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The Boston Celtics took game 82 of the season with a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, 112-94.

The Bucks left four of their starters back in Milwaukee, but it was still a nailbiter through the first 36 minutes of game time. Then the fourth quarter/Celtics highlight reel started.

The C's were led by the trio of Gerald Green (18 pts, 6 reb), Amir Johnson (16 pts, 5 reb), and Jae Crowder (16 pts, 5 reb, 3 stl). Crowder sparked the Celtics offense throughout the game, and Green supplied the volume shooting that got the Celtics back on track in the late game. Amir also came through in the third to keep Boston in the game during a fist-fight of a quarter.

Meanwhile, the Bucks saw solid contributions from Michael Beasley (15 pts, 5 reb, 3 stl, 2 blk), Spencer Hawes (15 pts, 5 reb) off the bench, Rookie of the Year candidate Malcolm Brogdon (11 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast) and Rashad Vaughn (14 pts, 4 ast).

Isaiah Thomas (13 pts, 8 ast) did not lead the team in scoring for the first time since January, and with the win (along with the Cavaliers loss to the Toronto Raptors), the Celtics officially claim the one seed in the Eastern conference.

First quarter:

You would think that an NBA team resting four of its five starters against an NBA team playing its full lineup would be a blowout. Well the first quarter was! ...Just not in favor of the better team.

The Bucks were hot out of the gate, scorching the C's defense early to the tune of a 4-for-5 start from the floor.

The Celtics couldn't find really any offense until Jae Crowder rattled home two straight three-pointers to pull Boston ahead momentarily.

But the Bucks were relentless and closed the quarter on a 19-9 run.

Only good part about the first quarter? Some highlights from Jaylen Brown and Gerald Green:



The Bucks closed the frame on a buzzer beater by Mirza Teletovic, though, and went into the break up 36-25.


Second quarter:

Important to note: Isaiah Thomas did not have a point in the first quarter.


Fortunately, basketball is a game of runs, and this matchup was no different. The second 12 minutes were a back-and-forth between the two teams, with the Celtics clawing to within striking distance two times in the first six minutes. But every time the C's would make it close, the Bucks would retaliate and pull away again.

Boston climbed to within four with just under seven minutes to play on a gorgeous spin move in the lane by Tyler Zeller, but again, Milwaukee surged back. A dunk by Malcolm Brogdon and five quick points from Spencer Hawes ballooned the Bucks lead back to double digits, and the Garden seemed quiet. But fear not, Celtics fans, for Isaiah Thomas is a spark plug.

With about 2:40 left, IT checked back in and did his typical thing to close the frame, quickly dropping ten points to give the C's their first lead since the opening quarter.



Celtics head into the locker room up by one, 57-56.

Third quarter:

Coming out of the break, it looked like the defense improved, but the offense was still missing a few pieces. Nobody could pull away, and the biggest lead of the entire quarter was a 4-point-lead built by the Celtics that was quickly erased by the Bucks.

The theme of the frame was defense, which was epitomized by Thon Maker who recorded three blocks all in the third.


The only one who could seemingly find the bottom of the net was Amir Johnson:


Over the course of the fist-fight in the third, the Celtics outscore the Bucks by one, and go into the fourth up 80-78.


Fourth quarter:

You probably thought it would be a blowout when you heard the Bucks were resting players, didn't you? Well it took three quarters, but finally the Celtics figured it out.

Boston dominated in the fourth. A combination of great defense, pounding the paint, and the energy that seemed to be contagious from the fans to the players, the Celtics put together the best run of the night.


But the best way to describe this quarter? Dunks. High flying dunks. From everybody. Name a Celtics (above 5'10") and he hung onto the rim for some period of time in the fourth quarter. This Gerald Green throw down effectively sums up the final frame for the C's.


Celtics double-up the Bucks in the final quarter, 32-16 and close the season with a W, 112-94.

Follow Topher Lane on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports.

Topher Lane 4/12/2017 10:28:00 PM Edit
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