Saturday, December 7, 2013
You Can't Stop The Celtics, You Can Only Hope to Contain Them
You know things are going well for the Celtics when Kris Humphries comes out of mothballs and off the bench to score a season-high 18 points with seven rebounds as Boston (9-12 overall, 5-5 home) beat Denver (11-8 overall, 5-6 away) 106-98 tonight at TD Garden. They maintained their spot atop the woeful Atlantic Division where nobody is even close to .500. Woo!
The Celtics have beaten up on some really bad teams so far this season but haven't notched many wins against playoff-caliber opponents. Tonight qualifies as a solid victory since even if the Nuggets don't make the postseason in the far superior Western Conference, they are a good team.
Of course, it helps when the C's are spotted a 14-0 lead right off the bat. Boston led from start to finish, by as much as 27 (42-15 early second quarter) and as little as three (76-73 late third quarter). Jordan Crawford (game-high 22 points, 8 assists) is playing the best basketball of his strange career. Avery Bradley had 18 points as well, Jeff Green scored 15 and Brandon Bass added 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Ty Lawson paced Denver with 20 points. J.J. Hickson had 17 points and seven rebounds, Randy Foye scored 12 points while former Celtic Nate Robinson (11 points), 90-year-old Andre Miller (10 points) and Timofey (that's really how it's spelled) Mozgov (10 points, 6 rebounds) all had double-figures off the bench.
In their best quarter of the season, Boston outscored Denver 39-14 in the first which was enough to carry them to another improbable victory. The Nuggets outscored the Celts 83-67 in the final three quarters.
The C's shot 7.6% better from the field (51.8-44.2), they dished out 14 more assists (25-11) and had five less turnovers (14-9) than the Nuggets.
Boston gets its first up close look at the car crashes better known as the Knicks (5-13, 4th in Atlantic Division) and Nets (5-14, 5th in Atlantic Division) over the next few days. They are in New York on Sunday afternoon (12, CSN)-that should get monster ratings going up against the NFL-and then they are in Brooklyn on Tuesday (7:30, CSN).