MILWAUKEE — Paul Pierce scored 25 points and Kevin Garnett added 18 as the Boston Celtics rallied for a 96-92 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Boston (3-3) got even with the Bucks after Milwaukee knocked off the Celtics 99-88 in Boston on Nov. 2.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 32 points. Samuel Dalembert added 14 points and eight rebounds.
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.
Boston, which struggled shooting in the first three quarters, outscored the Bucks 10-4 to start the fourth and grabbed a 74-72 lead when Jeff Green scored on a drive with 6:10 remaining.
Pierce and Ellis then traded baskets, with Ellis drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 3:52 remaining to give Milwaukee an 82-81 lead.
Milwaukee cut the score to 91-90 when Marquis Daniels hit a short jumper with 25 seconds remaining. Jason Terry was fouled and hit 1 of 2 free throws with 22 seconds remaining to make it 92-90.
Ersan Ilyasova lost the ball near the basket for the Bucks and it was grabbed by the Celtics. Pierce then hit 1 of 2 free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining to make it 93-90.
Rondo fouled Brandon Jennings as soon as he got the inbounds pass, but Jennings hit just 1 of 2 free throws to make it 94-92 with 4.5 seconds left.
Rondo was fouled and hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 94-91. Ellis was then fouled and hit the first free throw. The Bucks were called for a lane violation as Ellis tried to miss the second free throw on purpose.
Boston held Jennings to four points on 1-of-10 shooting. Jennings scored 21 points and had 13 assists in the team’s first meeting this season.