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Celtics drop home opener to Bucks
But the Milwaukee Bucks, who were down 22 points in the first half, spoiled the night, roaring from behind for a 105-98 victory that gave Larry Drew his first win in two games as Milwaukee coach.
The Celtics, who lost their opener on Wednesday night in Toronto, trailed only 2-0 and 2-1 before a 16-2 first-quarter run quickly put them in control. They were still up by 17 with a minute left in the third quarter.
Instant fan favorite Vitor Faverani, a 6-foot-11, 260-pound Brazilian import who had 13 points and three rebounds in the opener, finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds and six blocked shots in 37 minutes.
Guard Avery Bradley, injured in a collision with Kyle Lowry in Toronto, started and played 32 minutes but was in foul trouble and fouled out late.
The Celtics went 27 of 43 from the floor in the first half, leading by as many as 18 points and by 16 at the break. Neal did score 11 straight points for his team to help cut Boston’s lead to eighth with 7:29 left in the half, but the Celtics went on a 9-2 run to re-establish control.Notes: Stevens attended the unveiling of the Bill Russell statue at City Hall on Friday. Russell was also honored at the end of the first quarter on Friday night, receiving a lengthy ovation. NBA commissioner David Stern and his Feb. 1 replacement Adam Silver were also at the event and then at the game. ... The World Series-champion Red Sox were honored with a pregame video tribute, followed by the Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner bringing the trophy onto the court. Injured G Rajon Rondo, wearing a fake beard to honor the Red Sox, welcomed the crowd to the game. ... The Bucks were missing G Brandon Knight (hamstring) and G Luke Ridnour (back); as well as G/F Carlos Delfino and F Ekpe Udoh (offseason surgeries). ... Celtics F Jared Sullinger returned from his one-game team suspension resulting from his offseason domestic violence arrest (charges recently dropped after his girlfriend refused to testify under her fifth amendment rights). ... The Bucks are home to Toronto on Saturday night and the Celtics open a two-game road swing at Detroit on Sunday.