Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Up by 22 points midway through the third quarter, Boston coach Brad Stevens was in prime position for his first win as an NBA coach.
The Milwaukee Bucks, though, rode the strong play of their bench players and netted the game's final 10 points for a stunning 105-98 triumph at TD Garden.
Zaza Pachulia scored half of his 20 points in the last quarter to help Larry Drew earn his first win as Bucks coach and spoil Boston's home opener.
Brandon Bass' two free throws boosted the Celtics to a 98-95 lead with 2:37 remaining, but Milwaukee's reserves proved to be the difference by scoring all but five of the team's points in a 34-15 fourth-quarter margin.
Pachulia had six of his team's points during the 10-0 run, including two free throws with 43.5 seconds left that gave his team the lead. He also had nine rebounds in the game.
Milwaukee lost its season-opener, 90-83, at New York on Wednesday despite coming back from a 25-point halftime deficit and grabbing a late fourth- quarter edge. The Knicks, though, closed that contest on a 10-2 spurt.
This time, Drew's squad finished the job thanks to a solid defensive effort. Boston went 4-of-19 from the field in the fourth quarter.
All told, Milwaukee had 68 points from their bench players. John Henson and Nate Wolters each scored 14 and Khris Middleton added 13. Starter Gary Neal scored 14 points in place of Brandon Knight, who was felled by a hamstring injury against the Knicks.
"We can't get use to these types of wins. I don't like it at all," Pachulia said. "This is not going to happen a lot. We were lucky today and I guess we deserved it because we played well in the fourth quarter, but it doesn't happen that much, especially with good teams."
Vitor Faverani had 12 points and 18 rebounds for the Celtics. Bass ended with 17 points and nine boards.
After Pachulia gave the Bucks the lead, Caron Butler stole the ball from Gerald Wallace. Wolters raced the other way and was fouled on the way to the hoop. The resulting two free throws widened the gap to 101-98 with 31.4 seconds left.
Henson then blocked Courtney Lee's layup try against the glass, and the Bucks used some nifty passing to get Pachulia a layup with 15.1 seconds to go.
Lee's missed 3-pointer and Pachulia's two made free throws sealed the outcome.
"I thought they were really having their way with us physically on the offensive and defensive end in the last 16-18 minutes," Stevens said. "Now the last five or six minutes, that's when we started getting tight, I thought, and instead of just playing free and playing with a clear mind, they were mixing up defenses and they did a good job of that."
The Celtics scored 16 of the game's first 20 points and were up 29-16 after 12 minutes. Their lead stood at 63-47 at the half and increased to 72-50 following two free throws from Faverani with seven minutes left in the third.
It was 83-71 going to the fourth, and the Bucks used a 16-4 run to tie the game at 93 following a Butler 3-pointer from the top of the arc.
Milwaukee's bench outscored New York's 54-20 on Wednesday night. The Bucks held a 68-34 edge on Boston ... Injured Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo dressed in a beard costume to honor the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, and addressed the crowd prior to the contest. The World Series trophy was also brought to center court ... Earlier Friday, Boston unveiled a statue of former Celtics star Bill Russell at City Hall Plaza. Russell received a standing ovation following a video tribute that was shown after the first quarter.
11/01 23:41:18 ET