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Crunchtime Fail: New Orleans 83, Boston 81

In the end, this one came down to crunchtime execution. Tied 77-77 with two minutes to go in the game, New Orleans made tougher shots and better decisions than Boston and pulled out the victory. And while the reasons for it are somewhat different than last season, the C’s are 1-3 in their last four games and officially in another post-Christmas slump.

The Celtics trailed 66-57 at the end of three quarters before ripping off a furious 16-0 run to start the fourth quarter. But after Trevor Ariza hit a desperation three to beat the shot clock and give New Orleans a late lead, Glen Davis made a crucial error that played a huge part in the C’s walking away from this one with a loss. On the ensuing possession, after Ray Allen missed a three, the C’s got the offensive rebound and Davis unleashed a horrific three-pointer with 16 seconds on the shot clock.

That’s Glen Davis. Taking a three. With 16 seconds left on the shot clock.

The Celtics simply don’t have the horses to overcome those kinds of decisions right now. And Doc Rivers knows it. Those watching the CSNNE broadcast caught a disbelieving Rivers staring at and then barking at Davis when he next came to the bench.

Following the Davis miscue, the Celtics got burned on the defensive end. Davis lost David West on a pick and roll when he overplayed the Chris Paul (20 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, 6 steals) drive. When Jermaine O’Neal came late to challenge West’s jumper, the Hornets went up by 5, and Boston couldn’t recover down the stretch.

Those final two minutes were a sour chaser to a spirited second half of this one as Rivers’ mix-and-match lineups brought the Celtics back, particularly the O’Neal, Allen, Luke Harangody, Marquis Daniels, and Nate Robinson combo that kicked off the fourth quarter. And there were other positive signs today: the C’s got decent efforts out of Von Wafer, Harangody and O’Neal, who is showing signs of life as he gets more comfortable in the lineup.

Still, as the absent Kevin Garnett would say: it is what it is.

And what it is is another loss.

More on this one to come…

  • Chris O

    AHHHHHHHHHHHH the Sky is falling!!!!!…

    • Ryan DeGama

      *laughs*

      Not quite, but check back in a couple of weeks!

  • Idaho

    What is going on with Semih??? He had a stomach bug and then all of a sudden he is missing a week?

  • I_Love_Green

    Ahhhhhhh piss. Should've beat the Magic, Pistons game was a fluke, and Glen Davis decided he wanted to make it 3 straight losses.

    We need Rondo back. And KG. And Perk. And Delonte. Oh just imagine the day when we have all of our key guys healthy. I fear for the other teams life when that day comes.

  • torpid bunny

    I like Glen Davis but he sucked in this game. Okafor destroyed him. The celtics went on a 15 point run with Davis on the bench and Harangody in. Late in the game Davis looked like a traffic cone. It probably would have been better to keep Davis on the bench for the rest of the game.

  • Zain

    I lost track of how many times I heard 'How about a foul call!?' by Tommy today.

    • someguyinsac

      Which is the higher number? The times that Tommy said "How about a foul call" or the turnovers?

      • thetruthhurts

        turnovers, but it was close between the two. ugh

  • We're missing 3 starters and a key guy off the bench and we were barely beaten by an over .500 Western Conference team… call me crazy but this loss only hurts because it's an L in the loss column, not because it's an indication of the quality of this Celtics team.

  • GBC

    Last season we were 23-5 and went 27-27 the rest of the way due to apathy…this year, we start 23-4 and are starting to lose again, this time due to injuries. What is with this team and post-Christmas?

  • Sam

    We dodged a missile with KG's injury being only a matter of a couple weeks (if the Celtics are transparent about it obviously), and I hope the time Rondo is taking off to heal his ankle also helps him getting definitively rid of his hamstring and plantar fasciitis issues.

    If everything goes as planned, Rajon will come back in a few days, soon followed by KG. Delonte should be back by the end of the month, and finally Perk in mid-February.

    Rondo's come back should be a great relief for Sugar Ray and Diesel.

    Until then, let's grind it out and watch which one of our bench guys will step up (Quisy, Nate, Harangody, Wafer).

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