Coming off his hot shooting night in Wednesday’s win over Cleveland, Pierce looked sharp early. He missed his initial shot then hit seven straight, scoring 17 points until missing a pair of open 3s late in the second quarter.
NOTES: The Bucks’ usual starting guards were in there despite suffering recent injuries. Jennings had twisted his right ankle during Wednesday’s game in Memphis and Ellis missed the morning shootaround with a sore back. ‘‘We've got to have our guards in the game, so it’s good they'll be able to go,’’ Skiles said before the game. ... Rivers didn’t feel either team had an advantage even though they've already met three times in a short time. ‘‘It’s amazing,’’ he said. ‘‘This is the fourth time. It’s funny. I don’t think any of the lineups have been the same on either team, so it’s four new times every time we play them.’’ ... The Celtics next play on Christmas Day in Brooklyn against the Nets, opening a four-game road trip that has them on the West Coast for the final three. ... Milwaukee hosts Cleveland on Saturday night, the opener of three straight at home.