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Saturday, January 22, 2011
John Stockton and his short shorts must be rolling over in his grave
More so than any other professional sport, the NBA is prone to having teams basically no-show on the second end of back-to-back games or at the finish of a long road trip.
This was definitely the case last night as the anticipated battle between Deron Williams (5 points, 6 assists, 4 fouls) and Rajon Rondo (4 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds) never materialized and consequently neither did the game really as Boston rolled over Utah 110-86 at the TD Garden.
The sad part about it is the Jazz (27-16) are a very good team but the Celtics (33-9) will only get one more shot at them in the regular season. Unfortunate.
Boston won its fifth in a row thanks to some balanced scoring. Kevin Garnett had a game-high 21 points and Paul Pierce scored 20. Glen Davis (15 points, 7 rebounds) and Semih Erden (career-high 14 points, 7 rebounds) were great off the bench and Ray Allen scored 11 points.
The only bad news for the Cs was that Shaquille O'Neal got hurt in the first quarter (hip) and didn't return. He's expected to miss the next few games.
Overall, Boston's bench was spectacular, scoring what has to be a season-high with 52 points and giving the starters plenty of rest. Marquis Daniels and Nate Robinson scored eight points apiece and Von Wafer had seven points.
For Utah, Earl Watson (12 points) was their high-scorer so that's pretty much all you need to know about the game. Williams was in foul trouble immediately with three in the first half and as a result, his team basically laid down and died without him.
Andrei Kirilenko (sporting a new Eurotrash 'do, no more flat top) had 11 points and Paul Millsap added 11 points. Babyface Gordon Heyward-who should have stayed at Butler-scored 11 off the bench.
Boston led 30-19 after one quarter and 59-41 at halftime. The Celts won each quarter: closing it out in the third (26-22) and the fourth (25-23).
For the game, the Cs shot 55.2% to 40.0% for the Jazz. Boston had five more 3-pointers (9-4) and made one more free throw (27-26). Rebounds were even at 34 but thanks to Rondo, Boston had 12 more assists (31-19). The Celts also made nine more steals (15-6) while Utah had one more block (6-5). The Jazz had five more turnovers (21-16), fast break points were even (17-17) and Boston had 12 more points in the paint (44-32).
The Celts travel to Washington DC tonight to take on the Wizards. With rookie point guard John Wall, Washington is decent at home. Still even in a back-to-back, this is a game Boston should always win.