It was a “great defense will lead to great offense” type of night, as the Celtics kept the Bucks on their heels throughout the second half, and the bench provided enough scoring for the win.
The Celtics got a game-high 20 points from Isaiah Thomas and forced 17 turnovers to beat Milwaukee, 99-83, and improve to 3-3 with a second straight win. The C’s buckled down defensively in the third quarter, stealing and blocking their way to an 18-2 run to finish the quarter with a 76-59 lead. David Lee (13 points), Evan Turner (13 points), Jae Crowder (12 points), Jared Sullinger (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Kelly Olynyk (11 points) also reached double figures.
Greg Monroe collected a team-high 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks, but Milwaukee’s offense was no match for the Celtics’ defense and bench production.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on:
STUD OF THE NIGHT: Evan Turner.
Turner amassed six assists, five rebounds and four steals to go along with his 13 points, finishing with a team-best plus-32 rating. He anchored a 50-point effort from the bench.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Nobody.
The Celtics got contributions up and down the roster, including seven points and seven rebounds from rookie R.J. Hunter and nine rebounds from Amir Johnson.
VINE OF THE NIGHT:
Another incredible shot that didn’t count for the Celtics. Last week it was Jae Crowder’s amazing full-court inbound pass into the opposite basket that resulted in a turnover, and Tuesday night it was Turner’s one-handed half court heave.
WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Another injury in the backcourt. With Marcus Smart already nursing an injured left toe that kept him out another night, Avery Bradley went down with a lower left leg bruise. Turner started the second half in his place. Both Smart and Bradley’s status for Wednesday’s game against Indiana remains in doubt.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 11 steals. Jae Crowder, the league’s leader in steals, joined Turner with four steals against the Bucks, while Thomas, Sullinger and R.J. Hunter each added one. But it wasn’t just the steals that made the difference; it was the way the Celtics went about getting them — trapping the Bucks with double teams and forcing the Bucks to make silly turnovers throughout the second half.
@ OF THE NIGHT: