With 6:49 remaining on the game clock in the 3rd quarter Thursday night, the TD Banknorth Garden grew very quiet. It was an awkward silence that sent chills down the spines of onlookers all around the city. Paul Pierce, the Celtics fearless leader, was down for the count with what appeared to be a serious knee injury and it didn’t look like he’d be getting up anytime soon. Boston fans feared the worst and knew that without ‘The Truth’ the 11th finals match up between Boston and Los Angeles was all but over.
As if scripted out of a Rocky movie, not only did Pierce get up when everyone knew he was in serious anguish, he delivered the knockout like blow by nailing back to back 3-point field goals in a 22-second span late in the 3rd quarter that gave the Boston Celtics the lead for good en route to their 98-88 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
The storied match up between the two most successful franchises in NBA history lived up to everything you thought it would in a game that featured 12 ties and 21 lead changes. With future hall-of-famers up and down both line ups, the excitement of fans was reminiscent to only that of Game 1 of the 2004 MLB World Series.
“I think this is a great thing not just for the NBA, but just for sports in general,” Lakers guard Derek Fisher said. “I think it’s a great thing when the best gets a chance to compete against the best, and whoever comes out on top, they earned it. I think both teams should be proud to be here.”
Fisher led the Lakers to a 51-46 first half lead scoring 13 points by the break but would only finish the 15 points on the night. His stat line was very similar to that of Rajon Rondo of the Celtics. Both PG’s finished with 15 points, while Rondo notched 7 assists compared to Fisher’s 6. Rondo would also one-upped Fisher in the rebound category grabbing 5, one more then Fisher’s 4 boards.
Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s reigning MVP, was held to 24 points on a 9-26 shooting performance. The majority of his shots were good looks that just weren’t going down. Ray Allen and Pierce both did an excellent job of trying to always have one hand in his face, limiting the wide open looks that the superstar knocks down with ease.
Besides Pierce’s heroic performance of 22 points (19 in the 2nd half), Kevin Garnett contributed to the win in a big way. KG recorded his 12th double-double of the ’08 playoffs scoring 24 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He slammed home the victory with an emphatic dunk off of a James Posey miss that brought the Garden crowd to their feet with 1:32 to play in the game and gave the Celtics their largest lead at the time putting them ahead 94-86.
Rounding out the ‘Big Three’, Allen also hit some clutch shots and finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds, but the big story on the night was still how Pierce managed to single handedly rejuvenate his team and home town crowd, making them all believers that Boston can win this series.
As Pierce jogged onto the court from the locker room with a black elastic wrap on his injured knee, Garnett clinched a fist and screamed, “Yes!”
“He was walking, he was up on his own strength and he rejuvenated us,” said Garnett, “He gave everybody life.”
Bottom line, Pierce’s performance was gutsy and will go down as just another magical moment to add to the countless number of highlights that already exist in the Celtics vs. Lakers finals rivalry. Shots of him being carried off the floor by teammates, to then only minutes later walk right past coach Doc Rivers to check himself back into the game will air next to those of Magic Johnson’s baby hook shot or Kevin McHale’s clothesline of Kurt Rambis in a montage that will remind generation after generation just how exciting this rivalry really is.
“I think God sent an angel down and said, ‘Hey you’re going to be all right. You need to get back out there’,” Pierce said.
There’s a very good chance that angel may have very well been smoking a cigar and the Celtics biggest fan.
Thanks Red, hope you’re enjoying the best seats in the house.
About one year ago this time, things weren’t looking so hot for the Boston Celtics organization. Boston was coming off a 24-58 season that included a streak of 18 consecutive losses, the death of franchise legend Red Auerbach and the 2nd worst record in the NBA that only resulted in the 5th overall lottery selection.
The Los Angeles Lakers franchise was also in the midst of much turmoil just having been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for the 2nd straight season, with superstar guard Kobe Bryant demanding a trade publicly from the front office executives immediately.
How quickly things can change.
The two historic organizations find themselves in the 2008 NBA Finals, facing each other in the championship for the 11th time. The Celtics hold the 8-2 edge in head to head series play but the Lakers have captured the last two match ups in 1985 and 1987.
This rivalry has made the NBA what it is today. The Bird vs. Magic era brought excitement to the league like there had never been before and now both teams are loaded with future hall of famers and leaders like Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.
Last summer, the two NBA All-Stars were playing pickup ball together at UCLA’s gym. Both were frustrated with the outcome of their seasons and knew that trade talks would be likely for both of them.
