Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

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Celtics-Bucks review: C's let one get away

MILWAUKEE The Boston Celtics did pretty much all they wanted to against the Milwaukee Bucks except one thing - win the game.

They kept the Bucks from scoring a bunch of points, they held their own on the boards, kept the turnover differential relatively even and that still wasn't enough to withstand a late-game surge by the Bucks who rallied for a 91-88 win.

"We had a lot of chances," said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. "Overall, I thought our guys really played hard and we did everything we could do. We missed a lot of good shots down the stretch. It was just a tough loss."

Rivers' comments were echoed throughout the Celtics locker room following the loss, their second in three meetings against the Bucks this season.

"Both teams were going back and fourth," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "They made some shots and we made some shots.

Garnett added, "we had a chance to win the game and that's all you can hope for, especially when you're doing back-to-backs on the road."

So the Celtics will have three days off before they return to the court with the goal being to do what they did against the Bucks with one difference - win the game.

Here are some keys identified prior to Saturday's loss, and how those factors played out.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Because of the blowout nature of Friday's win, the C's are in position to play their core players - Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, specifically - extended minutes tonight if necessary.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett and Pierce played 31 and 37 minutes, respectively, which isn't all that out of the norm for them.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Courtney LeeJason Terry vs Monta EllisBrandon Jennings: The Celtics backcourt of Lee and Terry will spend time alternating defensively against one of the most high-powered backcourts in the NBA. Holding their own against Ellis and Jennings will be critical to the C's hopes of winning.

WHAT WE SAW: This matchup, like the game, was a fairly close most of the game. Lee and Terry did a nice job of not only scoring, but facilitating the offense that churned out 26 assists on 34 made field goals. Lee had 13 points and two assists while Terry had his first double-double with the Celtics, scoring 15 points while registering a season-high 11 assists.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Jeff Green is coming off a season-high 19 points, delivering the kind of high impact performance that the Celtics have been longing for all season. What's next? Doing it again.

WHAT WE SAW: Jeff Green continues to play with a purpose for the Celtics, tallying 18 points on Saturday to go with six rebounds.

STAT TO TRACK: The magic number for the Boston Celtics is 95; as in 95 points allowed. This season, the C's are 7-1 when they hold opponents to 95 points or less. That'll be important against the Bucks who are 6-2 this season when scoring 95 or more points.

WHAT WE SAW: Boston kept the Bucks below 95 points scored, but a late-game offensive funk coupled with a couple of bad defensive rotations in the final minute, would prove to be too much for the Celtics to overcome.

Tanguay: No pressure, Al, but Celts' postseason success hinges on you

Tanguay: No pressure, Al, but Celts' postseason success hinges on you

Hey, Al Horford. No pressure, but these upcoming playoffs are on you. 

The Celtics are having a great REGULAR season. But for this postseason to be anything but regular, Al needs to come up big.

To his credit, he's done that recently. But he need to play even better in the playoffs. Better isn’t even the right word. Power. That’s it: Power. Horford needs to play with more power. 

The problem is this has never really been his game, and therefore it may prove the Celtics overpaid when they gave him a max contract. 

During his 74 postseason games with the Hawks, Horford averaged 12.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. This season he has averaged 6.9 rebounds for the Celtics. There's no way his rebounding numbers an be that low in the playoffs. 

I want at least 18 points and 8 rebounds per game from him over the course of the Celts post season run. And NO THREEs. I know the guy can shoot, but he needs to keep that 6-foot-10 body of his twelve feet or less from the hoop. 

So if the Celtics let you down or underperform this spring, it won't be on Isaiah. It will be on you, Al. 

Again, no pressure. 

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

Report: Patriots asked Seahawks about a trade for Richard Sherman

PHOENIX -- The Patriots pulled off what many considered a surprise free-agent signing when they acquired corner Stephon Gilmore. As it turns out, before they picked up the former Bills cover man, they inquried about a separate move that would have been even more eye-opening. 

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, ahead of coming to a deal with Gilmore, the Patriots were among the teams that spoke to the Seahawks about a potential trade for Richard Sherman.

MORE PATRIOTS

During the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday morning at the Arizona Biltmore, Seattle coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that multiple teams have contacted the Seahawks about Sherman. But, Carroll said, "I don't see anything happening at all."

Sherman, who turns 29 next season, will make $11.431 million for 2017. He's due $11 million in the final year of his contract in 2018.