The Boston Celtics rebounded nicely from their loss to the Pacers over the weekend with a 103-99 victory over a very talented Houston Rockets team. The Rockets who picked up Ron Artest in the off-season now have a ‘big three’ of their own along with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. Although the Celtics won last night’s battle, the superstars for the Rockets certainly had their chances. Ron Artest missed 13 of 16 shots and Yao Ming was 4 of 14 from the field. McGrady was the bright spot for Houston with 26 points.
Ray Allen was the offensive star for the Celtics with a team high 29 points. Garnett chipped in with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Celtics won the overall battle on the boards, outrebounding the Rockets 46-41. Both the Celtics and Rockets moved to 3-1 on the year.
Celtics tickets are available for all 2008-2009 games. The Celtics will visit the Oklahoma City Thunder for the first time ever on Wednesday 11/5. The Celtics will return home on 11/7 to host the Milwaukee Bucks.
As the final seconds ticked down on the clock during Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals, cries of “SEVEN-TEEN, SEVEN-TEEN” rained down from the TD Banknorth Garden. The Boston Celtics had done it; they’d beaten the Los Angeles Lakers 131-92 to capture their first title in 22 years and in doing so secured themselves a spot in history with some of the all-time great Celtics teams that were able to hang championship banners from the old Boston Garden rafters.
There will be a new banner hanging in Boston very shortly, and it may be the most meaningful one of all.
In the most dramatic turnaround in NBA history, the same Celtics club that was only able to win 24 games last season persevered to rise to the elite status that many are never fortunate enough to experience. Boston fans had long awaited for their teams return to glory and after last nights 48 minutes of dominating play, there is no question that the Boston Celtics are once again the best team in the NBA.
Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen can now join the long list of Celtics greats to have been able to win a championship ring with the NBA’s most successful franchise.
“It means so much more because these are the guys, the Havliceks, the Bill Russells, the Cousys,” Pierce said. “These guys started what’s going on with those banners. They don’t hang up any other banners but championship ones… And now I’m a part of it.”
A big part of it. Pierce was named the Finals MVP, a well deserved honor awarded to the Celtics captain and leader. During the series he averaged 21.8 points, 6.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Something that you won’t see in any box score is the job he did defending the regular season MVP, Kobe Bryant. On the series, Bryant was held to a 40.5% shooting percentage from the field which was well below his playoff average of 48% from the floor.
It’s almost unfair to call Tuesday nights match up “Game 6″ because it wasn’t a game at all. The Celtics coasted to a 39 point victory, which set a new NBA record for largest margin of victory in a clinching title game. The previous record had been a 33 point margin in Boston’s 129-96 win in Game 5 of the 1965 NBA finals vs., you guessed it, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Every member on the team was able to contribute in the victory which made it that much sweeter. Boston’s bench picked up 39 points shooting 57% (12-21) and every member that checked into the game scored at least 2 points in the win.
The starters weren’t so bad themselves. Garnett led the way with a huge night scoring 26 points and grabbing 14 boards in 36 minutes of play. Allen also dropped 26 points, nailing 7 of 9 three point shots he attempted. Rajon Rondo stepped up in the clutch scoring 21 points, hauling down 7 rebounds, dishing out 8 assists while collecting 6 steals for a very well rounded line.
Over the course of the game, Boston just continued to build on their lead. After the first quarter they led by 4 points, 24-20. They outscored LA 34-15 in the second quarter to increase their halftime lead to a commanding 58-35 margin. A 31-25 scoring advantage in the third quarter put the C’s ahead 89-60 entering the fourth quarter and Boston continued to bring the heat, exploding for 42 points in the final 12 minutes of play to round out the scoring at 131-92.
Some Celtics legends were even on hand to witness the one sided victory including Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Jo-Jo White, Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton. GM Danny Ainge sat courtside to marvel at the team he helped create with a few brilliant off-season trades and signings.
