Celtics end Bucks’ winning streak at 6
Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points for the Celtics, who were playing their seventh game on an eight-game road trip. With Thursday’s win, the Celtics improved to 4-3 on the trip.
Brandon Jennings had 19 points for Milwaukee.
It was the Bucks home debut for Monta Ellis, who was acquired along with forward Ekpe Udoh in a trade with the Golden State Warriors last week. Ellis, who went first in pregame introductions and received a loud ovation, scored 13 points on 6-for-18 shooting.
Milwaukee came into Thursday with four straight games with 30-plus assists as a team. They had 23 on Thursday, but struggled to move the ball in the second half.
Before the game, Bucks coach Scott Skiles said he challenged Jennings to defend Rajon Rondo, something the Bucks have struggled with in the past. The Bucks contained Rondo—he had 10 points and 14 assists—but didn’t have a defensive answer for Pierce.
Boston led 74-71 going into the fourth quarter, then jumped out to an 82-73 lead with an 8-0 run.
With Milwaukee later trailing 88-77, Jennings missed a jumper and Keyon Dooling hit a long jumper on the other end, putting the Celtics up 90-77 with 5:54 left.
Milwaukee showed some signs of life on a four-point play by Jennings—a layup, a foul and a technical on Celtics coach Doc Rivers—but the Bucks still trailed 92-83 with 4:34 left.
A pair of free throws by Jennings cut the lead to 92-85, but a jumper by Garnett and a layup by Rondo put Boston ahead 96-85 with 3:33 remaining.