MILWAUKEE - Larry Sanders had 18 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 91-88 victory after the Boston Celtics scored the first 17 points of Saturday night's game.
Monta Ellis had 17 points and seven assists for the Bucks, while Ersan Ilyasova added 15 points and five rebounds. Brandon Jennings had a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter.
Paul Pierce paced the Celtics with 19 points, and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and seven rebounds.
Boston played without point guard Rajon Rondo, who served the second of his two-game suspension for his role in a scuffle during a game against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Courtney Lee, who started in Rondo's place, had 13 points, and Jason Terry finished with 15 points and 11 assists.
Jeff Green and Pierce hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Celtics an 88-85 lead with 1:44 left. Sanders then had a dunk and Jennings drained a 3 to get the lead back for Milwaukee.
Another missed shot and a foul by Boston put Sanders at the line. He hit one of two free throws to make it 91-88 lead with 11 seconds remaining. Pierce and Terry missed 3-point attempts in the waning seconds as the Bucks held on for the win.
Boston was 6 for 19 from beyond the arc for the game, including a 2-for-9 performance by Terry.
The Celtics opened the game with a 17-0 run. Milwaukee missed its first six shots from the field. The drought ended when Ilyasova sank a jump shot with about 6:30 remaining in the quarter. The Bucks' problems in the opening minutes included an air ball at the line by rookie forward John Henson.
Boston led 27-11 after one, but the Bucks rallied in the second quarter and trailed 48-47 at halftime. The teams were tied at 69 after three.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles juggled his starting lineup, inserting Marquis Daniels and Ekpe Udoh. The Bucks also played without key reserves Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy, both of whom sustained injuries in Friday night's loss to Minnesota. Udrih is expected to miss one to two weeks with an ankle injury, and Dunleavy attempted to play against the Celtics but couldn't due to lingering knee soreness, according to Skiles.
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