovers 9 6
    Steals 2 7
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 1 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 6 9

    Top Performers

    Michael Redd Redd
    Points: 26
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 24
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1