For the first time since the 2006-2007, the Bucks opened their season with a victory, rolling the Boston Celtics on the road, 99 to 88. Brandon Jennings led Milwaukee with 21 points, 13 assists, and 6 steals. The final score belies what was truly a dominating effort from the Bucks, who held a lead hovering around 20 points for much of the second half. Boston, which drops to 0-2 in the early season, was led by Kevin Garnett's 15 points and a 14-point, 11-assist double-double from Rajon Rondo. The win also snapped a six-game losing streak against the Celtics for Milwaukee.
The Bucks held a seven-point lead after the first quarter and used a stifling defensive effort (combined with some impressively sloppy play by the Celtics) to push the lead to 16 at the halftime. Milwaukee's offense bounced back nicely from their late preseason lull, making up for 18 turnovers with 16 fast break points and 52 points in the paint. Jennings looked like an elite playmaker, forgoing some wide-open jumpers for attacking drives and finding teammates camped under the bucket. Truth be told, Milwaukee's entire roster played exceedingly well, save one glaring exception--Monta Ellis looked determined to establish his own offense the entire night, but offense never came. Ellis chucked his way to a 6-20 shooting line and finished with 14 points.
Much of the credit to a performance from Boston that could best be described as "casual". Boston looked tired and deflated, and early punches from the Bucks seemed to steal the wind from their sails. Boston matched Milwaukee's 18 turnovers, and save for a late flurry, might have had a hard time cracking 40% shooting.
The Bucks can certainly be proud of a road-opener like this, and will now look to carry the momentum into their home opener against Cleveland Saturday night.