LeBron James played floor general once again with 32 points, nine rebounds and nine assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers 99-94 last night at the Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs in their efforts earned the Central Division title for the second consecutive season.
“We have to cherish these moments and celebrate these moments,” said PG Mo Williams. “Our goal (last year) was so focused on a championship, we looked past clinching the division, clinching the playoffs and clinching home-court advantage. All that makes the main goal that much sweeter.” Cleveland was in control through most of the contest until the Pacers put the pressure on in the fourth. Despite a late fourth quarter run, Indiana was unable to pull ahead in light of their previous mistakes.
“The last two road games, we’ve given ourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter and came up short against good teams,” said Pacers coach Jim O’Brien. “We’ve won our last three home games, so things are starting to pick up for us.” Indiana is next set to host the Detroit Pistons tomorrow night as the Cavaliers travel to Chicago to matchup with the Bulls at the United Center.
Paul Pierce after missing his first 10 shot attempts netted 16 fourth quarter points en route to leading his Boston Celtics over the Indiana Pacers 103-94 yesterday at TD Garden. Pierce’s teammates knew better than to count him out for a clutch performance following his less than ideal start.
“Shooters believe they can shoot. They always believe it,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They can go 0 for 20, and they’re thinking the odds are on their side. That’s the difference between the average player and the great player. The average player stops shooting and turns it into a bad game. The great players are thinking after every miss, the next one has to go in.”
Kendrick Perkins picked up the slack in the post without Kevin Garnett by his side with19 points and eight rebounds. Rajon Rondo contributed all around, scoring 15 with nine assists and six steals. Ray Allen also came to play with 23 points and seven boards. Allen produced the real key play in the third quarter when he drained the go-ahead trey for Boston to hold on from there. This marked the final bucket in their 13-0 run after trailing 66-54. Garnett is expected to be back on Friday when the C’s take on Dwight Howard and the 21-7 Orlando Magic.
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The New York Knicks produced 34 fourth quarter points to come back and win over the Indiana Pacers 110-103 last night at Conseco Fieldhouse. Al Harrington and Larry Hughes led in scoring off the bench with 26 and 22 points. With the win the Knicks snapped a tough six-game losing streak while holding the Pacers from claiming their sixth consecutive victory.
Post-game talks were mostly revolved around the 2-9 Knicks possibly signing veteran guard Allen Iverson. The 34-year old former MVP split with the Memphis Grizzlies after appearing in just three games. Head coach Mike D’Antoni is excited for discussions to continue, saying “I think it will help things. You got a guy who’s a proven scorer, probably a Hall of Famer. He can only do positive things, I think, to this team.”
Hopefully New York can keep it going against the winless New Jersey Nets on Saturday. The Pacers will look to get back on point Friday when hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Stephon Marbury’s first game as a Boston Celtic served as very successful, scoring eight points with two assists in Boston’s win over the Indiana Pacers. Most of his numbers came early in the fourth quarter as he was able to lead the C’s in a 12-4 run. In his time in the fourth he was able to knock down a jumper, find Ray Allen for a 3, and score a layup through traffic.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was surprised how easy it was for Marbury to fit in right away with the rest of the team. He was also impressed by his timing despite sitting out all year with the New York Knicks. “You could just see his basketball IQ,” Rivers added. “The one thing our bigs were laughing at, they’ve got to get their hands ready on pick and rolls. I mean, he handcuffed them three or four times. They just weren’t expecting the ball. But what I was impressed with was where he found Ray.”
Marbury’s role will consist of leading the second string with Eddie House and matching up against the other team?s best shooting guards. He has already naturally molded into the Celtics offense and will serve as another scoring threat in the Boston line up.
In his first game at the TD Banknorth Garden Marbury was unsure how the Boston crowd would respond. He entered the court to nothing short of a standing ovation as he bounced up and down feeling the energy. “I was so happy, I didn’t know how they were going to respond,” said Marbury. They really showed me a lot of love. I felt that. I felt wanted.” Expect Marbury to be a key contributor in the upcoming stretch of regular season games before the playoffs.
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The Boston Celtics have signed Stephon Marbury to a 1.3 million dollar contract. Marbury will make the prorated league veteran minimum salary, and will be wearing the number 8. As the Celtics only have 11 active players at the moment, Marbury may suit up for tonight’s game. Marbury is a solid low-risk, high-reward signing; as the C’s will either get a solid veteran presence at guard, or have the option to cut Marbury with little consequence against the cap.
“We are very excited to have a player of Stephon’s caliber joining our team” Celtics president of Basketball operations told the Globe’s Mark Spears. “Our entire organization is confident in the belief that Stephon can play an important role in helping us to win another championship.”
The Celtics face the Indiana Pacers tonight in Boston at 7:00pm.
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The Indiana Pacers continue to give the Boston Celtics trouble. The Celtics needed overtime to avoid their 2nd loss of the year to Indiana, one of only two teams to beat Boston this year. The Celtics relied on Ray Allen’s 35 points to take the 122-117 win at the Canseco Fieldhouse. The win was the 12th in a row for Boston putting them at 20-2 on the year.
Ray Allen’s season high 35 points were just what the Celtics needed. Allen had 12 3 pointers as well. Kevin Garnett also had a huge game for Boston with 17 points and 20 rebounds.
The Celtics will travel to D.C. for a thursday matchup with the Wizards before returning to the TD Banknorth Garden to host the Hornets on 12/12 and the Jazz on 12/15. Celtics tickets are available for both games.
The Boston Celtics picked up their fourth year option on guard Rajon Rondo on Friday. Rondo played an important part in the Celtics’ 2007-2008 Championship year and at age 22 is still developing his skills.
After getting their 2nd win of the year on Friday night against the Bulls the Celtics will be on the road for the first time this season when they play the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indiana. In the first two games of the year the Celtics displayed their signature defensive style that led them to their 17th Championship in the 2007-2008 season. Against the Bulls the Celtics held Chicago to under thirty percent shooting, winning 96-80.
The Pacers are 0-1 on the year and shorthanded. They will be without starter Mike Dunleavy once again. The Pacers were one game away from the playoffs last season and have high hopes for getting their this year.
The Celtics will be facing their former coach, Jim O’Brien in Indiana tonight.
Boston Celtics tickets are available for all 2008-2009 games.
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