Boston (45-15) at Milwaukee (23-37)

By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN, STATS Senior Writer Sunday, Mar 6, 2011 Tipoff: 9:00 pm EST Sun Mar 6, 2011

Ray Allen’s(notes) shooting has fueled the Boston Celtics during their four-game winning streak.

He’ll try to help the Celtics earn a 10th win in 13 tries against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night and gain a game on one of their closest competitors in the Eastern Conference.

Boston (45-15) began the day leading Chicago and Miami by three games in the race for the No. 1 seed in the East. The Bulls beat the Heat 87-86 on Sunday afternoon, so the Celtics would move four games in front of Miami with a victory.

A win at Milwaukee (23-37) would be likely if Allen continues his hot shooting. He’s shooting 57.1 percent and averaging 23.3 points during this run after making 9 of 13 shots for 27 points in Friday’s 107-103 victory over Golden State.

The Celtics improved to 12-0 in games when Allen shoots at least 62.5 percent. The veteran guard wasn’t sure he could play Friday because of a sore right knee.

“I’m glad I’m able to do things like that for the team,” Allen said. “Just knowing I can get in there. It’s not just about me shooting the ball.”

Point guard Rajon Rondo(notes) has also keyed this win streak, averaging 13.3 assists over his last four games. The run has coincided with the additions of Nenad Krstic(notes) and Jeff Green(notes) from Oklahoma City.

Krstic has started all four games with Boston, averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds since he’s been reunited with his former coach in New Jersey, Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank.

Green totaled 18 points in his first three games with Boston before he had 21 on 8-of-11 shooting Friday.

“He’s a gazelle,” coach Doc Rivers told “I mean, the guy can absolutely fly. And our guys know that now and you can see them, they’re giving it to him.”

Shaquille O’Neal(notes) will turn 39 on Sunday, but he’s expected to miss his 13th straight game with an Achilles’ injury. Glen Davis(notes) will miss his second straight game with patellar tendinitis in his left knee after playing in the Celtics’ first 59 contests.

The Celtics are allowing the fewest points in the NBA at 91.7 per game while the Bucks are the league’s lowest-scoring team with 91.4 points per game.

Offense was a problem again for Milwaukee in Friday’s 102-88 home loss to Phoenix. The Bucks were outscored 31-15 in the third quarter, including a 19-0 Suns run.

“If you’re going 11 or 12 possessions without a basket, then it also kind of caves in on the other end, it’s going to be disastrous,” coach Scott Skiles said.

Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 16 points but went 5 of 17 from the field for Milwaukee, which remains outside the top eight teams in the East.

Boston won 105-102 in overtime over Milwaukee at home Nov. 3 as Paul Pierce(notes) scored 28 points and Allen had 23. Although the Celtics are 9-3 against the Bucks since the start of 2007-08, they have lost two of three in Milwaukee.

“Boston is a good team coming in,” forward Jon Brockman(notes) said. “They can affect the game from anywhere. We’re going to have to come out with a lot more energy and a lot more togetherness against Boston.”

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