(SportsNetwork.com) - The Milwaukee Bucks must be more consistent if they have any intentions on claiming a playoff berth and will visit the hungry Boston Celtics Friday at TD Garden.
The Bucks are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference with Brooklyn, Miami and Boston all within three games. The Nets are 2 1/2 games behind the Bucks and both the Heat and Celtics sit three games off the mark. Charlotte has its hat in the ring at 4 1/2 games in back of Milwaukee.
Milwaukee ended a two-game slide its last time out, a 95-91 triumph versus the Chicago Bulls at the Bradley Center. Michael Carter-Williams recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova had 16 points and Khris Middleton scored 14 points for the Bucks.
The Bulls, who got within 92-91 with less than two minutes to go, had prevailed in nine straight trips to the Bradley Center. Ilyasova's basket made it 94-91 with 1:07 to play, then the Bulls misfired on four tries from 3-point range in the waning seconds, finishing 5-of-26 from beyond the arc.
"It was a good team win," Bucks reserve guard O.J. Mayo said. "I thought defensively we were really solid. If you break down the game, everyone made a key play down the stretch."
The Bucks won for only the third time in the previous 11 games. They are 15-23 on the road and winless in the past 11 games as the visitor. Milwaukee hasn't tasted victory away from home since Feb. 2 at Toronto, an 82-75 decision.
Milwaukee will host Orlando and Cleveland after its trip east.
Boston and Miami are even for the eighth seed in the East and sit a half-game behind Brooklyn for No. 7.
The Celtics recorded an important 100-87 triumph over Indiana on Wednesday and were led by Evan Turner's triple-double of 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Turner has three triple-doubles this season for the Celtics, who ended a three-game slide at home and are 9-5 in the last 14 overall.
Turner is one of just six players in the NBA this season to have recorded 700 points, 350 rebounds and 350 assists, joining Eric Bledsoe, James Harden, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Tyreke Evans.
Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk each scored 19 points. Olynyk played despite suffering a cut over his left eye when he was elbowed by teammate Shavlik Randolph during Boston's shootaround earlier Wednesday.
Olynyk, his eye black and blue and swollen, checked in with 1:56 remaining in the first quarter and went 7-of-10 from the floor in 22 minutes, including 3- of-4 on 3-pointers. He received stitches to close the small cut.
"I think he felt OK. It was more of a vision thing. How well could he see?" Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "And he was saying he could see pretty well and the doctors felt good about him playing. ...
"I think it looked a little worse than maybe it felt, which is good."
Olynyk is expected to play Friday night and is averaging 10.4 ppg.
The Celtics are 19-19 at TD Garden and will play the next three games on the road against Toronto, Detroit and Cleveland.
Boston dropped a 96-93 decision in Milwaukee on Feb. 7 and the two Eastern Conference foes will clash again April 15 at the Bradley Center. The Bucks have won six of the last nine games in this series.