Allen, Celtics Overcome Bobcats, Ugly Performance

1 04 2009
Boston Celtics' point guard, Rajon Rondo, tries making a layup under the outstretched arm of Charlotte's Juwan Howard in the Celts' arousing win at TD Banknorth Garden.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Boston Celtics' point guard, Rajon Rondo, tries making a layup under the outstretched arm of Charlotte's Juwan Howard in the Celts' arousing win at TD Banknorth Garden. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By: Brendan Tyman

Ray Allen was not shooting the ball well and the Celtics had one of their worst games of the season. The Charlotte Bobcats were going to beat the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston in back-to-back nights. The unexpected happened as the C”s came back from a 12 point defecit to defeat the devastated Bobcats 111-109 in double-overtime.

The ‘Cats were ahead 85-73 with about 5 minutes left in the game and things looked bleak for the Celts. Rajon Rondo began driving to the hoop and finding open guys near the basket for easy layups. In the final couple of minutes, Charlotte was winning 91-85 and Eddie House hit a big jump shot. In the final seconds down 93-91, the Celtics took the ball and Rondo forced a foul driving to the net. He made both free throws to send the battle into the 1st overtime.

In overtime, the contest was back-and-forth until it appeared the Bobcats had control when they grabbed a few offensive rebounds and controlled the ball for about a minute. They were able to convert with 4 seconds left on the shot clock as Boris Diaw hit a jump shot to give the Bobcats a 101-98 advantage. Allen drilled a trey to bring another extra session.

Like the first overtime, the second was very similar as both squads were trading buckets. With 2.1 seconds left, Allen nailed the game-winning 3-pointer. Although, the game was not in hand until Raja Bell’s shot clanged off the rim.

Paul Pierce led the Celts with 32 points. Allen who shot 4-14 before knocking down 4 out of his last 6 shots from the field added 22. Rondo finished with 21 points and 9 assists. House came off the bench to score 18. Kendrick Perkins also redeemed himself blocking some shots to key the late run and also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Charlotte had 7 players finish in double-figures with 3 of them recording double-doubles. Gerald Wallace (the Celtics-killer) netted 20 points and had 10 boards. Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Raymond Felton handed out 12 dimes to go with his 14 points. Diaw accounted for 17 points and Bell scored 12. Then Vladamir Radmanovic and D.J. Augustin both came off the bench to get in double-figures with 10 and 14, respectively.

The Bobcats coerced the C’s to commit 24 turnovers, but the Celtics attempted 26 freebies to just 7 for Charlotte.

Due to the Orlando Magic losing to the Toronto Raptors, Boston has climbed back into second place with just six meetings remaining in the regular season. If these next couple of weeks was anything like tonight, then the fans will be feeling excited about the crew’s prospects in the postseason





Late Rally Falls Short In Orlando

26 03 2009
Celtics guard Ray Allen shoots a jump shot in the first half of the game between Boston and the Orlando Magic. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Celtics guard Ray Allen shoots a jump shot in the first half of the game between Boston and the Orlando Magic. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

By: Brendan Tyman

In a battle for second place in the Eastern Conference, Boston fell to the Magic, 84-82, at the Amway Arena. Dwight Howard blocked a Paul Pierce shot with 3.8 seconds left that would have given the Celtics a lead.

Orlando went ahead early and continued to build on their lead even when Kevin Garnett was playing in the 3rd quarter. The score was 66-50 before the C’s began to climb back into the contest. They outscored the Magic 20-14 in the 4th quarter.

Howard (a.k.a. Superman) finished with 24 points and 21 rebounds. This was the 8th time Howard has recorded a 20-20 in his career. Rashard Lewis added 21. Courtney Lee hit some big shots and contributed with 11 points.

Pierce led the Celts with 26 points. Kendrick Perkins had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.

Howard dominated from the opening tip and Boston could not match the intensity. The Magic shot better than the first 3 times these teams met, especially from behind the arc. In the previous matchups, Orlando shot just 29% from international waters, but last night they made 40%.

The Celtics have included another road in their quest for a repeat.





It Ain’t Easy Being Green

18 03 2009
The Celtics' Kendrick Perkins is looking to drive against the Bulls' Joakim Noah. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

The Celtics' Kendrick Perkins is looking to drive against the Bulls' Joakim Noah. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

By: Brendan Tyman

The Chicago Bulls wore green uniforms for St. Patrick’s Day and everything seemed to come easily for them. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics continue to lose not only games, but more players.

