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Despite the Big Three’s presence in the lineup tonight, this game was once again another test for the Celtics’ bench players. After sitting out Saturday night’s game against Charlotte, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce petitioned to Celtics coach Doc Rivers to play tonight against Milwaukee. The Big Three were limited to just about 20 minutes of play each, but still played strong in a 107-104 win.
Garnett finished with 21 points while Pierce and Allen contributed 14 and 11 respectively. In addition to the Big Three, regular starters Kendrick Perkins and Rajon Rondo were also limited to just about 20 minutes each. Rivers will most likely continue to rest these players as much as he can as part of their preparations for the playoffs.
To secure the victory, the Celtics turned to their bench once again. This time the bench was mainly composed of James Posey, Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Eddie House and Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis. Brian Scalabrine would also see minutes in the end after Powe fouled out late in the fourth quarter. The Celtics bench performed well again as they were able to hold off the Bucks throughout the fourth quarter and in overtime. The Bucks never lead in the game, but managed to tie the game at 87 late in the fourth quarter and again at 99 to send it into overtime.
The Bucks were led by shooting guard Michael Redd all night as he had 25 points in 44 minutes of playing time. Center Andrew Bogut also added 15 points and 15 rebounds for the night as well. Bogut and Redd couldn’t help the Bucks avoid another loss, falling to 26-51. The Celtics, meanwhile, moved to a league best 62-15.
The Celtics bench was able to get good experience in tonight’s game just before the playoffs get underway. The fact that the Bucks did not stop playing hard throughout the second half, allowed the bench to better understand how to finish off a team and keep them from coming back. This will be a key for the Celtics in the playoffs as the second unit of the team has struggled to work together and these remaining games will help seal up any gaps in their playing style just as the playoffs begin.
-Sam Cassell sat out tonight’s game with pain in his back, but this injury is expected to be minor and he should be good to go for the playoffs.
-Gabe Pruitt was recalled from the NBA Development League once again tonight. He did not play, but expect to see him in the last remaining games as a back up point guard for Rajon Rondo as Coach Rivers continues to rest his starters.
Next Up the Celtics travel to Washington Wednesday night where they will see Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison as they take on the Wizards.
Tags: Andrew Bogut, Brian Scalabrine, Doc Rivers, Eddie House, Gabe Pruitt, Glen Big Baby Davis, James Posey, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, Michael Redd, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Tony Allen