And somewhere, Red Auerbach watched as well, most likely with a victory cigar in his mouth, lighting up to the NBA’s greatest franchise ever. The Celtics victory also prevented Lakers head coach Phil Jackson from surpassing Auerbach in the wins column for total championships as a head coach. The two are still knotted at nine a piece.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was nothing but smiles late in the game and Pierce made sure to let him know just how much he cares by dumping a cooler of red Gatorade over his head with very little time remaining on the clock, to symbolize that the game was over and they had done it, together. Early on in the season Rivers had called a team meeting and used an African word, ubuntu, which translates to “I am, because we are” in English, as the Celtics’ unifying team motto.
Last night was UBUNTU at its finest.
There will be no more question marks surrounding the careers of Pierce, Garnett and Allen. They three proved they have what it takes to win it all, and now they have rings to prove it. During the post-game celebration, Garnett hugged Russell in the center of the court, an exchange that will become just another part of the organizations rich history.
“I got my own. I got my own,” Garnett said. “I hope we made you proud.”
“You sure did,” Russell said.
Congratulations Boston Celtics, you are the champions of the NBA, and your city could not be more proud of you. With last nights victory, Boston’s 22 year quest for Green 17 is now complete and so begins a new journey… the road to repeat… Green 18!
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.
Ray Allen knows that the Boston Celtics can play with anyone in the NBA. Last night, that unfortunate opponent happened to be the Chicago Bulls and Allen’s 22 point performance helped lift the Celtics to a 106-92 victory. The win also inches the team that much closer to locking up the # 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Boston is currently 6 games ahead of Detroit with only 8 regular season games remaining. Even with the best record in the NBA at 59-15, Allen believes that they aren’t the favorites coming out of the East.
“It’s not like we won last year,” he said. “We’re all pretty much new to the situation.”
He’s right, last year the Celtics had the 2nd worst record in the NBA at 24-58 and were hoping for either the 1 or 2 picks in the lottery draft trying to land one of the top prospects to begin a rebuilding phase for the organization. And as fate would have it, the Celtics ping pong logo ball did not come up until the 5th spot breaking every Celtics fan’s heart.
With the off-season acquisitions of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the draft day disappointment became a memory of the past, visions of the future began to look much brighter and an organization that was once a dominant force in the league was resurrected.
The last two Celtics victories have proven that the team can win with both its defense and its offense. Over the weekend, the C’s held the Heat to 17 field goals and only 66 points on the night. That field goal total was the lowest in NBA history since the shot clock era. Last night, the Celtics nailed 14 three-point field goals and shot over 49% from the floor. They can do it all.
“We knew what we were facing (against Boston),” Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas said. “I think everybody in the room knew what we were facing. They’re not the best team in the league, record-wise, for nothing.” Thomas scored 24 points, leading the Bulls in the losing effort.
Allen shot 5 of 7 on the night from behind the arc, while fellow guard Paul Pierce hit 4 of 5 shots from three point land and ended up with 17 points. Kevin Garnett pitched in a solid 20 point effort and grabbed 7 boards in the win.
“The 3-point line can be very tricky at times,” Allen said. “You have so many open looks, and I know I’m capable of making them. Paul knows he’s capable of making them, but I think there’s a stigma attached when you shoot too many threes—you’re settling. But the way our offense is, we go through the post. Sometimes, that’s the shot that’s available.”
The Celtics are back in action again tonight when they travel back to Boston to take on the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are battling for the final playoff spot in the East and currently are 3 games behind Atlanta in the standings but 4 of their remaining games are against teams with less then 30 wins, and they also have a key game vs. Atlanta. The Celtics on the other hand are going for win number 60 on the season, the last time the franchise had a 60 win year was in 1986 en route to their 16th NBA Title.
Did someone say Green 17?
With last nights 94-90 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics accomplished something that hasn’t been done in seven years. That feat would be the good old fashion ‘Texas Sweep’ or when an NBA team comes in and beats the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks all in the same road trip. The last team to come into Texas and beat all three of the powerhouses was the Sacramento Kings in November 2001.
