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Monday, February 23, 2009
What did you do on your 23rd birthday?
If you're like me, your 23rd birthday wasn't too unique. From what I remember, I went out to a local chain restaurant with my parents and received a season of Rescue Me on DVD. Pretty thrilling.
If you're Rajon Rondo, your day was a little more special, as you scored a career-high 32 points (10 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) in Boston's 128-108 win over Phoenix yesterday afternoon.
It was the Celtics' first game without KG since his latest injury (strained knee). The Suns (31-24) came in having won three straight games while setting an NBA record by scoring 140+ points in each of them. They were also missing a star as Amar'e Stoudemire is out for the rest of the regular season following retina surgery.
The C's (45-12) actually got off to a slow start, as the Suns led by eight early at home but after that Boston cruised. The Celts outscored Phoenix 38-33 in the first quarter and led 68-54 at the half.
It should come as no surprise that the Suns are still allergic to defense. They fired head coach Terry Porter and replaced him with Alvin Gentry, which means nothing except another eventual first round playoff exit (which would have happened regardless).
Rondo set his record early in the second half as the Suns tried to climb back (29-28). Even without KG and with their few big guys in foul trouble, the Celts closed with a 32-25 fourth quarter.
Ray Allen also had a great game, scoring 31 points while Paul Pierce added 26 points and six rebounds. Brian Scalabrine had one of his best games in a Celtics uniform (which is not saying much) as he dropped 14 points and Glen Davis notched 10 points.
Between court appearances and speeding tickets, Jason Richardson stopped by to score a meaningless 21 points. Steve Nash had 19 points and 11 assists while Shaquille O'Neal notched 17 points and six boards. Leandro Barbosa scored 18 points in the loss.
Boston takes on Denver in the Mile High City tonight. They'll be looking for revenge after the Nuggets knocked them off early in the season at the Garden. It will also be Chauncey Billups' first meeting against the C's as a member of the Nuggets.