BOSTON – Jordan Crawford scored 25 points, Jeff Green added 18 and the Boston Celtics avoided a third loss to struggling Milwaukee this season by beating the Bucks 108-100 Tuesday night.
Brandon Bass added 16 points and nine rebounds, Avery Bradley scored 15 and Jared Sullinger finished with 12 points as all five starters scored in double figures for Boston, which had lost two of three.
The Bucks had just snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 92-85 win over the Celtics on Saturday in Milwaukee, but couldn’t quite rally from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
O.J. Mayo scored 19, and Brandon Knight had 15 points and six assists for Milwaukee. Khris Middleton added 14 points for the Bucks, who were outrebounded by the Celtics 40-33.
Kris Humphries and Sullinger pulled down eight rebounds apiece.
The Celtics led by as many as 15 points and had a 13-point lead in the final period cut to three twice before holding on for the win.
Giannis Antetokounm pulled Milwaukee within 69-65 with an alley-oop dunk to open the fourth quarter. Crawford answered for Boston with a 3-pointer, starting the Celtics on a 15-6 run that put a comeback out of reach for Milwaukee. Lee followed his 3-pointer with a jumper to put the Celtics up 81-71, then Crawford hit a 3-pointer to put Boston up 84-71 with 7:51 left.
The Bucks got back in it with a 13-4 run, pulling within 90-87 on a pair of free throws by John Henson, then made another charge late in the period for a close finish. Knight’s 3-pointer with 1:10 remaining cut Boston’s lead to 99-96, but Sullinger answered at the other end, beating the shot clock with a jumper that put Boston back up 101-96.
Knight missed everything on another 3-point attempt for Milwaukee and the Celtics held on to win it.
NOTES: Two of the Bucks’ three wins this season have come against the Celtics. … Caron Butler (knee) missed his third straight game for the Bucks. … Boston rookie Kelly Olynyk (sprained right ankle) did not dress. … The Celtics committed just one turnover in the first quarter. … Milwaukee was playing the first of back-to-back nights. The Bucks host Detroit on Wednesday.