There will be no 19.
The Bucks stopped here, at the TD Banknorth Garden, and were defeated by the Celtics,117-97, in front of 14,482 basketball junkies Wednesday night. They waded through the puddles on Causeway Street to witness the end of Boston’s franchise-record losing streak. The streak stops at 18 games. The NBA’s record of 23 consecutive losses remains intact.
The Boston Celtics, the NBA’s most storied franchise, went 960 hours between their Jan. 5 win at Memphis and tonight’s win over Milwaukee. But the return of Paul Pierce and Wally Szczerbiak boosted the Celtics over a depleted Bucks team that was missing leading scorer Michael Redd. Fifteen three-pointers didn’t hurt, either.
Piece led the Celtics with 32 points on 12-for-19 shooting. The Celtics captain played 36 minutes of in-your-face basketball. He did not speak to reporters before the game, presumably leaving him extra time to put his game-face on.
Pierce encouraged his teammates even when he was on the bench. When Kendrick Perkins forced Bucks forward Andrew Bogut into a travel, Pierce yelled to Perkins from the sidelines:
“You got it, Perk. You got that.”
Pierce left to a standing ovation with 2:52 remaining and the game well in hand.
Gerald Green went 8-for-9 for 21 points for the Celtics.
Mo Williams led the Bucks with 31 points. Charlie Bell chipped in with 22 points and six rebounds.
We’ll be back in a bit with comments from the Celtics locker room.