|Fast Break: Bucks stampede Celtics in Garden debut||11.02.12 at 9:46 pm ET|
So much for the Celtics keeping their house clean, as Paul Pierce vowed in the days leading up to the team’s home opener on Friday night, because the Bucks muddied up the Garden paint all night long.
Led by their backcourt of Brandon Jennings (21 points), Monta Ellis (14 points) and wing Tobias Harris (18 points) — among the many Bucks who seemed to coast to the basket at will –Milwaukee scored 52 points in the paint, built a lead as high as 22 and never looked back in a 99-88 blowout.
But, hey, at least Jeff Green made some baskets (11 points, 5-9 FG), so the Celtics have that going for them. Kevin Garnett (15 points), Rajon Rondo (14 points, 11 assists), Paul PIerce (11 points), Brandon Bass (10 points) and Jason Terry (10 points) also reached double figures. Here’s what else happened:
WHAT WENT WRONG
Watching the paint dry: Six of Milwaukee’s first seven field goals came within nine feet. So, with four minutes left in the first quarter, Darko Milicic made his Celtics debut. And that didn’t help. By the time the opening 12 minutes mercifully ended, the Bucks had almost as many points in the paint (16) as the C’s scored altogether (18).
Sloppy second: If you thought the first quarter was bad, you should’ve seen the second. Or maybe you did, in which case you probably don’t want to relive it. But the Celtics shot 5-of-21 from the field, missed all four of their 3-point attempts, got to the line just twice and scored all of 12 points. In others, they settled for jumpers — never more evident than when Rondo passed up a layup for a missed a Green triple.
Turd quarter: After cutting the deficit to 12 midway through the third quarter — and making what seemed like an inevitable run — the Celtics committed three straight turnovers and fell behind by more than 20 points for the second time in as many games this season. In all, they committed seven turnovers (18 on the night) that led to 10 third-quarter points.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Buckeye on the prize: Despite struggling in Miami — and that’s putting it nicely — one thing is abundantly clear about Jared Sullinger‘s ability to contribute in the NBA: He does work on the offensive glass. In fact, he might’ve been the only Celtics player doing any work on either end in the opening 24 minutes. Three of Sullinger’s six first-half rebounds came on the offensive end, including a put-back layup and a trip to the free throw line.
Garnett gain: If not for Garnett, the Celtics might’ve trailed by 30 after the third quarter. He scored 10 of his 15 points consecutively in the first 5:19 after halftime, single-handedly keeping the C’s ship afloat. Well, it was more of a life raft. But Garnett attempted just eight shots in the season opener, so the C’s made a concerted effort to get him more touches (14). Now, if only he can get his interior defense groove back, the Celtics might be back in business.
C’mon, the Celtics lost their home opener by double digits to the Bucks. Nothing really went right.
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