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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Celtics beat the Clippers in the start to the post-Kendrick Perkins era

Beating the Clippers is not usually the start of something special in the NBA but it was interesting to watch the Boston Celtics last night as Nenad Krstic and Jeff Green made their debuts at the Staples Center.

Most have second-guessed the latest trades by the Celts (42-15) and it certainly wasn't looking good as they trailed Los Angeles (21-39) 47-40 at halftime. However, in a metaphor for both the trade and the season, Boston showed that having patience will pay off.

The Celtics played a solid second half and left with a 99-92 win. Neither Krstic (9 points, 6 rebounds) nor Green (7 points) had performances that will set the world on fire but what can you expect for a couple players that have one practice under their belt with their new team? Krstic showed that he can hit shots and has good hands while Green is athletic and can run the floor, basically what the scouting report was for both of them.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 24 points, Ray Allen added 22 points and Kevin Garnett had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Rajon Rondo notched 11 assists while Glen Davis put up 10 points off the bench. Delonte West looked comfortable with nine points and five assists in 19 minutes backing up Rondo.

Randy Foye was immense for the Clippers, putting up a game-high 32 points and seven assists while Blake Griffin, the darling of the NBA, had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Kaman had 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench, showing why he should be starting now that he's healed (over DeAndre Jordan).

LA jumped out to a 26-18 lead after one quarter and then the 47-40 halftime advantage. I was more busy watching the Bruins game at the bar but I did notice the Cs make their move in the third quarter (34-21). They put the Clippers away with the fourth quarter (25-24).

The Clippers shot 46.1% to 41.1% for the Celtics. LA made one more 3-pointer (5-4) but Boston made 18 more free throws (35-17) and pulled down seven more rebounds (43-36). Los Angeles had four more assists (25-21), four more blocks (7-3) and four more points in the paint (42-38).

Boston travels to Utah tomorrow night to face a team that just lost its legendary coach (Jerry Sloan) to retirement and traded away its franchise player (Deron Williams) to the Nets. So yeah, the Jazz are a complete mess right now.

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