Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/2/12
MILWAUKEE -- Comebacks are starting to become second nature for the Milwaukee Bucks. Not even a week after rallying late from a 27-point deficit for a road victory in Chicago, the Bucks stormed back from a 17-0 deficit for a 91-88 victory over the Celtics Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Down one at the half, thanks to a 36-point second quarter, the Bucks and Celtics played neck-and-neck down the stretch until Brandon Jennings' hit a three-pointer from 26 feet to give Milwaukee the lead for good with 24 seconds to play. "That play wasn't for a three," Jennings said. "The play for me was to come off a pick with Larry. If I had an open lane, of course, take it to the hole or we had Monta at the other end. We just moved the ball around and were able to get an open shot." Jennings' clutch shot might not have mattered were it not for Larry Sanders, who followed a franchise record-setting 10-block performance Friday in Minnesota with an 18-point, 16-rebound -- both career highs -- effort against the Celtics, adding five blocks. "We just had to get stops," Sanders said. "That was the only way we were going to get back in the game. We just had to prevent the scoring and avoid trading baskets with them. We needed to turn up our defensive mindset." Already shorthanded without key reserves Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy Jr., Bucks coach Scott Skiles shook up his starting lineup, starting Epke Udoh and Marquis Daniels in place of Samuel Dalembert and Tobias Harris -- neither of whom played in the contest. The Bucks benefitted, though, from having defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute available for the first time this season. Though limited to just 14 minutes, Mbah a Moute was effective against the Celtics' Paul Pierce. "Not only Luc, but Daniels did a nice job on Pierce too," Skiles said. "We had another guy that could come in and guard hum I thought both guys did a real nice job on him and made him take difficult shots." After making 7 of their first 8 shots in building a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, Boston shot 36 percent the rest of the game. Paul Pierce scored 19 points and Jeff Green had 18 to lead the Celtics (9-8), who also got double-digit contributions from Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry and Lee. Boston was playing without point guard Rajon Rondo, who was serving the second game of a two-game suspension issued after a fight earlier this week in Brooklyn. "I'm not mad at all," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We kind of had a bad rotation leaving Jennings open, but that was the effort again. I'm not upset at all with the loss. They made some shots and fought back. Give them a lot of credit. At 17-0 they could have easily thrown in the towel. I thought both teams hung in there. They made some big shots and we missed some." Milwaukee (8-7) took the lead early in the second half but after going ahead by as many as six in late in the half, Boston clawed back and took an 88-85 lead on Pierce's three with 1:44 to play. Pierce would miss on a short-range jumper with 36 seconds left that would have put Boston up by three but the rebound went out of bounds and possession went to Milwaukee. Coming out of a Bucks' timeout, Daniels found Jennings, who connected for his go-ahead shot. Boston had one last chance to tie it, but Terry's three-point attempt bounced off the rim as time expired. NOTES: Neither Udrih nor Dunleavy, key Bucks reserves, were available after suffering injuries Friday at Minnesota. Udrih is out 1-2 weeks with an ankle sprain and Dunleavy is day-to-day with knee soreness. ... Terry made his first start of the season against Milwaukee on Nov. 10 and has been in the starting five ever since, a span of 12 consecutive games. ... Milwaukee has won 2 of 3 meetings with the Celtics this season. ... Courtney Lee tied his season high with 13 points and scored in double digits in consecutive games for the first time this season.
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