Sunday, February 5, 2012
It took A While But The Celts Are Rounding Into Form, Win Their Fourth Straight
Sadly Tony Allen wasn't able to suit up this afternoon in his return to Boston and his new squad similarly didn't show up as the Boston Celtics (13-10) waxed the Memphis Grizzlies (12-12) 98-80 this afternoon at TD Garden.
Zach Randolph has been out for a while with a knee injury and he's their best player so that explains why Memphis-which made a run to the Western Conference semifinals last season-has been so inconsistent out of the gates this season.
Brandon Bass missed the game for the Celts with a sore knee but they rolled on anyway to their fourth straight win.
Kevin Garnett led all scorers with a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds. For the third game in a row, KG hit a 3-pointer (by design). I never thought I'd write those words but he seems to have a decent touch from long range. Apparently, he used to shoot 3s once in a while with the Timberwolves but thanks to college and alcohol, I really can't remember that.
Paul Pierce had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists while Ray Allen (4 of 14 shooting) added 12 points and Rajon Rondo handed out 14 assists. Chris Wilcox put up 12 points and five rebounds off the bench while rookie JaJuan Johnson had his second good performance in a week with 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks (not all in garbage time either).
An interesting note: Pierce is now nine points behind Larry Bird (ever hear of him?!) for second in all-time scoring for the Celtics. Expect him to break that in the first half, maybe even the first quarter of the next contest.
With Super Bowl 46 hanging over everyone, the Grizzlies thankfully didn't put up much of a fight. Rudy Gay had 21 points and seven rebounds but Sam Young was the only other starter in double-figures with 10 points. O.J. Mayo scored 15 off the bench and Dante Cunningham had 10 points in the loss.
The C's led 24-16 after one quarter and 43-35 at halftime. They were still up eight (69-61) after three and they saved their best for last with a strong fourth (29-19).
Boston owned almost every category: shooting percentage (49.3%-36.8%), 3s (7-3), free throws made (19-13), rebounds (45-38), assists (28-13), steals (9-5), fast break points (26-10) and points in the paint (44-34).
The worst team in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats, come to the Garden on Tuesday night. It will be a worthless game except for the fact that Pierce will pass Bird which is pretty remarkable. Get ready for the big one on Thursday: the Lakers make their only appearance of the season on Causeway Street for a primetime matchup.