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Recap: Bucks 99, Celtics 94
Line Movements
Date: December 21, 2012 7:30 PM EDT
  

BOSTON (AP) - Milwaukee's Larry Sanders dominated inside against Kevin Garnett, one of his boyhood idols, and he made sure Paul Pierce didn't have another chance at a clutch basket from long range.

Monta Ellis scored five of his 27 points in overtime, Sanders scored 17 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and saved it with a blocked shot, leading the Bucks over Boston Celtics 99-94 on Friday night.

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And it certainly wasn't easy.

Milwaukee captured the final meeting between the teams this season despite blowing a seven-point lead late in regulation.

``I just love playing against KG. He's one of the guys I liked watching growing up,' said Sanders, breaking into a smile when asked if it was something about seeing Boston that brings out his best.

The Bucks won for the sixth time in eight games, taking three of four against the Celtics, who had a five-game home winning streak snapped despite 35 points by Pierce.

Pierce, who had sent the game to OT with a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, was blocked by Sanders as he attempted a tying 3 in the closing seconds of OT.

``I knew if he got it off he had a pretty good shot at making it,' Sanders said. ``It probably would have been bottom.'

With the Bucks leading 97-94, Pierce came off a screen, got open briefly on the right wing before Sanders came flying out. Sanders then broke down court for a dunk to seal it.

``He's the only one that really had it going,' Rivers said of Pierce. ``I always jokingly - and it's the truth - say, `It's a make-miss league' and tonight was evident of that.'

Jeff Green scored 14 points and Garnett had 12 on 6 of 22 shooting. The Celtics shot just 38 percent, with Jason Terry going 1 for 15.

Pierce had scored a season-high 40 points in Boston's previous game.

``I think right now, it's this point in the season where I'm in a good groove,' Pierce said. ``I'm feeling good about my shot. I'm feeling good about my pace of the game. I'm just trying to do what I can to help this ball club win.'

But he didn't have a chance on the last shot.

``I thought I got fouled on it,' he said. ``But you know, that's the way the game goes sometimes.'

Terry was also 5 for 17 in a loss the last time against Milwaukee.

``That was frustrating. For me, being a shooter, you're getting looks that you want and they're not falling for you, especially when your team needs you most,' Terry said. ``Again, I'll take this on my shoulders. Maybe it's the Bucks? I don't know. That's two tough ones for me against them.'

Luc Mbah a Moute added 20 points for Milwaukee.

Green had to leave with a towel over his left eye in the closing seconds of OT. The Celtics said he had a bruised left cheek and chipped teeth.

In overtime, Ellis' consecutive baskets, coming nearly two minutes apart, had given the Bucks a 94-90 lead with just over a minute to play. But, like in regulation, Pierce made a jumper and Garnett hit a long jumper, tying it with 37 seconds left.

``The fact that we showed some resolve was a good sign for us,' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said.

After a timeout, Ellis was fouled by Courtney Lee and hit the first of two, making it 95-94. Milwaukee came up with the ball after a scramble on the missed free throw and Pierce was forced to foul Brandon Jennings with 18.5 seconds left. Jennings hit both free throws.

The Celtics had trailed 88-81 with under a minute to play in regulation before Pierce scored five points, tying it on a 3 from the top with 2.5 seconds to play. Sanders airballed a foul-line jumper at the horn, sending the game to OT.

The basket came after a steal by Rondo after Terry missed a wide open 3 and Green batted the rebound out to Pierce.

Jennings' 3-pointer right in front of Boston's bench with 7:56 to play moved the Bucks ahead 74-72, their first lead since the game's opening basket. Boston tied it on Green's two free throws on the ensuing possession, but Milwaukee scored seven of the next nine, making it 81-76 on Sanders' left-handed hook with 4:39 to play.

Pierce's 3-pointer from the left wing - after he let two defenders go flying by - cut it to 83-81 with 2:45 to go. After he got a steal on the other end, he back-rimmed a 3 before the Bucks had a 24-second violation, giving the ball back to Boston with 1:46 left.

But Pierce's jumper rolled out on the next possession and Ellis hit a driving floater from the right side of the lane, making it 85-81 with 1:11 to go.

Sanders then had an alley-oop off Ellis' pass to give the Bucks a six-point edge with just under a minute to play.

Coming off his hot shooting night in Wednesday's win over Cleveland, Pierce looked sharp early. He missed his initial shot then hit seven straight, scoring 17 points until missing a pair of open 3s late in the second quarter.

NOTES: The Bucks' usual starting guards were in there despite suffering recent injuries. Jennings had twisted his right ankle during Wednesday's game in Memphis and Ellis missed the morning shootaround with a sore back. ``We've got to have our guards in the game, so it's good they'll be able to go,' Skiles said before the game. ... Rivers didn't feel either team had an advantage even though they've already met three times in a short time. ``It's amazing,' he said. ``This is the fourth time. It's funny. I don't think any of the lineups have been the same on either team, so it's four new times every time we play them.' ... The Celtics next play on Christmas Day in Brooklyn against the Nets, opening a four-game road trip that has them on the West Coast for the final three. ... Milwaukee hosts Cleveland on Saturday night, the opener of three straight at home.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CLOSING LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  +190   +5   190.5 
 BOS  -230   -5   
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CLOSING SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  +180   +5   190.5 
 BOS  -220   -5   
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   SPR   O/U 
 MIL  26%   35%   47% 
 BOS  74%   65%   53% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NBA HEAD TO HEAD
 Dec 1, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 BOS 88 Cover: 0 
 MIL 91 Under: 179 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 10, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 BOS 96 Cover: 3 
 MIL 92 Under: 188 
 Tools:   Recaps
 Nov 2, 2012  Score  ATS Results 
 MIL 99 Cover: 18 
 BOS 88 Under: 187 
 Tools:   Recaps

 NBA RECAPS
 Friday, Dec 21
 
    Hawks at 76ers
7:05 PM EDT
    Magic at Raptors
7:05 PM EDT
    Bucks at Celtics
7:35 PM EDT
    Bulls at Knicks
7:35 PM EDT
    Pacers at Cavaliers
7:35 PM EDT
    Wizards at Pistons
7:35 PM EDT
    Mavericks at Grizzlies
8:05 PM EDT
    Pelicans at Spurs
8:35 PM EDT
    Bobcats at Warriors
10:35 PM EDT
    Kings at Clippers
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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