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Friday, February 8, 2013

Celtics Destroy Lakers 116-95, Win Their 6th Straight Game As KG Goes Over 25,000 Points

For Celtics fans, tonight was basically a perfect night. Not only did Boston (26-23, 18-9 home) stomp the Lakers (23-27, 8-17 away) 116-95 at TD Garden but the Celts tied a season-high with their sixth straight win and Kevin Garnett (15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals) made NBA history in the process.

KG went over 25,000 points for his career, becoming only the 16th player ever to accomplish that. He's such a humble and team-first guy but it was nice to see him enjoy it for a brief moment as the Garden gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. Nobody else has ever had 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5000 assists, 1500 blocks and 1500 steals. The crazy thing is that even at 36 and with 17 years in the NBA under his belt, he is still playing at a very high level.

116 points was one off their season-high as the Celtics absolutely shredded the Lakers abysmal defense. Paul Pierce (24 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) continues to make a case to be an All-Star (should somebody get hurt or have to miss it). The speedy and dynamic defensive backcourt of Courtney Lee (13 points, 5 rebounds) and Avery Bradley (10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) continually harassed LA. Jeff Green was terrific off the bench with 19 points, Jason Terry added 15 and Chris Wilcox (8 points, 9 rebounds) had his best game of the season.

Times are tough in Lakerland with Pau Gasol out for 6-8 weeks and Dwight Howard (9 points, 9 rebounds) crippled. Kobe Bryant (27 points, 7 rebounds) can only do so much. He was the lone starter in double figures with Jodie Meeks (13 points) and Antawn Jamison (11 points) both making a case for more minutes.

Like Game 6 of the NBA Finals between these teams (also at the Garden) in 2008, this one was never really close and got out of hand rather quickly. Boston led 27-23 after one quarter and 58-44 at halftime. An outstanding third quarter (37-25) by Boston ensured that nobody went over 33 minutes (Bradley) and KG was limited to 23.

The Lakers get one more crack at the Celtics-February 20 back in LA-but that team is a disaster so I wouldn't worry in the least bit about that. Boston shot 11.4% better from the field (52.9-51.4%), grabbed five more rebounds (48-43), dished out nine more assists (25-16), had eight more steals (10-2), two more blocks (5-3), 18 more fast break points (22-4) and 22 more points in the paint (58-36).

The C's can chill the next few days as New England gets pounded by a blizzard but they have a serious challenge awaiting them on Sunday night (6 p.m., CSN) as the Denver Nuggets (32-18, 2nd Northwest Division) stop by. Nobody is talking about them but the Nuggets are one of the hottest teams in the NBA. They've won eight in a row including a 128-96 blowout against the Bulls tonight (on TNT after Celtics-Lakers) to move up to fourth in the Western Conference. Denver can really get up and down the court which is a tough matchup for the Celts: they're third in the NBA in scoring per game (104.7), second in rebounds per game (45.4) and third in assists per game (23.9). The good news for Boston is that they don't play much defense either, allowing 100.6 points per game (23rd in the NBA).

UPDATE 2/8: Fab Melo, fresh off his first NBA basket last night, was sent back to Maine today. To say he's raw and not quite ready yet for the NBA would be too kind. Keep working Fab.

UPDATE 2/10: Melo was recalled from the Red Claws. In other Syracuse products news, Kris Joseph was traded from the Red Claws to the Springfield (MA) Armor for power forward James Mays who is a D-League all-star this season.





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