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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Celtics Beat Bobcats 106-103, Sigh

I must admit two things up front before this quick post: 1) there is nothing I hate more in sports right now than watching the Celtics win; 2) I can't remember when was the last time I watched so much of a C's (24-55 overall, 16-24 home) game this season. Boston outlasted Charlotte (40-39 overall, 17-23 away) 106-103 at TD Garden. The Celtics snapped a beautiful nine-game losing streak and the Bobcats dropped their first game in the last six contests.

Pregame, things looked all lined up for another Celtics loss. Rajon Rondo sat with a "bruised left shin" (oh NBA/tanking) but on the other side, former UConn legend Kemba Walker was also out. Former Celtic Al Jefferson (32 points, 10 rebounds) was basically unstoppable which playoff-bound Charlotte didn't seem to figure out until it was too late in the fourth quarter.

During that long losing streak, the C's had perfected the art of completely crumbling in the fourth quarter after usually being competitive up until then. This was a different story since it was back and forth (29-28 Bobcats after one quarter and 57-55 Celtics at halftime). Boston opened that up to 84-75 heading into the fourth.

All five Celtics starters were in double figures led by Phil Pressey (10 points, 13 assists, 3 steals). Avery Bradley had 22 points, Jared Sullinger added 20 points and seven rebounds while Brandon Bass (9 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Jeff Green (6 turnovers) both scored 18. The loss dropped the Bobcats back to seventh in the Eastern Conference (they've already clinched a spot) and proved how much they need Kemba to have a chance to beat anyone even in the weak East.

The next highest scorer for Charlotte was Gary Neal who put up 13 points off the bench. Chris Douglas-Roberts added 12 points while Gerald Henderson (11 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (10 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks) each snuck into double figures.

Boston hit four more 3-pointers (11-7) and five more free throws (13-8). Charlotte hung around by dishing out 11 more assists (33-22), they had eight less turnovers (20-12) and scored 14 more points in the paint (50-36). The Celts also took advantage of nine more points off turnovers (23-14).

Only three more games left in 2013-14 for the Celtics, beginning with tomorrow night (7:30, CSN) in Cleveland (32-48). Right now, Boston is tied with Utah for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. The only teams that the Celtics have a chance to drop past are Utah and Orlando (23-56). Every loss counts guys, make it happen!

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