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High Quality Win: Celtics 94, Clippers 85

 
Boston Celtics 94 FinalRecap | Box Score 85 Los Angeles Clippers
Paul Pierce, SF 31 MIN | 7-16 FG | 8-10 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 25 PTS | +19
Pierce was really aggressive tonight and didn’t settle for off balance jumpers. Instead, he took jumpers that were given to him, made some great back door cuts and freed himself right under the basket for some easy layups.  He also played pretty well in crunch time.
Brandon Bass, PF 30 MIN | 5-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | +11
Bass was really over-matched (at least height-wise) against Blake Griffin. How did he respond? By putting up a near double-double and snagging three huge offensive rebounds.
Kevin Garnett, PF 34 MIN | 8-16 FG | 5-5 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | +17
KG Garnett really gutted out a big performance tonight. He fought the young Clipper big men all night and hit every shot he needed for the Celtics to win.
Ray Allen, SG 40 MIN | 5-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 15 PTS | +8
There’s no way to sugar coat this: Allen looked old tonight. I am waiting for Allen to play like he did to start the season. You remember? When he looked like he was wearing a Bucks jersey? I don’t think the ankle injury is serious, but it will definitely speed up the aging process.


Early on, Allen and Eric Bledsoe looked like they were trying to convince their irrespective GMs that they weren’t worth a trade.  No one’s buying it, guys.
Rajon Rondo, PG 41 MIN | 4-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 10 AST | 12 PTS | +6
Rajon Rondo didn’t put up his usual numbers, but he gets credit for making Chris Paul invisible (5 assists and 14 points on 3-of-12 shooting). He made a concerted effort to stay in front of Paul and push him a few feet behind the three point line. Rondo seemed to will his team at times, forcing his teammates to push the pace; exuded leadership tonight.


Play of the Night: Ray Allen posts Mo Williams midway through the fourth. KG tries several entry passes but Ray fails to establish good position. Ball winds up in Rondo’s hands while KG hangs around the perimeter. Rondo screams at KG to go pick down on Ray. The Clippers are so concerned with the mismatch that KG slips the screen and gets right to the rim. Rondo delivers the perfect pass for a KG dunk. Clippers are late rotating back and foul KG on the dunk. Hoop and the harm. 10 point lead.
Keyon Dooling, PG 4 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -4
Oh hey Keyon! Oh, okay. Bye Keyon!
Sasha Pavlovic, SF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | 0
Pavlovic played a very valuable role in the first quarter. He prevented Paul Pierce from logging his 32nd minute. And he wore awesomely bright green shoes while he did it.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 28 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -9
I was so tempted to give Pietrus an A- tonight but I was afraid of what fans of offensive basketball would do to me in the comments section (that’s right, you control EVERYTHING I DO!). Sure, he still can’t find his three point shot. He still made huge contributions on the defensive end and in transition. If Pietrus did not play, I’m not sure who else would be in there to rebound from the wing and defend three different positions. Pavlovic maybe? Scary thought.
Greg Stiemsma, C 22 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | -10
Sure he was a -10 and hardly registered a positive stat, but he played tough and did not back down or get discouraged by how rough Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan were inside. I loved seeing the Stiemah not back down when faced with the cold brown lakes (BLakes?) that are Blake Griffin’s eyes (he stares too much).
Avery Bradley, SG 7 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | +7
I really wish Bradley got a little more burn in this game but I can understand why he didn’t. The game was so back and forth, it was hard to find a moment to fit him in. In the end, that dunk was AWESOME.

