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Greg Stiemsma played his best defense of the season in his Wisconsin homecoming as the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 100-91 Thursday night. Stiemsma recorded five blocks and four steals off a Celtics’ bench that scored 29 points combined.
For two teams known for their defense, Thursday’s contest got out to a racing start. Boston led 35-29 after the first quarter, then allowed the Milwaukee to score another 29 in the second quarter before cranking up the defense in the second half.
The Celtics got contributions up and down their roster in Thursday’s victory, with three players recording double-doubles. Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Bass had 12 and 10, and Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 14 assists. Ersan Ilyasova was the only Buck to record a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Pierce passed Drexler at the beginning of the third quarter. Pierce now has 22,204 career points. The 25th all-time scorer is active Spurs forward, Tim Duncan.
Boston’s bench had one of it’s strongest outings of the season. In addition to Stiemsma’s contributions, Mickael Pietrus scored 13 points and Keyon Dooling chipped in eight in his most meaningful minutes in a while.
The Celtics had to overcome a terrible performance from Ray Allen. Allen scored just six points and made only one of his eight field goal attempts. Over the last three games Allen is shooting 14-for-33 from the field and just 6-for-19 from three-point range.
Thursday’s game in Milwaukee was a homecoming for Stiemsma, who played four seasons at the University of Wisconsin. Dooling played 80 games last season for the Bucks.
The Celtics hope to take control of the Atlantic division tomorrow night when they face the 76ers in Philadelphia. Boston trails Philly by just a half-game in the standings.