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Friday, November 16, 2012

Without Rondo, The Celtics Put Up A Good FIght But Ultimately Lose 102-97 To The Nets

When word came over on Twitter tonight that Rajon Rondo would miss Boston's game in Brooklyn (due to his sprained ankle), that coupled with the fact that it was the second night of a back-to-back (a mortal enemy of the Celtics) made me think they would mail it in.

I have to give them credit, they fought way more than I expected but they still fell short as the Nets (5-2, 4-1 home) won their fourth straight game, 102-97 over the Celtics at Barclays Center. Boston saw their three-game win streak snapped.

Everybody has been high on Brooklyn coming into this season and for good reason, it looks like they might finally give the C's some competition in the usually terrible Atlantic Division. Deron Williams had 24 points and eight assists while Brook Lopez also put up 24 points along with six rebounds and four blocks. Former Celtic Joe Johnson had 19 points and eight rebounds while Kris Humphries notched 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Paul Pierce had 22 points and seven assists, Leandro Barbosa started at point guard and continued his strong play from last night with 17 points. This game was also notable since it was Courtney Lee's best one in a Celtics uniform (not that there were many to choose from): 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals off the bench. Jason Terry scored 10 points but Brandon Bass (8 points) and Jeff Green (5 points) were nowhere to be seen. I guess they stayed back in Boston.

The only reason the Celts had a chance to win is because of their excellent third quarter (29-15). Other than that, they were outscored 87-68 including 28-18 in the fourth quarter when predictably, their legs gave out. I can't explain how but Boston had 14 more fast break points (19-5) and 10 more points in the paint (46-36).

Boston is off tomorrow then has two more games this weekend as the Raptors (2-6) come to TD Garden on Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m., CSN) then the C's head to Detroit (1-8) on Sunday (7:30 p.m, CSN). Playing four games in five days is certainly not preferable but everybody has a stretch like this at some point in the NBA season. Even without Rondo, the Celtics should be able to beat what are probably the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference. I'm sure I'll watch both games but could you think of a less appealing weekend?





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