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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The bench comes alive for the Celtics

There was an endless amount of story lines surrounding the Boston Celtics as they began the last 30 games of the season last night in Sacramento.

Most pertinent, it was the last game before the trade deadline (which is tomorrow afternoon) so was this the last time we'll see Ray Allen, Eddie House, Tony Allen or Glen Davis in a Celtics uniform?

Will the C's improve or continue to struggle against good teams, building up to the inevitable second round loss in the playoffs this spring?

The good news for one night was that they won 95-92 against a very green Kings (18-35) team featuring the favored rookie of the year, Tyreke Evans (17 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists).

Paul Pierce had 17 points for the Celts (33-18) and Ray Allen scored 15 points but Rajon Rondo (4 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists), Kevin Garnett (9 points, 9 rebounds) and Kendrick Perkins (6 points, 5 rebounds) were all invisible.

So how did they win you ask? Boston's bench had perhaps its finest performance of the season as they 44 points, led by Rasheed Wallace (17 points), Eddie House (12 points), Marquis Daniels (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Glen Davis (6 points, 8 rebounds).

Games like that will be rare but if the Celtics stand still at the trade deadline, those bench players will need to all bring their games up to gloss over KG, Ray and Perk.

Omri Casspi led the Kings with 19 points, Jason Thompson added 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks off the bench while Kevin Martin (another constant trade rumor) was held to 11 points.

The game was tight throughout, with the teams tied at 30 after one quarter and the Celts holding a slim 57-52 halftime lead.

Boston didn't fall apart in the third (19-17) and made enough free throws down the stretch to offset the 3-pointers Sacramento kept hitting.

The four game West Coast trip gets real for the next three games as Boston goes to the Staples Center tomorrow night for a TNT game with the Lakers, Portland on Friday and Denver on Sunday afternoon. Honestly, two wins out of those three would be a miracle considering LA and Denver are the West's two best teams and the Blazers are fighting for a playoff spot.

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