The 4-3 Bucks would be hosting the 2-3 Celtics without guard Marcus Smart who is still out with a toe injury. The Celtics would stay with the same starting 5 that beat the Wizards by an impressive 20 points last game.
The 1st quarter started terrible for Boston as they had 3 turnovers in less than 3 minutes & found themselves in an 8-0 hole as Coach Stevens was forced to take an early timeout. Out of the timeout Sullinger got our first points + drew a charge on the defensive end. The great play of Monroe had the Bucks up 12 with 5 & ½ minutes to play. Olynyk with the hoop & harm off a brilliant Avery pass & a Jae Crowder 3 cut the deficit to 3 & forced the Bucks into a timeout. 7 points off the bench from Olynyk had the game tied up at 24 at the end of the 1st.
The 2nd started back & forth but back to back 3’s by Thomas & Turner put the Celtics up 8 after 4 minutes. A few bad possessions by the Celtics & 6 straight points by Middleton had our lead cut to 2. Turnovers & missed 3’s were problems for the Celtics but Thomas was able to keep the Celtics up 3 with 3 minutes left to the main break. Monroe with a 14-11 points/rebound double double keeps the Bucks in it at the half as the Celtics lead 46-42.
The 2nd half started with Evan Turner in place of Avery Bradley who was pronounced out for the rest of the game with a bruised lower left leg. Thomas drew Antetokounmpo’s 4th foul of the game early in the 3rd as he split his free throws to put the Celtics up 8. Antetokounmpo knocked down a 3 from the corner & Bayless made 2 free throws as the Celtics lead was cut to 2 halfway through the 3rd quarter. Thomas made back to back trips to the line making all 4 free throws & put the Bucks over the limit. Jonas & Crowder both knocked down triples with 2 Crowder free throws in-between that put the Celtics up 9. Boston ended the quarter with an 18-2 run to take a 76-59 lead into the 4th.
Antetokounmpo picked up his 5th foul early as Middleton & Bayless hit 3’s to cut the Boston lead to 13. 2 offensive rebounds and a made jump shot from David Lee had the Celtics leading 87-71 with a little over 6 minutes remaining. The Bucks kept fighting all the way to the end but Boston were able to manage the clock & hit shots when it mattered as the Celtics get to .500 with a 99-83 win.
The NBA’s leader in steals, Jae Crowder had another 4 steals in tonight’s game.| Thomas had another 20 point game after a slow start shooting.
Evan Turner finished with a team high +32.
The Celtics had 21 assists.