The win didn’t come easy for the Celtics who trailed the majority of the second half, and even were down with less then one minute to play. Ray Allen nailed a 3-point field goal with :31 seconds left to pull the Celtics ahead 90-88 and they were then able to hold off the Mavs offensive attack for the remaining time on the clock.
“This feels good,” said Allen on nba.com, who’d missed three games with a jammed left ankle. “It’s something for the rest of the NBA to watch.”
The C’s capitalized on shooting very well from the charity stripe hitting 30 of 35 attempts (85.7%) on the night which helped balance out an ugly performance from the floor where they were only 30 for 87 (34.5%). The PG combination of Rajon Rondo and Sam Cassell combined for a dismal 1-16 shooting display which dragged the teams overall percentage down, but the effort was enough for a win.
Paul Pierce had another solid performance recording a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebound. Kevin Garnett had equally impressive numbers with 20 points and 13 boards. Allen finished with 21 points and all the heroics that were needed to secure the victory.
The Mavericks were led by PF’s Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard who scored 22 and 24 points in the losing effort. PG Jason Kidd was held to only 2 points and Dallas is now 0-7 to teams with winning records since he was traded to the team before the deadline.
“We’re just right there in a lot of these games,” said Jerry Stackhouse on nba.com, who scored 17 points. “It’s disappointing to keep coming up short.”
The loss was the second consecutive loss at home for the Mavericks, the first time that had happened all year. It doesn’t get any easier for Dallas, San Antonio is in town on Sunday and the Spurs have beaten the Mavericks in their last two meetings.
Last night’s win was the Celtics 14th victory in 15 games. They are currently 4-0 on their road trip with one game remaining on Saturday vs. New Orleans. During the month of March they’ve held opponents to an amazing average of only 87 points per contest. During the ‘Texas Sweep’ the Celtics held All-Stars Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Jason Kidd to a total of 20 points, together the trio averages 52. Not bad, right?
Not bad at all. The Celtics continue to roll with no plans to stop until a 17th banner is hoisted at the TD Banknorth Garden.
The Boston Celtics easily handled the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, one day after losing at home to the Utah Jazz. The Celtics were without one of their Big Three on Saturday as Ray Allen sat out to rest an injured heel. Despite his absence the Celtics were in complete control, even resting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter.
Garnett had a game high 19 points for the Celtics while Pierce and Rajon Rondo added 13 apiece. New addition Sam Cassell finally got his chance to impress the team. Cassell added 10 points, 5 assists and 3 steals off the bench for the Celtics.
The Celtics were happy to get the win while also resting Pierce and Garnett. The Celtics will need the rest on their current road trip with games against the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks. The Houston Rockets have won 21 straight games.
The Celtics return home on March 24 to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston Celtics tickets are available for this and all remaining home games. Celtics Playoff tickets are also available.
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.
The Boston Celtics had a great weekend, beating the Bulls on Friday night 116-93, and dismissing the Grizzlies 119-89 a day later. Winners of eight in a row now, the Celtics have found their offensive groove once again. The Celtics have already clinched a spot in the playoffs and are looking to keep home court advantage with the best record in the East.
On Friday night the Celtics won in large part behind the strong efforts of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Pierce scored 22 points while Garnett added 16 points and 8 boards. Both sat out the 4th quarter to rest for Saturday’s game. Kendrick Perkins continued his great play of late with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The matchup with the Bulls could be a preview of the 1st round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, as the Bulls are competing for the 8th and final playoff spot. For the 2nd night in a row the Celtics were able to rest their starters in the 4th quarter.
Saturday night’s game with the Memphis Grizzlies featured more of the same from the Celtics. They jumped out to an early first quarter lead with strong performances from their starters. Ray Allen had a game high 23 points and Perkins had another impressive night with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Pierce and Garnett added 19 and 17 points respectively.
The Celtics will play the 76ers in Philadelphia on Monday night. They return home on Wednesday, March 12 to host the Seattle Supersonics. Celtics tickets including Celtics playoff tickets are now available.