Bucks-Celtics Preview

The Milwaukee Bucks probably wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of

the Boston Celtics.

After snapping their longest losing streak in over 16 years in

the opener of a home-and-home set with the Celtics, the Bucks will

try to win consecutive games for the first time this season in

Boston on Tuesday night.

Two of Milwaukee’s three victories have come against the

Celtics, who handed the Bucks (3-13) their only road win with a

105-98 loss at TD Bank Garden on Nov. 1.

Following that win, the Bucks dropped 12 of their next 13,

including an 11-game skid that was their worst since a

franchise-record 15-game slide in March 1996.

Milwaukee got out in transition and scored easy baskets against

Boston on Saturday, holding a 16-4 edge in fast break points in a

92-85 win. O.J. Mayo scored 22 and Brandon Knight added 20 points,

nine rebounds and eight assists.

“Same old, same old, just continue to play hard,” Mayo said.

“Obviously, every night’s going to be a challenge all around the

board – outside, inside. Just about continuing to play hard

and playing the right way.”

In their win at Boston last month, the Bucks rallied from a

16-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Celtics 34-15 in the

fourth quarter.

“When those guys get going, you can throw everything else out

the window. They are a tough team to stop,” Boston coach Brad

Stevens said. “Bottom line is that we have all got to tighten it

back up on Tuesday night. We weren’t great (on Saturday) but the

Bucks had a lot to do with that.”

A common theme in Milwaukee’s victories over Boston (7-12) this

season has been defense. In the first meeting, the Bucks forced 17

turnovers, and they held the Celtics to 4-of-19 shooting from

3-point range Saturday.

“We were running zone,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “We didn’t

run a lot of man-to-man that first half, but when we started

running our zone, we just waited to see if they were going to make

shots. They didn’t fall for them, so we stuck with it and it seemed

to have an effect.”

Milwaukee’s defense is ninth in the NBA, allowing 98.8 points

per game, but the offense has been abysmal with an 89.2 average –

tied with Charlotte for the league’s lowest.

Jared Sullinger had 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Jeff Green

and Jordan Crawford added 18 points apiece Saturday for the

Celtics, who had won three of four following a six-game losing

streak.

Green, who leads the team with 16.7 points per game, is shooting

just 39.3 percent against the Bucks this season. He was 4 of 13 for

13 points Nov. 1.

Similar to that loss, the Celtics had another very poor quarter

against the Bucks on Saturday – though this time it was the second.

Milwaukee outscored Boston 28-14 in the period, shooting 52.4

percent overall and hitting all four of its 3-point attempts.

The Bucks also outrebounded the Celtics 17-10 in the period,

helping them to a 49-41 margin for the game.

“We didn’t defend the 3 very well,” said Celtics guard Avery

Bradley. “Another thing is that they were making everything. They

were just moving the ball well and playing well as a team. We

stopped getting consistent stops and it showed, and they were

making shots and got a lead.”

The Bucks will try to tie a team record with their fourth

straight win in Boston. They last won four in a row on the road

against the Celtics from April 15, 1998 to Nov. 26, 1999.