"I can't understand it," said Milwaukee assistant coach John Killilea following Friday night's 136-127 NBA loss to the Buffalo Braves, the Bucks' fourth defeat in a row. "We're in a tight playoff race and cannot play good basketball."

The Braves won a game in which 71 fouls and six technicals were called, including two that led to the ejection of Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Both Brian Winters, Milwaukee's top scorer with 28 points, and John Gianelli left the game with six personals.

The Bucks converted 39 of 59 free throws while the Braves hit on 44 of 56, their season high.

Forward Larry McNeill, who came to Buffalo Feb. 2 as a free agent, and guard Randy Smith each scored 31 points for the Braves.

"We're getting a lot of mileage out of few people and that's what we have to do," said Brave Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons. "I've been looking up on that scoreboard every night and seeing five fouls on (Marvin) Barnes, five fouls on McNeil and five fouls on (Swen) Nater. You're playing Russian roulette when that happens and we con't afford to do that." McNeill and Barnes both fouled out.

Rooklie Mike Glenn scored 23 points for Buffalo and Nater had 18 points and 16 rebounds.

Elsewhere in the NBA:

Celtics 115, Suns 108

John Havlicek scored a season-high 32 points and became the first NBA player ever to score 1,000 points for 16 consecutive seasons, in leading Boston to victory over Phoenix. Dave Bing had 22 for the Celtics, while the Suns were led by Paul Westphal's 24 and Alvan Adams' 22. Dawkins scored a career-high 23 points and George McGinnis and Lloyd Free had 18 each. It was the eighth loss in 11 games for the Kings, who were led by Bill Robinzine's 19 points.