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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tommy Points all around: Celts pull out gutty double OT win vs. Charlotte

With the bad news the other day that Kevin Garnett will be out at least until April 12 against the Cavaliers (and most likely until the playoffs), the Boston Celtics circled the wagons and put in some serious work last night, beating the Bobcats 111-109 in double overtime at the Garden.

It was a game the C's (57-19) had to have as they try to get the No. 2 spot in the East while on the other side, it was a crushing loss for the Bobcats (34-41) as they try to slide into the eighth seed and the franchise's first playoff spot.

It was a game that Charlotte choked away as they led by as much as 12 points in the fourth quarter before Boston staged a nice comeback.

Rajon Rondo (21 points, 9 assists, 4 steals, 4 rebounds) even had a chance to win it as Celtics coach Doc Rivers drew up a nice inbounds play at the end of the game: Paul Pierce (32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists) passed to Rondo, Rondo gave it back to Pierce and then he handed it off to Rondo who had an open lane to the hoop. His runner was too strong and rimmed out.

Ray Allen (22 points) was the hero of the overtimes as he hit a tying 3-pointer in the second overtime and the game-winner with 2.1 seconds left (putting the Celts up by two points). On the latter shot, Pierce drove and drew multiple defenders before kicking to Ray in the corner.

Eddie House (18 points) also had a great game off the bench in the win.

Charlotte saw seven players score in double figures, led by the always underrated Gerald Wallace (20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals). Boris Diaw (17 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds), Raymond Felton (14 points, 12 assists) and Emeka Okafor (12 points, 10 rebounds) were all good. Raja Bell added 12 points while D.J. Augustin (14 points) and Vladimir Radmonovic (10 points) were solid off the bench.

The Celts host Atlanta tomorrow night.

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