These past four years, the C’s have had a history of fast starts. Hitting the road for their first of a four-game trek, Boston hit the ground running, pummeling the Thunder early, giving up what could now be called their trademark “run” by the opposition. Tonight though, the script was varied slightly with the bench coming in at the beginning of the fourth quarter and plugging the holes in the starter ship that had taken on water at the end of third quarter. The bench’s work allowed the Green to cruise to a 9 point victory over the up and down Thunder.
So just how bad did it get for the starters? After cruising to a 21-point halftime lead, the C’scored just two points for the final six minutes of the third quarter, allowing the Thunder to trim a 17-point lead to six once James Harden drilled a 3 at the start of the final frame.
The good news is tonight the bench came to play. Glen Davis has been doing it all year, but Nate Robinson started hitting shots, Marquis turned in his second solid game in a row and Semih Erden easily had his best game of his young NBA career, leading the second unit along with Ray Allen on a 15-4 Thunder to re-take control of this game for the C’s.
A few leftovers on this one, with quotes coming via Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston, live on the scene in OKC:
“We’re winning the games, and that’s one thing I will say, in this league, everyone loses leads,” said Rivers. “Not the way we did today. The other games, it was more our execution, I thought we had good focus. Today, it was just us. We got up on a great team, then you have to keep playing that way to win the game and stay up, and we kinda let up. You can get away with that against a lot of teams, not with a team with [Russell] Westbrook and [Kevin] Durant on it. You definitely can’t do that.”
Doc couldn’t be anymore dead on with that one. Last year the C’s are likely 4-3 after all these blown second half comebacks. They stunk in many home contests, they stunk late and in the clutch against quality teams. Say what you want this year about their passiveness in the second half, but they have been able to get the job done. Also remember it they are doing it with a shorthanded bench.
Other Odds and Ends
– According to CSNNE.COM Jermaine O’Neal had a minor procedure on his left knee that are keeping his minutes down (just 21). The good news is despite the setback last week, he turned in one of his best game in a C’s uniform chipping in a terrific 9 boards and 2 blocks in just 21 minutes of action.
– Doc on Semih: “Tonight, [Erden] was phenomenal,” said Rivers. “He’s just great. He’s starting to understand this role. With all the shooters on the floor, we’re just trying to teach him how to roll — just roll hard on every pick. I tell him: He has to look at himself like a human pinball. Just go pick everybody and roll hard to the basket. And he’s starting to do that. Now he’s starting to rebound for us as well. And he makes free throws.” (ESPNBoston.com)
* Another double-double for Rondo 10 points and 10 assists. Two more charges taken for Glen Davis who couldn’t miss from the top of the key in the second half. Rondo took his foot of the gas in the third quarter but his stellar performance on both ends (3 steals) make the criticism seem petty at best.
* A bonus look of Nate’s buzzer beater three at the end of the first half which gave the C’s a 21 point lead. Nate finally has broken out of his slump at the end of last night’s game and his offense paid off.
* Much more coming later today