“I remember being in the gym with Kobe, and me and him were arguing over who was going to get traded first,” Pierce said Monday after the Celtics held their first practice in preparation for the NBA finals.
“He went public about getting traded, … and I was like, ‘Shoot, I’m going to getting traded before you,’ and betting that it would happen. That’s what so crazy, now we’re both here sitting in the finals, where a year ago we were both in the gym.”
Big reasons why both players find themselves 4 wins away from a championship are the acquisitions that were made to get their teams to where they are today. For the Celtics, the important moves were made before the season while the Lakers pulled some strings right at the trade deadline.
Boston acquired SG Ray Allen on draft day via trade and then shortly after made a 7 for 1 player swap to package former league MVP Kevin Garnett into beantown as the newest member to the Celtics organization. And as they say, the rest is history. Combined with the force of Pierce, the three have reenergized basketball fans in Boston for the first time since the mid 80′s. As for the Lakers, they were able to trade for All-Star PF Pau Gasol right before the trade deadline for almost nothing. His acquisition has sparked a 2nd half turnaround that put LA atop the Western Conference.
After the Celtics downed the Detroit Pistons in six games and the Lakers took care of the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in five, the stage is set for what many are calling the best Finals match up in over 25 years.
Lets take a look at the probable match ups between teams and which club has the advantage at each position.
At points guard the Celtics will go with Rajon Rondo and he will be matched up against veteran Derek Fisher. Fisher certainly wins some points for experience but Rondo has been more of a contributing factor offensively dishing out assists and scoring big buckets when needed. The best part about this match up is that if Rondo needs a quick blow, veteran back up Sam Cassell will step right in and provide the veteran experience that Rondo lacks to equal that of Fishers.
ADVANTAGE – BOS
The most important match up of the series will be at the shooting guard position featuring two of the NBA’s premiere perimeter players in Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant. Both can flat out shoot the ball and anything within a few steps over the half court line is in their range. Allen’s defense can be suspect at times due to ankle problems, while Kobe has been on the NBA’s Defensive 1st team multiple times. Allen will not be the only one covering the reigning MVP, look for some help from fellow wingman Paul Pierce but their job will be simple, hold Kobe to his averages and let the other Lakers beat you.
ADVANTAGE – L.A.
While Paul Pierce is not helping out with Bryant he’ll have his hands full guarding Lamar Odom. This match up will create problems for both sides because at 6’10″ tall, Odom has a 4 inch height advantage and will try to post up his smaller defender when the opportunity presents itself. However, Pierce has the speed advantage and will create for himself opportunities to take the ball to the hole off the dribble which could put LA’s big men in foul trouble.
ADVANTAGE – EVEN
When it comes to Kevin Garnett, it really does not matter who’s covering him because he’s going to have the advantage regardless. The Lakers will send Vladimir Radmanovic for some KG duty but as we saw in both the Cleveland and Detroit series, it doesn’t matter who’s covering the big man because he can beat you in the paint or from the outside with his 18+ foot jumpers all night long.
ADVANTAGE – BOS
The match up at the center position between Kendrick Perkins and Pau Gasol could be a big factor one of the series. Perkins showed Boston fans that he’s capable of being a beast on the boards against Detroit when he hauled down 16 rebounds and dropped 18 points in their Game 5 win. Gasol lifted LA with a similar effort in their Game 5 win grabbing 19 boards and scoring 12 points. Gasol does have a little better offensive touch then Perkins which makes him more a threat in the paint.
ADANTAGE – LA
The series gets underway on Thursday night in Boston at 9:00pm EST. The home court advantage that the Celtics earned during the regular season may be a huge factor with possible Games 6 & 7 to be played at the TD Banknorth Garden in front of the hometown crowd. LA, who has yet to lose a playoff game at home, will try to steal one of the road before returning home for Games 3, 4 and if needed 5.
As the Lakers go for their 15th banner and the Celtics quest for Green 17 continues one thing that is certain, this match up has the potential to be one of the greatest of all time and all we can do now is enjoy every minute of it.
Celtics vs Lakers NBA Finals tickets now available.
It had been almost 2 months since the Boston Celtics suffered a loss on their home court. Thursday night, the Detroit Pistons reminded them just what it felt like; by beating the C’s 103-97 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals match up at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The loss snapped a 9-game playoff win streak at home and a 15-game win streak dating back to the regular season. Their last loss at the Garden came at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers on March 24th. Head coach Doc Rivers knows that his team will have to capture at least one victory on the road now to advance to the NBA Finals.
