The Boston Celtics didn't miss a beat in their first game without Rajon Rondo. After cruising to a 96-78 triumph over Portland, Boston will return to the court on Saturday to face the host Milwaukee Bucks. Jeff Green scored 19 points and Jason Terry added 17 as the Celtics blitzed a weary Trail Blazers club which is in the midst of a season-high seven-game, 11-day road trip.
Larry Sanders posted a career-high 10 blocks and 12 rebounds, but Milwaukee suffered its fifth loss in six games with a 95-85 setback to Minnesota on Friday. To add injury to insult, backup point guard Beno Udrih exited the contest in the fourth quarter with an ailing right ankle. Initial X-rays were negative and Udrih will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Comcast SportsNet New England (Boston), Fox Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (9-7): With Rondo serving a two-game suspension due to his part in a skirmish with Brooklyn, Courtney Lee made the most of his spot start with 10 points and seven rebounds. Lee had a steal and subsequent dunk to bring the TD Garden faithful to its feet on Friday. Boston coach Doc Rivers credited the defensive display as Portland was held to 23 percent shooting in the first half.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (7-7): Brandon Jennings, who had 18 points versus Minnesota, will look to atone for a difficult outing against Boston. Jennings went 1-for-11 from the field - including 1-for-7 from 3-point range - to finish with a season-low four points on Nov. 10. As for Sanders, his 10 blocks tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in a game in franchise history. Abdul-Jabbar accomplished the feat on Nov. 3, 1973.
1. The teams will be meeting for the third time already this season. Milwaukee spoiled Boston's home opener with a 99-88 triumph on Nov. 2, while the Celtics answered with a 96-92 road win eight days later.
2. After being recalled from the Maine Red Claws of the NBA's Development League, Boston's Kris Joseph scored the first two points of his NBA career on Friday.
3. The Bucks and Celtics will conclude their four-game series on Dec. 21.
Bucks 97, Celtics 91.