MILWAUKEE (AP) — Struggling from the field and in danger of losing for the second straight night, the Boston Celtics turned to their two veteran leaders to save them.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each scored eight points in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics rally to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 96-92 on Saturday night.
Pierce led the Celtics with 25 points and Garnett added 18. Boston got even with the Bucks after Milwaukee knocked off the Celtics 99-88 in Boston on Nov. 2.
"It's a big win for us," Pierce said. "We haven't been playing well, but tonight we grinded it out. We were down double figures. Sometimes an early road trip can bring you together and maybe this is just what the doctor ordered."
The Celtics lost 106-100 at home to Philadelphia on Friday.
"We just have to keep getting better," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "I believe in this team. We just have to play hard every night. It'll give us a chance to win games when we're not playing great."
The Celtics held Brandon Jennings to just four points on 1 of 10 shooting and Mike Dunleavy to two points on 1 of 4 shooting. Jennings scored 21 points and had 13 assists in the team's first meeting this season.
"Coach has talked the last three days about grinding it out," Celtics guard Jason Terry said. "Whatever it takes to get the job done. It's not going to be pretty. We know what we hang our hat on, and that's the defensive end."
Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 10 assists for the Celtics, giving him 30 straight games with 10 or more assists, the third-longest streak in NBA history. Magic Johnson has the longest streak at 46 games from April 1983 to February 1984.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 32 points, while Samuel Dalembert added 14 points and eight rebounds.
"They hit the shots when it mattered," Ellis said. "We fought hard the whole game, but in the end, they hit the shots they had to and we didn't."
Bucks forward Larry Sanders said he knew Boston would come out and play hard after losing Friday night. Sanders continued his strong early season play with 10 points and 12 rebounds, his fifth straight game with more than 10 points. He scored more than 10 points in three games all of last season.