“I fully believe, and I’ve said many times, at some point we’re going to have to win on the road,” Rivers said. “We’ve gotten away with it thus far. That’s been taken away. And if we want what we want, we have to win on the road and that’s just the way it is.”
Boston’s Big Three did all that they could to try and pull off the win but got very little support from the rest of the line-up which ultimately cost them the game. Paul Pierce (26), Kevin Garnett (24) and Ray Allen (25) accounted for 75 of the teams 97 points. The Pistons used a balanced offensive attack with six players scoring in double figures including all of the starting five.
“It is even,” Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace said. “We don’t sit back and say, ‘Oh, look. They are undefeated at home,’ or ‘They didn’t win a game on the road.’ … A lot of the teams they played in the postseason and the regular season were scared of them, as far as KG and Ray and Paul. They are good players, but we have good players, also.”
Unlike Game 1, last night’s tempo was much more upbeat and both teams tried to run the ball and transition for fast break points. The Pistons did this more effectively behind the reigns of veteran PG Chauncey Billups who finished with 19 points and 7 assists. Teammate Richard Hamilton (25 points, 4 assists) wanted to make sure Billups was in the right state of mind for Game 2 after a sub par performance in the series opener.
“One thing I told Chaunce, you ain’t got to be overaggressive out there,” Hamilton said. “You can take your time and be the captain of our ship, and we’ll try to do a good job of helping you out.”
As the series now shifts to Detroit, the big question that everyone’s asking is can the Celtics win on the road? During the regular season they had no trouble away from Boston and actually had the NBA’s best road record. Since then it’s been a different story. The C’s are 0-6 away from home during the 2008 playoffs, and now will be forced to take at least one game on the road from the Pistons to win the series.
The first thing that needs to occur for them to be successful away from Boston is they need more production and better minutes from their bench. Guys like James Posey, Eddie House and Leon Powe need to step it up. All three of those guys are very capable of dropping 8-12 points a game. Last night the three combined for only 3 points on a Posey 3-point FG.
A great sign for the Celtics was seeing Allen find his shooting touch again after a prolonged slump that last over 3 weeks. He needs to continue to feel it from behind the arc so that the Pistons are forced to pull defenders from the middle to cover him on the perimeter, which will then open up the paint for guys like KG and Kendrick Perkins.
Another key to winning on the road for the Celtics will be to maintain their composure. Calls aren’t going to be going their way, the crowd will be loud and it can get intimidating but it’s very important for them to stay focused. The Pistons are going to be fired up and the Celtics will need to match that intensity.
“The atmosphere’s going to be crazy,” Hamilton said. “We’re geeked about getting back to our home court. The fans are excited, and now it’s our job to take care of home court.”
It is now the Celtics turn to play the role of the spoiler as they hope to take one if not both of the games in Detroit over the holiday weekend. The Big Three needs to continue to dominate and can only hope that the rest of their teammates pick up the slack a bit from their output in Game 2.
“We have no choice now but to get it done on the road,” Pierce said.
They did it all during the regular season and the time has come where they will now have to find a way to do it again. Their quest for Green 17 continues, next stop Detroit City.
The Eastern Conference Finals are underway and after another big performance by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics captured a Game 1 win by the score of 88-79 to take a 1-0 series lead over the Detroit Pistons. The victory improves the C’s playoff home record to a perfect 9-0 and they continue to excel defensively holding opponents to a 79.2 points per game average at the TD Banknorth Garden.
“The defensive pressure was fantastic,” gushed Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Offensively, we made the extra pass. The ball kept moving, finding the open guy, and that’s how we have to play.”
The Celtics team that showed up to play last night reminded everyone watching of the ball club that won 66 games during the regular season, breezed to the best record in the NBA and was a supposed lock to represent the East in the NBA Finals. It’s been three weeks since anyone had seen any sign of that team, but they definitely came out to play in the yesterdays dominating victory.
After a 41 point performance in Sunday’s Game 7 against Cleveland, Pierce picked up where he left off pouring in 22 points on 9-18 shooting, grabbing 6 boards and dishing out 6 assists for an impressive all around effort. No one on the Pistons lineup matches up well against him and ‘the truth’ was able to pick apart each defender by varying his shot selection with baseline fade away jumpers, free throw extended set shots and open looks on the wing. When defenders started to cheat closer trying to get the extra step, he’d slash to the basket which would result in either a bucket, a foul or defensive help opening up a shot for a teammate.
