BOSTON (AP) – Ray Allen and the Boston Celtics take a lot of pride in their defense, so this one was a gem. For Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles, it was embarrassing.
Allen scored 17 points in just three quarters and the Celtics set a franchise record for fewest points allowed in the shot-clock era, routing the Bucks 87-56 on Sunday.
“I think playing defense perfectly is our goal,” Allen said. “That’s what we shoot for, but a team can still score while you’re doing that.”
Not this time.
It was the lowest score against the Celtics since they beat the Milwaukee Hawks 62-57 at Providence, R.I., on Feb. 27, 1955. The Bucks, who joined the NBA before the 1968-69 season, set a franchise record for fewest points.
“That’s about as humiliating a defeat as you’ll ever see,” Skiles said. “They got us on our heels and took our competitive fight away from us. We pretty much just gave into it.”
Milwaukee was coming off 102-74 home win over Philadelphia on Saturday. When the Bucks flew east to Boston, they lost an hour to the Eastern time zone and then another hour to daylight savings time. And when the 6 p.m. EDT start arrived on Sunday, they plodded their way to all of nine points in the first quarter.
“You could see they were tired,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “So, we took advantage and that was great, but a lot of it had to do with their schedule.”
The Celtics held the Bucks to just 38 points through three quarters — an NBA record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They clinched the new franchise low when Milwaukee’s Keyon Dooling missed a pair of free throws with 22 seconds remaining.
Nenad Krstic had 11 points and 14 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 14 for the Celtics, who rested their starters throughout the fourth quarter.
Earl Barron was the only player to score in double figures for the Bucks, finishing with 10 points. Andrew Bogut and Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee’s starters with eight points apiece. Guard
John Salmons was shut out altogether in 21 minutes.
It was Milwaukee’s most dismal performance since an 88-58 loss to Seattle on Feb. 21, 2003 — the day after the Bucks traded Allen to the SuperSonics in a multiplayer deal for Gary Payton.
Eight years later, Allen had a light workout with 30 minutes for the Celtics, who also got Glen “Big Baby” Davis back after missing four games with a strained tendon in his left knee. Davis finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Troy Murphy added 12 points and seven boards and Jeff Green scored 11 for Boston.
The Bucks, who had won three straight, barely avoided the NBA record for fewest points in a half. Two field goals by Bogut in the final minute of the second quarter pushed Milwaukee’s score from 18 to 22 — just three better than the league record for futility. It tied the Bucks’ franchise low and was the fewest scored in a half against the Celtics ever.
The Bucks had more turnovers (nine) than field goals (eight) in the half and were outrebounded by Boston 27-17 in the first two periods.
NOTES: The Celtics got an early start on St. Patrick’s Day festivities by wearing their green and gold uniforms at home. … Bogut was called for his second foul just 4:31 into the game.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)