Four Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics applied great defensive pressure tonight. They pushed the Clipper’ wing players out past the three point line. They pushed the dynamic Clipper’ big men far off the blocks. They forced very timely turnovers by the unrelenting pressure. They forced the Clippers to shoot a shade over 37%.  It was to see Celtic defense for a change.
  2. The Celtics were terrible with their entry passes tonight. Lots of slow, high bouncing balls that were easily stolen. The Celtics only had 14 turnovers, but the Clippers had 10 steals.
  3. Like the Lakers did last night, the Celtics really exploited their mismatches. The Clippers switch on nearly every pick-and-roll. Knowing this, the Celtics ran pick-and-rolls with whomever were guarding Chris Paul or Mo Williams. It was beautiful.
  4. The officials were… well, you know. I will say that they were fair in their terribleness. Did you see KG blatantly grab DeAndre Jordan’s wrist on a dunk attempt? And then on the ensuring outlet, it sure looked like Chris Paul had a clean steal. Whatever your thoughts are on the officials, the one silver lining was the physicality with which they allowed these teams to play; just beautiful to see.
  • Phil

    Great win for the C's, and nice to see them close the game out late. I'm sure I wasn't the only one getting concerned before that last run.

    I thought Bradley was great in the first half, Bledsoe would get the ball over half court, then either turn it over or pass it to someone else as quickly as possible. He looked great on a couple offensive plays, but he also caught a break from the refs, since he was probably saved from two legitimate steals by touchy whistles.

    Fully agree with the fourth observation in general. I would get frustrated when a terrible call went against the C's, then remember that another one went for them thirty seconds ago. Overall, I'd chalk it up to being very difficult to officiate a game where both teams are playing so physically.

  • Lakershater13

    Very good game to watch. First half got frustrating with all the whistles. Neither team was happy with the calls. Second half the refs kind of swallowed the whistles and let them play. Great win by the Cs.

    As the deadline there is 1 trade that the Celtics have to make no matter what:
    Keyon Dooling for…ANYTHING. Let Bradley have a lot more mins or give Moore a chance.

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts
    • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

      OMG, CLEARLY DIdn't get enough sleep–too excited about Cs hard work–and win! Oh, we'll, comic relief??

      HERE'S WHAT I MEANT TO POST:

    • CelticsBIG3

      Aargh… I was thinking about going to get McDonald's for lunch

  • http://Lovemyceltics.blogspot.com mycelts

    CLIPPINGS

    Back to back games, same building, doesn't happen much, 
    Last time was 1972 it happened as such.
    Just like Kobe last night was wearing his mask, 
    Chris Paul, too–broke his nose, don't ask.

    Teams neck and neck throughout Q1,
    Chippiness was evident from the opening run.
    Don't worry about the bench being in a funk,
    Bradley great D then a stunning dunk!

    After a whistle, the ball wasn't in play, 
    KG decided to dunk the ball anyway.
    Not in my house, Jordan made it clear, 
    Double techs–it is testy in here.

    The calls on the Cs are terrible indeed, 
    Tech on Doc, gave the momentum Clips need.
    Soon the Cs' turnovers came in gobs, 
    Clippers were aggressive and started those lobs.

    Clippers got it going, mostly Mo and Blake, 
    At the end of the half a 9 point lead they did take.
    Cs started Q3 the way they started Q1,
    Maintaining their composure, getting the job done.

    Cs so energetic, rebounds and steals, 
    Alley-oop Rondo-Bass,  loving how it feels.
    Lots of jawing, Jordan and KG, 
    (My favorite line) RAY ALLEN FOR THREE.

    RAY ALLEN FOR THREE as Q3's almost done,
    The Cs start Q4 up by one.
    Once Ray Allen scored  his first three point, 
    Tho' he fell on his elbow, he lit up this joint.

    After Cs 9-0 run, Clips went 17-3,
    Cs pull even, consecutive shots by KG.
    13-2 run by the Cs, teams scoring in spurts,
    An aside: Chris Paul kicked Griffin right where it hurts.

    59 seconds left, turned ankle for Ray??
    Back from the locker room, ready to play!
    Cs needed this game, played like it til it was done, 
    So far on this road trip they are one and one.

    If during this trade season you are becoming jaded, 
    Rest assured, said Ainge, Rondo will not be traded.

  • CG12

    Great effort by the Cs, despite some wobbly moments down the stretch. Perfect example of how things work when each guy on the team is doing what he is supposed to do. But it would still be nice if Pietrus or Dooling could hit a shot. Stiemsma is giving the Cs key minutes right now and its great to see. Avery Bradley had one of the most effective 6 minute nights you will ever see.

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