The Milwaukee Bucks have an explosive offense but it was their second-half defense which helped them overcome a 21-point deficit to defeat the Celtics 114-112 on Friday night.
"We know we'll be able to score points. We're just trying to add a defensive mentality. If we do, I think we'll be one of the teams in the mix at the end," said Bucks forward Danny Manning, who scored 15 points.
Ray Allen, who finished with 18 points, hit a go ahead jumper with 44 seconds left and hit one free throw for the final margin as the Bucks ended a four-game road losing streak.
The Bucks allowed the Celtics a season-high 92 points through three quarters, but outscored Boston 35-20 in the final quarter.
"We just wanted to get back in this game. Once we did, we thought we could win it," said Bucks forward Tim Thomas, who scored 17 points and made all six of his shots from the field. "We did all the little things in the fourth quarter to win this game,"
After Vitaly Potapenko gave the Celtics a 108-103 lead with 3:20 left, the Bucks used an 8-2 run to take a 111-110 lead on Allen's jumper.
Thomas made two free throws to extend the lead to three before Kenny Anderson scored to pull the Celtics within one.
"This is a huge win for us. It's a very challenging coaching job," said Bucks coach George Karl. "I've never had a team with so many holes defensively, but we have an explosive offnse that makes up for it."
Antoine Walker had 27 points to lead the Celtics. Potapenko finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which has dropped two straight games.
"This is a tough loss for us," Celtics' coach Rick Pitino said. "We were hoping they would miss, rather than getting after them like we did in the first half and forcing them to miss."
Manning scored seven of his 15 points in an 11-0 Bucks run that tied the game at 99 with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics shot a blistering 67 percent in the first quarter to take a 42-24 advantage en route to a 66-48 halftime lead.
"This was a very difficult loss for the players because they played their finest half of basketball," Pitino said.
Paul Pierce had 17 of his 22 points in the first quarter.
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