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The Bench Rescue: C’s 92, Thunder 83

 

Daily ThunderWelcome to Loud CityESPN Box Score

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

  • I_Love_Green

    That lineup of Ray+Baby and Nate+2 other bench players always works fantastic. Tonight was no different.

    And how about Nate's crazy 3 pointer to end the first half?!?! That was awesome.

    • complexity

      Agreed.

  • Batman

    Semih!!!

  • Idaho

    I really love this team. Semih is smart, knows his role, and is a good free throw shooter to boot (thus far). Amazing to see how much confidence Doc has already put in this guy. Can't wait for D. West to be coming soon. Hopefully he can put a stop to the 3rd quarter let-down.

  • JAW

    I have to say I'm still sick of the team not trying to do *something* to change up the 3rd quarter thing. Different lineup? Bikes in the locker room? Something.

  • LStrike

    I think we're going to be 6-2 after tomorrow, playing off a back to back in Dallas is going to be very difficult.

    By the way, is 3 back to backs in the first 8 games a league high at the moment?

    • Devin in Maine

      I still like our chances. The Mavs split with the Nuggets was their only real impressive showing thus far.

  • JP-

    Does seem like a lot of back-to-backs, loved the win, wasn't expecting the Thunder to go down that easily. Rondo still looks good even with his feet. Once Shaq and D.West come back this team is DEEP. I wouldn't have minded Wafer getting a few more minutes tonight to spell Ray though

    • JCP

      Not to mention K. Perk.

  • NHBluesMan

    D-West really is the glue that holds the second unit together, and once he's back in we're going to be even better. I'm loving Semih's game right now, he's already developed in leaps and bounds and is going to be a great NBA player. I hope the C's can keep him around for awhile

  • Perry

    Tweak of the night was Doc assigning the longer defender Quis to Maynor after he knocked down four straight shots in the 2nd quarter. Maynor became less of a factor while Nate was able to find open space off the high post. The lineup of PP/Daniels/Davis/JO/Rondo could pay off against these athletic teams.

  • TedL – Sophomore

    I keep thinking and hoping that JO's going to find his rhythm on offense. When that happens, we'll have five players who can score, to add to his shot-blocking and rebounding. Gives us a lot of flexibility to attack opposing teams' weaknesses. Between JO and KG's rejuvenation, the team really does feel longer this year.

  • Adrian

    Nice work. The bench really stepped up. I think people put a lot of pressure on OKC.

  • I_Love_Green

    Please go to your own website. This is the Celtics, not the lakers.

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