BOSTON (AP) — Paul Pierce scored 12 of his 28 points in overtime to reach 20,000 points in his career, added a key steal with 27 seconds left, and helped the Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 105-102 on Wednesday night.
Ray Allen had 23 points for the Celtics (4-1), Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 15 assists, and Kevin Garnett scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds.
Andrew Bogut led the Bucks (1-4) with 21 points and 13 boards. Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino each scored 15 points and Brandon Jennings had 13.
Boston center Shaquille O’Neal missed his second straight game after bruising his right knee last Friday in a home win over the New York Knicks. Boston coach Doc Rivers said before the game he didn’t think O’Neal would be able to play the team’s next game Friday against former Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau, who left to coach the Chicago Bulls after last season.
Rondo, who averaged 16.8 assists in the first four games, had just one in the opening 18 1/2 minutes.
Boston had a six-point lead with 1:20 to play in regulation, but the Bucks rallied to tie it on Delfino’s driving basket with 10.5 seconds left.
In overtime, Jermaine O’Neal tipped in Allen’s miss, giving Boston a 97-95 edge with 1:49 to play. Pierce then nailed two free throws 30 seconds later.
Bogut scored on a drive and was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw, leaving the Bucks behind by two. After missing a jumper, Pierce picked off a pass in front of Boston’s bench.
Pierce then hit with two free throws with 13.3 seconds left to reach the 20,000-point mark. He added four more in the closing 10.3 seconds.
Trailing 82-77 after Jennings scored on a drive, the Celtics went on a 13-2 run over a 1:38 stretch late in regulation.
Garnett started it with a dunk over Bogut. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw. The two had a brief shoving match and were whistled for technicals.
Milwaukee later closed to 90-89 on Jennings’ breakaway layup. Allen hit just one free throw, setting the stage for Delfino’s basket. Rondo missed a jumper as time expired, sending it to OT.
Allen scored 15 points in the first half, which ended with the teams tied at 47. Both then clamped down defensively in the third quarter.
After the Bucks scored the first six points, four by Bogut, in the third, Boston came back with consecutive baskets by Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal. After that, neither team held more than a four-point edge the rest of the quarter.
Milwaukee led 63-62 entering the final 12 minutes.
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