“You got Detroit coming in, well-rested,” Pierce said. “This was the perfect game for them to come in and try to steal one, and we were aware of that. They probably figured we were tired while they’ve been practicing. And we just came out with extra focus and extra energy at the start of the game.”
Speaking of extra energy, Garnett came out of the gates looking like he had been hooked up all day to a Red Bull I.V. drip. The defensive player of the year hit his first three shots from the floor, pounded his chest after every basket and screaming to the Boston fans fueling their energy for the rest of the game. KG finished the game with 26 points and 9 rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
“We just didn’t seem to be in a good flow, it might have had something to do with (the layoff). We were just a step slow,” Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. “We didn’t get into the flow.”
Veteran guard Ray Allen has gotten used to the routine of playing every other day and thinks that it is working towards the Celtics advantage. “You have to figure, doing this every other day, you just get used to the same routine of coming out, being out this late, playing basketball,” Allen said. “I think when you get that break in between, you have to build yourself back up into it.”
Unlike some games in the first two playoffs series, the Celtics really had control of this one all throughout. They jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and then played the type of basketball that everyone expected to see in the playoffs, a team oriented style of play. Players were making the extra pass to find an open teammate and not forcing shots. The end result, 27 assists and a .522 shooting percentage from the floor.
If the Celtics can put up those types of numbers every game, next week the Pistons will be golfing while the C’s will be the team getting the week long layoff before the NBA finals begin on June 5th.
There’s only one thing that needs to take place for that to happen that has yet to… Boston needs to win on the road. They currently hold a 0-6 mark when playing away from the Garden but hope to turn it around this weekend when they head to Detroit for games 3 and 4 of the series.
Before they ship out of Boston, there is still work to be done in Game 2. The Celtics look to stay perfect at home while the Pistons will do everything in their power to stop the home win streak right where it is.
The players will be fired up, the Garden will be fired up and you should be fired up as the Celtics continue their quest for Green 17.
Celtics Tickets are still available for Game 2!
It took another 7 game series, but the Boston Celtics are finally on their way to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics won a great game at the Garden yesterday over Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers by a final score of 97-92. Paul Pierce was the big story for the Celtics, scoring 41 points and matching Lebron basket for basket for much of the game. Lebron put up 45 points in the Cavs losing effort.
The win at home was the 8th home playoff win for the Celtics this postseason. They have yet to win a road game. All home teams combined for a 22-2 record in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs. If the trend continues the Celtics will be happy as they have clinched home court advantage for the remainder of the 2008 playoffs. The Detroit Pistons are hoping to buck that trend when they visit the Garden for game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday 5/20.
Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Finals tickets are now available.
After holding the Cleveland Cavaliers to only 72 points in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final playoff series, the Boston Celtics defense came right back out to play shutting down Lebron and Co. again in their 89-73 Game 2 win at the TD Banknorth Garden yesterday evening. At home during the playoffs, Boston’s defense has now held opponents to an average of 75.5 points per game while they’ve averaged 95.7 per contest at the Garden.
The Celtics looked to be in trouble early, trailing by as many as 12 points midway through the first quarter. Cavalier’s center Zydrunas Ilgauskas led the early charge starting the game 6-6 from the floor, hitting mid-range jump shots with confidence on multiple occasions. After the1st quarter the Celtics trailed 24-17 and looked to be in for a long night.
That thought quickly evaporated into the rafters of the Garden as the Celtics bench came out in the 2nd quarter on a mission. They picked apart the Cavs defensively which sparked an offensive run in which they outscored Cleveland 13-3 during the first seven minutes of the quarter. The C’s bench would score 20 of the 27 points during the 2nd, putting the Celtics up at the half 44-36.
As the Celtics continued to ride the high wave of energy reigning down on them from their home court fans, the Cavaliers never were able to find the same rhythm from the first quarter. Lebron James’s offensive woes continued after going 2-18 in Game 1, he followed it up with a 6-24 shooting performance last night, and for the first time all season looked frustrated. The defensive tenacity of Paul Pierce and James Posey has been one of the main reasons for James’s struggles. He scored 21 points on the night, 9 coming from the free throw line.
“I’m a little shocked that he’s 8-for-42, but this is what we work on. We work on trying to contain him,” said Pierce, who also struggled in Game 1 going 2-for-14. “LeBron is what makes them go. And if we can somehow control him, we control their team. And with the help of the guys around me, we’ve been able to do that.”
