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Thursday, February 12, 2009
Celtics remember that games last four quarters (not three)
After shitting the bed in the last two fourth quarters against quality Western Conference opponents (the Lakers and Spurs, at the Garden no less), the Boston Celtics adjusted their internal clocks accordingly to 48 minutes, not 36 minutes.
As a result, they beat a good but beat up Hornets team, 89-77 in the Big Easy last night.
The win for the C's (43-11) was tempered with the loss of Ray Allen to a hyperextended thumb. Ray joins Tony Allen (thumb) and Brian Scalabrine (concussion) as Boston players who are out with injuries.
Apparently, Ray Allen is going to try to play tonight vs. Dallas, in the team's last game before the All-Star break, but honestly, what's the point? He's scheduled to play in the All-Star game too, which is another thing I will give him permission to skip.
The contest was actually tied at 64 heading into the fourth at the New Orleans arena. For non-math majors out there, that means Boston outscored New Orleans, 25-13 in final frame.
Paul Pierce had a game-high 30 points, Kevin Garnett notched a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Kendrick Perkins (9 points, 6 rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (6 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals) also provided solid efforts.
Outside of Pierce's routine heroics, the most pleasant surprise was the play of Leon Powe (11 points, 6 rebounds) and Eddie House (12 points; how did he not make the 3-point shootout or game of H.O.R.S.E?).
Playing without Tyson Chandler and Mo Peterson (which I guess doesn't matter), the Hornets were led by David West's 15 points and eight rebounds. Hilton Armstrong added 14 points and eight boards. Boston was lucky to catch Chris Paul (13 points, 5 assists) at less than full speed as it was his first game back after missing four with a sprained foot.
It is ridiculous that the NBA All-Star game is situated so late in the regular season, the Celtics will have played 2/3 of its schedule when it breaks for the weekend.
Ah well, if the Celts can come away with a win in Dallas tonight (the Mavs are bi-polar but they're usually tough at home), they will have completed an excellent "first-half."