Ford Keys to the Game: Bucks 91, Celtics 88

Bucks 91, Celtics 88
By Marc D'Amico, December 1, 2012

Key Moment

Brandon Jennings hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24.0 seconds left to give the Milwaukee Bucks a 90-88 lead over the Boston Celtics. Those points wound up deciding the game, but in the minds of Celtics fans, they shouldn’t have.

The Celtics led 88-85 when they took possession of the ball with 1:19 left in the game. The ensuing possession was a big one. They could have either made it a two-possession game by scoring a key basket, or they could have came up empty and given the Bucks an opportunity to tie or take the lead.

It sure looked like Boston was going on its way to the former as the ensuing play developed. Jason Terry broke Milwaukee’s defense down with a drive down the right side of the lane and he had some options as he drove to the basket. He could have put up a shot of his own, he could have tossed a pass to Kevin Garnett, who was right in front of the basket, or he could have kicked the ball out to a teammate for a perimeter jumper. However, he didn’t have the opportunity to choose any of those options because the referees called a phantom foul on Garnett.

Garnett was in the middle of the paint as Terry drove to the basket. Two Milwaukee defenders shaded over to defend Terry and prevent the guard from having an uncontested layup. Garnett made very minimal contact with one of those Milwaukee defenders and he was whistled for an offensive foul that changed the game.

That turnover took the game out of Boston’s hands and put it in Milwaukee’s hands. The Bucks were put in a position to tie or take the lead, and Jennings made sure they did the latter with his dagger of a 3.

Key Box Score Line

There’s this guy on the Milwaukee Bucks’ roster named Larry Sanders. You might want to start paying attention to him.

Sanders followed up an impressive triple-double on Friday night (10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 blocks) with another outstanding performance on Saturday night against the Celtics. He came off of the bench and finished the game with a team-high 18 points to go along with game highs of 16 rebounds and five blocked shots. If that’s not overall production, we’re not sure what is.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston had the game's high scorer (Paul Pierce, 19 points) and had five players score in double-figures to Milwaukee's four, yet still lost.
  • The Celtics outperformed the Bucks in rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots, but not points.
  • Boston shot just 41.5 percent from the field.
  • In Rajon Rondo's absence, Jason Terry stepped up to dish out a game-high 11 assists.
  • Larry Sanders was great off of the bench for Milwaukee, scoring 18 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking five shots.
  • Four of Boston's five starters finished with a positive plus/minus rating, but all of the reserves finished with a negative rating.
  • Neither team made more than 32 percent of its 3-pointer attempts.
  • Jared Sullinger blocked a career-high three shots.
  • Sanders' 16 rebounds doubled the next-best performance in the game, which was eight boards by Brandon Bass.

Quote of the Night

Teams are going to make runs in this league and you just have to try to cut it as soon as possible.
Kevin Garnett on Milwaukee's comeback win

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