Share “Jennings scores 21 as Bucks beat Celtics...”

Jennings scores 21 as Bucks beat Celtics 99-88

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 10:34 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012
Advertisement

BOSTON (AP) — Brandon Jennings had another big opening night for the Milwaukee Bucks, just as he did in his first game as a pro.

He enjoyed Friday night's debut a lot more.

"We lost that game" in 2009, he said. "So I was glad to take this one."

The Bucks took it to the Celtics from the start — outhustling them and playing better offense and defense — and ruined Boston's home opener with a 99-88 win that broke Milwaukee's streak of five consecutive opening-game losses.

Jennings had 21 points, 13 assists and six steals. In his first NBA game, he had 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists but lost 99-86 at the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Friday, the Bucks didn't trail after the first 6 minutes and led by at least 11 points throughout the second half.

Boston had cut a 46-30 halftime deficit to 48-35. Milwaukee scored the next six points and led 76-58 going into the fourth quarter.

"In the third, when they started to get after it, started to bump us, we responded really well," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "We had a lot of energy. Guys were doing their jobs out there."

The same can't be said for the Celtics.

They allowed the second-fewest points in the NBA last season, but struggled defensively for the second consecutive game. They lost 120-107 to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, matching the most points they allowed in any game last season.

"We have a lot of new people, a lot of guys trying to get adjusted," said Jason Terry, who signed in the offseason as a free agent from the Dallas Mavericks. "It's going to take a while, but to get outworked is definitely unacceptable."

Boston was led by Kevin Garnett with 15 points and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 11 assists. The Celtics lost their first three games last season but reached the Eastern Conference finals where they lost in seven games to the Heat.

"It starts and ends with our defense," Rondo said. "I'm the point guard. I'm the first line of defense and initiate the offense. I've got to be better."

The biggest cheers of the night went to David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox designated hitter seated in the front row at midcourt.

A baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations said the team and Ortiz had agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal. Several fans shouted "congratulations" to Ortiz as he walked to his seat early in the third quarter. A loud cheer went up when he was shown on the video scoreboard, then he raised his left arm straight up to acknowledge the crowd.

Continue reading this story on the...