Players are falling faster than a rock in the air for the C’s as they lost Leon Powe to a bruised knee in the first few minutes of the ballgame. He will be reevaluated today. Then Rajon Rondo twisted his ankle in the 3rd quarter, but he was able to come back.

In a back-and-forth contest in which both teams surrendered a double-digit lead, the Bulls were able to take control late in the final few minutes and win 127-121.

Paul Pierce was the leading scorer for the Celts with 37 points. Rondo (26 points and 10 assists and Kendrick Perkins (14 points and 10 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles. Ray Allen added 17.

John Salmons looked like LeBron James last night as the Celtics could not stop him from driving to the basket especially in the 4th quarter. He finished with 38 points. Brad Miller’s size hurt the C’s as he chipped in with 21 points and 14 boards off the bench. Tyrus Thomas contributed 17 points including shooting 10 of 13 from the free throw line.

There were some controversial calls made throughout this game including technical fouls on Doc Rivers and Bill Walker late in the 3rd quarter. Rivers got ejected by Bill Kennedy (who should think about getting another job in the future) in the final minute with the result still not determined.

The Celtics are in real trouble right now having only two big men (Mikki Moore fouled out in the final frame) with the earliest possible return for Kevin Garnett being this Friday. They may be falling behind both Cleveland and Orlando soon if they do not get key players back for this crucial stretch heading into the postseason.





Under Pressure

16 03 2009
Boston's Paul Pierce can only watch as the Bucks' Richard Jefferson goes airborne for a layup in Milwaukee's win. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Boston's Paul Pierce can only watch as the Bucks' Richard Jefferson goes airborne for a layup in Milwaukee's win. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By: Brendan Tyman

The Boston Celtics will not match last season’s win total after a devastating 86-77 defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Bradley Center. The Celts record now stands at 50-17 with 15 games left to play.

Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Rajon Rondo combined to shoot just 8 for 36 from the field. The leading scorer was Kendrick Perkins (26 points and 12 rebounds) and Leon Powe fouled out in the 3rd quarter.

Milwaukee’s Luc Richard Mbah a Moute played excellent perimeter defense as the C’s had trouble creating openings for their shots. Charlie Villanueva led the Bucks with 19 points and Richard Jefferson added 17. Keith Bogans almost posted a double-double (9 points and 12 boards) coming off the bench.

Despite not shooting well, Milwaukee kept the game close throughout the first half and took control early in the 2nd half. When the Celtics closed a 6 point deficit to two at the close of the 3rd quarter, the Bucks came out swinging in the final frame. Boston was not able to counter-attack as their shots were falling short.

This is the start of a tough week for the Celts as they play 5 games in seven days. Their next game is Tuesday night and if they want to earn home-court advantage, they need to start playing better because excuses are not good enough come playoff time.





Overcoming Adversity

7 03 2009

Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins of Boston battle the Cavs' Zydrunas Illgauskas for the loose ball (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins of Boston battle the Cavs' Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the loose ball (AP Photo/Winslow Townson).

By: Brendan Tyman

The Boston Celtics were without Kevin Garnet (strained knee), Tony Allen (thumb surgery), and Brian Scalabrine (concussion) to begin the game against the vaunted Cleveland Cavaliers. Yet, they found a way to come away with the 105-94 victory at a rocking TD Banknorth Garden.

This game felt like a playoff atmosphere as the crowd went crazy when LeBron James (5-for-15 from the field) missed a dunk in the opening quarter. There was some chippy play in the second half  with the C’s leading 54-48, when Glen Davis received a flagrant-2 foul on Anderson Varejao. Zydrunas Ilgauskas got a technical foul for going after Davis. James and Ray Allen matched each other’s technicals.

Despite a foul discrepancy (James and the Celts were both 9 of 12 from the line) that would have Phil Jackson crying and the bench being even more thin due to the loss of Davis, Boston increased their lead into double digits on multiple occasions (86-72 and 98-83) in the final frame.

Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 29 points. Leon Powe came up big with a double-double (20 points and 11 rebounds). Perkins and Davis each had 10. Allen finished with 17 points. Rajon Rondo came back from a twisted ankle in the 1st quarter to add 10 assists.

Mo Williams dropped 26 points and James added 21 for Cleveland.

Boston dominated Cleveland in the paint and had 31 assists compared to the Cavs’ 17. The one reason the Cavaliers stayed in this game was the large difference in free throws.

On Sunday, the C’s will go play Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic. Boston, Cleveland, and Orlando are fighting for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.