While the Celtics continued to play great defense, their Big Three got back into the offensive swing of things after a poor showing in Game 1 where Kevin Garnett was forced to carry the load. In that game, Ray Allen went scoreless and Pierce only had 4 points but both were able to break out of it last night in the winning effort. Allen dropped 16 points and Pierce rebounded from his Game 1 performance scoring 19 on a 7-13 shooting display. Garnett chipped in with 13 points and 12 rebounds in his 32 minutes of action.
“It was good to see Ray get it going. I thought that lifted everybody up on our team,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who called the first several plays of the second half for Allen. “I made a concerted effort. I told the coaches at halftime, ‘We’re going to him over and over again. We’ve got to get him going.’”
The teams will now hit the road and travel to Cleveland for Games 3 and 4, with one squad hoping to end the series and the other wanting to extend it.
“Being down 0-2, that’s a tough hole to dig yourself out of. But if we want to win the series we’ve got to do it,” James said and noted that last year Cleveland went down 0-2 against Detroit in the Eastern Conference Finals before winning four in a row to make it to the NBA Finals vs. San Antonio. “We’ve been in this situation before, and I’ve got to let them know that I’m not frustrated.”
His teammates must not be getting that message.
“He’s got to be frustrated,” Cavaliers guard Wally Szczerbiak said. “He’s such a good player. He puts so much on his shoulders.”
As the series shifts to Cleveland, the Celtics will hopefully pack their bags and bring along with them the same defensive intensity that they demonstrated in Games 1 and 2 in Boston. They already saw in Atlanta what can happen when the team relies too heavily on an offensive game, and lost three times in high scoring shoot-outs to the younger Hawks line-up. The key to having success on the road will be to continue to stress defense and shut down Lebron.
Easier said then done, but this Celtics line up looks more focused then ever on their quest for Green 17. Celtics Playoff tickets available for all potential games.
On Sunday night the Celtics and Hawks opened up their first round playoff series at the Garden. The C’s handled Game 1 much like the other three meetings between the two this season, notching a double digit win. Boston’s defense stifled the Hawks, holding them to 33% shooting from the floor.
In his first playoff appearance in four years, Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, both 3 years removed from their last playoff games, had 16 and 18 points respectively.
The C’s had another monster third quarter, stretching their lead to 18 and only allowing ATL two consecutive baskets once. Boston’s attack was balanced all night; 6 players finished with double digits in points, and the team spread the ball around with 22 assists. Boston had the benefit of 36 of their 104 points coming off the bench – keeping the Atlanta defense guessing all night, as well as keeping the starters fresh.
Rajon Rondo’s first playoff game was very impressive. Rondo scored 15 points; while piling up 6 rebounds, 9 assists, and not committing a turnover.
The series continues at 8pm on Wednesday night.
It was supposed to be a great match-up that featured the Eastern and Western Conference leaders, but in the end a showdown that would only leave the Boston Celtics standing tall after an impressive display of defense en route to a 94-74 victory over the Houston Rockets, snapping their 22-game win streak. The streak which dated back to Jan. 27th was the 2nd longest winning streak in NBA history, only behind the 33-game steak the 1971-1972 L.A. Lakers team compiled in the midst of their championship season.
Fans in Houston definitely got their money’s worth in the first half of the contest, watching intense play go back and forth between the NBA powerhouses. Both teams were fired up, and tempers even flared before the opening tip when Celtics PG Rajon Rondo and Rockets PG Rafer Alston got into a shoving match that resulted in a double technical foul.
It was the Celtics who jumped out to an early lead but saw it slip away in the final three minutes of the period, capped with a steal and lay-up by Alston with only :03 seconds left on the clock. Alston ended the period with 9 points and the Rockets had a 22-21 advantage.
Houston jumped out to their largest lead of the game with 8:45 remaining in the 2nd quarter after Bobby Jackson netted a jumper to make the score 32-25 in favor of the Rockets. The Celtics fired back going on a 15-8 run to end the half, which ended with a Paul Pierce 3-pointer with :30 seconds left on the clock, tying the score at 40-40.
The second half was a different story, a story about defense.
Boston held Houston to a season low of only 34 points on 11-33 shooting (.33%) from the field in the half and capitalized on turnovers to turn a tied ballgame into a one-sided victory for the Celtics. At one point late in the 4th quarter the C’s took a 27 point lead on a powerful drunk by Kevin Garnett with 1:33 to play.
