Boston was 6 for 19 from beyond the arc for the game, including a 2-for-9 performance by Terry, who shouldered the blame for leaving Jennings open for the late 3.
"Being a 14-year veteran, I can't make that crucial mistake on leaving Brandon Jennings," Terry said. "I told everyone that I'll put that one on my shoulders. That's the most frustrating thing about this loss. It hurts to be in that position and to not even make a shot or the defensive play, that's on me."
The Celtics opened the game with a 17-0 run. Milwaukee missed its first six shots from the field. The drought ended when Ilyasova sank a jump shot with about 6:30 remaining in the quarter. The Bucks' problems in the opening minutes included an air ball at the line by rookie forward John Henson.
"Our rhythm was great and then we started subbing and our rhythm gets upset," Rivers said. "We weren't going to keep the shutout. As some point you knew they were going to make a run and they did. At 17-0 they could have easily thrown in the towel. They made some big shots and we missed some."
Sanders stressed the importance of the victory for Milwaukee, which had lost five of six games.
"We've been kind of in a slump and searching," Sanders said. "Today, everyone fought and I'm glad we came out with this win."
Boston led 27-11 after one, but the Bucks rallied in the second quarter and trailed 48-47 at halftime. The teams were tied at 69 after three.
Skiles juggled his starting lineup, inserting Marquis Daniels and Ekpe Udoh. The Bucks also played without key reserves Beno Udrih and Mike Dunleavy, both of whom sustained injuries in Friday night's loss to Minnesota. Udrih is expected to miss one to two weeks with an ankle injury, and Dunleavy attempted to play against the Celtics but couldn't due to lingering knee soreness, according to Skiles.
NOTES: Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute appeared in his first game of the season after rehabilitating from offseason knee surgery. He finished with eight points and six rebounds in 14 minutes. ... Jennings jumped over the scorers' table chasing a loose ball and nearly landed in the lap of former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Antonio Freeman, who was sitting courtside.