Boston, MA – Monta Ellis scored 27 points, including five in overtime, and the Milwaukee Bucks continued their recent success against the Boston Celtics by earning a 99-94 victory at TD Garden.
Luc Mbah a Moute added 20 points, while Larry Sanders amassed 17 points and a career-best 20 rebounds to help the Bucks post their third win in four outings against Boston this season.
Brandon Jennings nearly tallied a triple-double for Milwaukee, which overcome an eight-point deficit to start the fourth quarter -- then squandered a seven- point lead in the final minute of regulation. The point guard finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
"The fact that we showed some resolve was a good sign for us," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said.
Two nights after pouring in a season-high 40 points in a win over Cleveland, Paul Pierce racked up 35 along with 12 rebounds for Boston, and knocked down a clutch 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Jeff Green had 14 points in the loss, the Celtics' fourth in their last five games.
"He's the only one that really had it going," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said of Pierce.
A frantic final 17 minutes began with Boston owning a 70-62 lead, but the Bucks started off the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run to forge ahead. Mike Dunleavy scored the first five points of the spurt, which Jennings capped with a long-range jumper that put Milwaukee up 74-72 four minutes into the frame.
The Bucks continued to dominate the game's latter stages, with a Sanders hook with 4:38 to go accounting for an 81-76 edge. And when Ellis made 1-of-2 foul shots with 42.2 seconds left, Milwaukee was ahead by an 88-81 score and appearing on its way to victory
Pierce had other ideas, however. The veteran star made a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession, and after Green followed two Jennings misses from the line with an alley-oop dunk with 29 seconds remaining to pull Boston within 88-85, buried a 26-footer on a second-chance look to knot the contest with 2.5 seconds on the clock.
The teams traded buckets for nearly the entire extra session, with the game tied at 94-94 after Boston's Kevin Garnett drained an open jumper with 36.1 seconds showing.
Ellis then drew a foul on the other end and made 1-of-2 bonus tries to send the Bucks back in front. Pierce was whistled for an offensive foul on Boston's next trip, and Jennings sank both from the stripe to make it a three-point game with 18.5 seconds left.
Pierce then misfired on another would-be tying shot, with Jennings corralling the rebound and feeding Sanders for an uncontested dunk that sealed the outcome.
Boston controlled the action over most of the first three quarters, with Green netting six points during a 12-1 spurt that gave the Celtics a 22-12 advantage late in the opening period.
The Celtics remained on top by double digits with three minutes left in the first half, but Milwaukee closed the second quarter on a 10-3 burst capped by Ersan Ilysova's 3-pointer just before the buzzer that trimmed the deficit to 46-43.
A driving layup from Ellis just past the midway stage of the third quarter forged a 56-56 tie, and the game remained deadlocked until Boston ended the stanza with a 10-2 run.
Green left the game with 18.5 seconds in overtime after being inadvertently elbowed by Ilysova while both were going for a rebound ... Boston guard Leandro Barbosa was not available due to a personal matter ... The Celtics had won five straight at TD Garden dating back to a Nov. 28 loss to Brooklyn, a game best remembered for an altercation between Boston's Rajon Rondo and the Nets' Kris Humphries ... Boston had won all six meetings in this series between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns ... Pierce made 13-of-23 field goal attempts, but the remainder of the Celtics roster shot just 32.4 percent (23- of-71) ... Sanders' previous career high for rebounds was 16, set against the Celtics back on Dec. 1.