Bucks rally to kick Celtics, 91-88

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Bucks rally to kick Celtics, 91-88

MILWAUKEE A fast start, a forgettable finish.

Boston (9-8) led by as many as 17 points in the first half, only to see that early dominance go to waste as the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 91-88 win.

A 3-pointer by Brandon Jennings with 24 seconds to play put the Bucks ahead 90-88, and a free throw by Larry Sanders proved to be the game's final point of the night. Jennings had 13 points on 5-for-12 shooting.

Boston had multiple chances to force overtime, but both Paul Pierce and Jason Terry's 3-point attempts hit the back of the rim before rolling out. They finished with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Terry also had a game-high 11 assists.

Seconds into the fourth quarter, the Bucks got back-to-back baskets from Luc Mbah a Moute, who was seeing his first action of the season, that gave Milwaukee a four-point lead which was their largest of the game at that point.

The first couple of minutes had the C's looking like a team on the verge of unraveling while Milwaukee's confidence only grew as their lead increased.

Milwaukee led by as many as six in the fourth, but the Celtics roared back and cut the Bucks lead to just a single point on a dunk by Kevin Garnett.

A Bucks turnover put the ball back in the C's hands.

That's all Paul Pierce needed as he canned a short jumper that put the Celtics back on top.

From there, the two teams treated the lead like a ping-pong ball with neither team gaining any type of significant leverage or control.

The game's ending didn't seem likely considering how Boston controlled the first five or six minutes.

The Celtics looked very much in the mood for another blowout win as they opened the game with a 17-2 run.

But then Kevin Garnett took a break, and from there we saw once again a breakdown in the Celtics defense.

Knowing how the C's go into their offensive funks most nights when Garnett leaves the floor, there was sense that the game was shifting away from Boston's defense fueling their offense.

Milwaukee continued to chip away at the Celtics lead with an improved effort on the boards which led to second-chance opportunities, and of course a slew of timely shots from their backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings who had nine and 10 points, respectively, at the half.

The Bucks also got a huge lift from Ersan Ilyasova who hasn't been nearly as effective this season as he was a year ago.

Making an impact was not an issue on Saturday with him scoring 11 first-half points to lead all Bucks scorers. He finished with 17 points.

Boston was getting a nice boost from its bench as Jeff Green had 11 points for the Celtics, a similarly strong first-half performance akin to what he did when he tallied a season-high 19 points against Portland on Friday night. He had another solid night offensively for the Celtics, finishing with 18 points.

Even with all those contributions, many of which came in the first half, all the Celtics had to show for it was a measly 48-47 halftime lead after having led by as many as 17 points.

Milwaukee eventually took the lead, 51-50, on a lay-up by Ellis with 10:29 to play in the third.

But Boston regained the lead moments later as they tried to fend off a slew of mini-runs by the Bucks which enabled to go into the fourth tied at 69.

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

A quick look at the information you need to know about tonight's Patriots-Steelers game:

TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 15-2, Steelers 13- 5

GAME TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST

TV: CBS

TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson

NATIONAL RADIO NETWORKS: Westwood One

NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts and Ross Tucker

LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak

ALL-TIME SERIES BETWEEN THE TEAMS: Steelers lead, 15-14

LAST MEETING: Patriots 27, Steelers 16 on Oct. 23, 2016 at Heinz Field

* * * *
QUICK FACTS
-- Bill Belichick is coaching in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game. Tom Brady is playing in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game.

-- The Patriots are 8-4 in AFC Championship Games, including 5-1 in games played in Foxboro and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium.

-- The Patriots are 30-19 in postseason games, including 19-4 at home (3-1 at Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 16-3 at Gillette).

-- The Patriots' 30 postseason victories are tied with the 49ers for fourth-most in NFL history, behind the Cowboys (34), Steelers (34) and Packers (32).

-- The Patriots' .612 winning percentage in postseason games is third-best in NFL history, behind the Ravens (15-8, .652) and Packers (34-21, .618).

* * * *
MILESTONES
-- If the Patriots win today they will qualify for their ninth Super Bowl, most in NFL history. They are currently tied with the Cowboys, Broncos and Steelers at eight.

-- If the Patriots win today, Robert Kraft will set an NFL record for most conference championships by an owner (8) in the Super Bowl era. He is currently tied with the Denver Broncos' Pat Bowler at seven.

-- If the Patriots win today, Bill Belichick will move into a tie with Bill Walsh for third place on the NFL list of best postseason coaching winning percentage. Belichick (who would be 25-10 with a victory) and Walsh (10-4) would have .714 winning percentage. Belichick is currently in fifth place, two percentage points behind Joe Gibbs (17-7, .708). Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900) is in first place and Tom Flores (8-3. .727) is second.

-- If the Patriots win today, Belichick will advance to his seventh Super Bowl as a head coach, which would be most in NFL history. He is currently tied with Don Shula at six.

-- Tom Brady (8) needs one more playoff game with three or more touchdown passes to tie Joe Montana (9) for most three-plus TD playoff games since the 1970 NFL merger.

-- Stephen Gostkowski (142) needs 11 points to tie Gary Anderson for third place on the NFL's all-time list of kicking points in the postseason. Adam Vinatieri (234) is first and David Akers (175) is second.

-- Julian Edelman (76) needs nine receptions to tie Andre Reed (85) for sixth place on the NFL's all-time list of postseason receptions. Michael Irvin is fifth at 88, and Hines Ward and Wes Welker are tied for third at 88.

* * * *
TONIGHT'S OFFICIALS
-- REFEREE: Terry McAulay. UMPIRE: Rich Hall. HEAD LINESMAN: Wayne Mackie. LINE JUDGE: Mark Perlman. FIELD JUDGE: Scott Edwards. SIDE JUDGE: Boris Cheek. BACK JUDGE: Tony Steratore. ALTERNATES: John Parry, Mark Steinkerchner, Rich Martinez. REPLAY OFFICIAL: Mike Wimmer. SUPERVISOR: Gary Slaughter.

Brady goes back to high school for pregame social media post

Brady goes back to high school for pregame social media post

Tom Brady's pregame Facebook and Instagram post Sunday shows him wearing a different No. 12 uniform, that of Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.

The Patriots quarterback, looking for his seventh Super Bowl trip Sunday night when he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium in his and his team's sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game, posted the old photo and message on both his Facebook and newly opened Instagram accounts.

My family, my friends, my teammates, my coaches, Pats nation, my schools, our fans... I'm playing for you today. LET'S GO

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, January 22, 2017