Bucks rally to kick Celtics, 91-88

954203.jpg

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.

OFFSEASON

Vertical's Bobby Marks: Celtics a 'wild card' in Durant chase

kevin_durant_celtics_emotion_thunder.jpg

Vertical's Bobby Marks: Celtics a 'wild card' in Durant chase

Many people think Kevin Durant-to-the-Celtics is a pipe dream.

But Bobby Marks of The Vertical isn't one of them.

Appearing on CBS Sports Radio's Gio and Jones Show, Marks said Durant's decision on where to play next year will be based on "a lot of different things. Does he go the one-year route that a lot of us think might be in play to get his years of service up to 10 and then next year he can really cash out? Can you win a championship going forward? I think that eliminates more than a handful of teams here, and then there’s also that stability factor and just how challenging it’s going to be for them to fit him in (from) a cap standpoint.

"Most of these teams that he will meet with will have to really gut a little bit of their roster outside of Oklahoma City and Boston.”

Boston?

“Boston is kind of a wild card here,” Marks said. “They’re in the East, so you don’t have to bang your head against San Antonio, Golden State, Portland, the Clippers. Yes, you would have the NBA champs in your back yard with Cleveland, but basically you would really just have them and Toronto.

"And Boston’s got a lot of ways to improve in the future (with all of of their draft picks). Durant could walk into the Celtics meeting room and say, ‘Hey, I want to play with Al Horford,’ and they’ll be able to create room to do so. That’s why I kind of put Boston up there along with Oklahoma City.”

Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox

red-sox-mike-miller-062716.jpg

Red Sox recall infielder Mike Miller, ship Cuevas back to PawSox

The Red Sox made another pitcher-for-infielder roster swap today, sending William Cuevas back to Pawtucket and bringing up Mike Miller as his replacement.

The Sox had summoned Cuevas from the PawSox over the weekend when they ran through their bullpen in Friday night's come-from-behind victory over Texas and he pitched twice against the Rangers, holding them to two hits over 2 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday and Sunday. Deven Marrero had been shipped out when Cuevas arrived, leaving the Sox with only one backup infielder (Marco Hernandez).

Now they have two again, with Miller making his first trip to the major leagues. He's been primarily a second baseman for Pawtucket, though he's also seen action at short and third. Miller -- the team's ninth-round selection in the 2012 draft -- had a combined .251 average in 46 games for the PawSox and six games for Double-A Portland.

However, his stay with the Red Sox will likely be as short as Cuevas'. Brock Holt may soon be ready for reactivation, after having missed more than a month because of a concussion, and he could take Miller's roster spot when he returns.