Rockets’ leading scoring Tracy McGrady was kept in check all night by aggressive, in your face defense, and the All-Star only scored 8 points on a 4 for 11 shooting display.
“It’s not disappointing,” McGrady said on yahoo.com. “It’s a hell of a team over there. They outplayed us. I’ve never seen a defense like that. I mean, if they play defense like that, night in and night out, the NBA is in trouble because that was defense at its finest.”
Garnett led the way for the Celtics recording another double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in the win. In only 20 minutes of action, reserve PF Leon Powe scored 21 points while captain Paul Pierce chipped in with 20. The team was again without SG Ray Allen who sat out his third consecutive game with a sore left ankle injury.
With the loss, the Rockets fall back into a tie with the Lakers for the best record in the Western Conference at 46-21. The Celtics remain in charge in the Eastern Conference, now 5 games ahead of the 2nd place Detroit Pistons with the NBA’s best record of 54-13.
Up next, the Celtics continue their Texas swing after impressive wins vs. the Spurs and Rockets to face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday 3/20 for the fourth game of a five game road trip. In the only meeting between the Celts and Mavs, Boston captured a 96-90 victory at home on Jan. 31st in a game where Garnett sat out with an injury and Pierce and Allen both hit for 26 points.
It took the Boston Celtics 22 years, but with last night’s 111-82 victory over the Seattle Supersonics, Boston captured their first 10 game winning streak since the 1985-1986 season. Back then, the big three in town were a few guys by the names of Bird, McHale and Parrish. The trio would lead the Celtics to their 16th NBA title, the last the organization has seen.
The new big three want that to change.
With another dominating performance by Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, the Celtics continue to control play vs. the Western Conference whom they are now 12-0 against at home, with a 20-3 overall record. Garnett and Allen each dropped 18 points in the win while Pierce chipped in with 14 points and a game high 11 assists.
“We are talking more than ever and we feel connected,” Garnett said on yahoo.com. “Any team can beat you in this league, but confidence-wise we are strong 1 to 12 and that is a rarity.”
The Celtics are getting the job done on both sides of the court holding opponents to only 88 points a game during the winning streak while averaging 105 points. Their defensive effort really showed in the Supersonics win by holding the team to a dismal .380 shooting percentage from the floor and an even uglier .071 percent from 3-point range.
“We are playing well on both ends,” Pierce said on yahoo.com. “We like to share the ball and it’s contagious and [we] are riding the wave at just the right time.”
The score doesn’t reflect the struggle early on in the first quarter for the Celtics who trailed until late in the period. Once they gained the lead by going on a 23-6 run that spanned from the first quarter into the second, they would not lose it again throughout the entire contest.
Supersonics rookie sensation Kevin Durant played a solid game scoring 16 points, but his play couldn’t lift his team who has now lost 10 of 11 and six in a row. “They went on a run and it was quick,” Durant said. “It got us off our guard.”
Every single Celtics player that logged minutes contributed in the winning effort. Veterans PJ Brown and Sam Cassell played solid minutes, each contributing with 3 and 6 points respectively.
The Celtic’s next home game is tomorrow night vs. the Utah Jazz who are also playing great basketball, winning six of their last seven. The two teams met in Utah early on in the season with Boston coming away with the 104-98 victory on Dec. 29th. After the Jazz, the C’s will hit the road for a five game trip out West where there will be no cupcakes. Boston faces Milwaukee, San Antonia, Houston, Dallas and New Orleans in the swing.
It will not be an easy trip, but with the big three on the floor and the luck of the Irish in their uniforms, the Celtics will hopefully continue to dominate the rest of the NBA en route to Green 17.
The Celtics have already clinched a playoff berth and 2008 Celtics Playoff tickets are now available.
For the first time in 16 years the Boston Celtics have reached 50 wins. The Celtics’ Big Three mostly downplayed this feat with much bigger goals in mind. “It doesn’t really mean anything”, said the Celtics’ Ray Allen. Allen enjoyed a great shooting night with 21 points. Kevin Garnett added 26 points and 12 rebounds in leading the team to its ninth straight win. Paul Pierce rounded out the scoring for the Big Three with 17 points. The Celtics were winners over the 76ers 100-86.
Sam Cassell also made his debut for the Celtics but looked rusty in limited time on the court. Cassell quickly picked up three fouls within four minutes of play.
The Celtics host the Seattle Supersonics on Wednesday 3/12 at the TD Banknorth Garden. Celtics tickets are available for this and all Celtics games including Celtics playoff tickets.