Brandon Jennings scored 21 points and dished out 13 assists to lead the Bucks to a stunning 99-88 win over the Celtics Friday night at TD Garden. With David Ortiz sitting courtside after agreeing to a two-year, $26 million contract extension with the Red Sox, the Celtics came out flat in their home opener.
The 0-2 Celtics, who were booed loudly and often all night, were led by 15 points from Kevin Garnett while Rajon Rondo added 14 points and 11 assists. Paul Pierce missed his first six shots and finished 3-for-11 from the field with 11 points.
The Celtics never found their rhythm in the first half, getting outscored 25-18 in the first quarter and 21-12 in the second. The Celtics made just 12 of 40 field goal attempts in the first half, including missing all six from long range. Pierce picked up three fouls in just under 10 minutes of action and took a seat while Rondo was held to just four points and three assists.
The Garden crowd was so stunned by the miserable first half that they began raining boos down on the team in the second quarter, reaching a peak as Brandon Jennings connected on a teardrop baseline runner just before the halftime buzzer. The bucket put the Bucks up, 46-30, the biggest lead of the first half.
The Bucks pushed the lead to 20 before the Celtics made a run to cut it to 14. The spurt featured a Garnett drive to the basket for a field goal after starting the game 2-for-7. Then moments later, Rondo went to the floor scrambling for a loose ball and drew a foul on Jennings. But with the crowd getting back into it, the Celtics fell apart again, as the Bucks increased the lead to 22, 70-48, with just over three minutes left in the third.
The boos were loud again as the Celtics finished the third quarter down 18, 76-58. The Celtics got as close as 11 points in garbage time in the fourth quarter but could never get the game into single digits and Doc Rivers emptied his bench with three minutes left in the game. The Bucks outscored the Celtics 52-36 in the paint in winning their regular season opener.