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Heartbreaker: Jeff Green puts on show for the ages but Heat win 23rd straight

03.18.13 at 10:52 pm ET
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LeBron James rattled home the game-winning basket with 10.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter and finished with 37 points and had 12 assists to lead the Heat to their 23rd straight win, a 105-103 decision over the Celtics Monday night at a crazed TD Garden. The win streak is now alone as the second-longest in NBA history with only the 33-game streak of the Lakers in 1972 surpassing it.

The James shot spoiled one of the greatest single-game performances in Celtics history as Jeff Green finished with 43 points in a losing cause. In a season of unparalleled regular season drama, Green nearly single-handedly ended the second-longest winning streak in NBA history. Green, starting for Kevin Garnett, had a career high 43 points on 14-of-21 shooting.

The Celtics learned before the game they would not have Kevin Garnett in their quest to end Miami’s 22-game winning streak as the superstar was sent home by coach Doc Rivers with flu-like symptoms. Filling in was Green, making his third start of the season, and he put on one of the most spectacular single-game performances in Celtics history.

In a remarkably fast and furious first half, the Heat shot out to a 19-14 lead thanks to seven points from James. But Green led the Celtics on a stunning 17-0 run to end the quarter and put the Celtics up, 31-19, after 12 minutes.

Green and the Celtics continued their run in the second quarter, twice building the lead up to 17 points in the first three minutes of the period.

Green finished the first half with 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting in 20 minutes. The Celtics, as a team, were blazing hot in the first half, hitting 23-of-37 shots (62.2 percent) from the field.

The highlight of the surreal first half came with just under six minutes left. Dwyane Wade stole the ball from Jason Terry just before midcourt and fed Mario Chalmers. Norris Cole took the dish from Chalmers and lobbed a pass up near the rim and James, trailing the play, finished in authoritative style, dunking viciously over Terry, who tried in vain to block it. Terry was called for a foul and James for called for a technical for taunting Terry on the court.

Seconds later, Avery Bradley block Cole on a dunk attempt and that led to a Paul Piece 3-pointer in transition, sending the Garden crowd into pandemonium and putting the Celtics up 52-38. The Heat made a key run at the end of the half, outscoring Boston 15-6 to close to within six at halftime, 59-53. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, Kevin Garnett

LeBron James posterizes Jason Terry

03.18.13 at 9:22 pm ET
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DeAndre Jordan now has competition for “dunk of the year” after what LeBron James did to Jason Terry in the second quarter of Monday’s game at TD Garden.

Terry was making his way up the court in transition when he was picked by Dwyane Wade, who flipped the ball under his arm to Mario Chalmers. Chalmers dished to Norris Cole under the basket who spotted James trailing the play and lobbed it up. This is what happend to Terry:

This was Jordan posterizing Brandon Knight of the Pistons back on March 10:

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Dwyane Wade, Jason Terry

Kevin Garnett (sick, adductor) out against Heat

03.18.13 at 6:54 pm ET
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The Celtics will not have Kevin Garnett available as they try to end the 22-game winning streak of the Heat on Monday night at TD Garden. The Celtics made the announcement just over an hour before their game against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Heat, who with a win on Monday night will establish sole possession of the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

Doc Rivers confirmed the decision about 45 minutes before the game but said the actual reason for Garnett missing the game is not the adductor strain but rather flu-like symptoms. Garnett reported to the Garden for the game but was told by Rivers to go home and not play Monday. Rivers said Garnett would have played if he were not sick.

Rivers said Garnett will travel with the team as it begins a three-game road trip in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

Only the 1971-72 Lakers, with a 33-game streak, would have a longer one in league history.

Garnett suffered a strained adductor (groin) in his left leg last week and missed Saturday’s win over the Bobcats. This means the Celtics will not have Garnett or Jared Sullinger (back surgery) for their rematch of the double-overtime game won by the Celtics on Jan. 27 at the Garden. Both Garnett and Sullinger played in the game.

Garnett did not practice on Sunday and was not at the team’s shootaround Monday morning in Waltham.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA

Celtics: Kevin Garnett a game-time decision vs. Heat

03.18.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Celtics center Kevin Garnett is a game-time decision for Monday’s showdown against the Heat, according to the team’s media relations department.

Suffering from an adductor (groin) strain, Garnett sat out Saturday’s 105-88 blowout of the Bobcats, Sunday’s practice and Monday morning’s shootaround at the team’s practice facility in Waltham.

As a result, the C’s may face the daunting task of ending Miami’s 22-game win streak — on the five-year anniversary of halting the Rockets’ 22-game string — without the heart of their defense. The Celtics are riding an 11-game home winning streak that began against the Heat on Jan. 27, when news of Rajon Rondo‘s season-ending injury spread like wildfire throughout the Garden.

Miami has lost 10 straight regular-season games in Boston since April 6, 2007, including all five games during LeBron James‘ tenure.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA

Paul Pierce is not counting on Kevin Garnett for the Miami Heat showdown

03.17.13 at 10:35 am ET
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To Paul Pierce, Saturday night was good preparation for playing without Kevin Garnett. And the way the Celtics captain looks at it, he’s not expecting Garnett back on Monday when the competition gets tougher – a lot tougher.

“It was like, we just gotta step up and get the win,” Pierce said. “KG had another game where he didn’€™t play, we played quite well, everybody stepped up. That was my reaction [Saturday] morning when I found out he wasn’€™t playing.

“Right now, we don’t expect him to be back. Right now, that’s the mindset we have to take. If he’s back, that’s just an added bonus for us to play Miami. So, right now, as of today, we have to get in our minds that this is the team that will [play] against Miami and we have to get ready to play.”

The last time they played the Heat, they found out they were losing Rajon Rondo for the season with a torn ACL. They went out and beat LeBron James and the Heat in double-overtime. They then lost Jared Sullinger a week later.

Pierce says the Celtics have the kind of team that can handle adversity because of the leadership at the top, starting with coach Doc Rivers.

“That comes from the top, coaches and trickles down through the veteran players, just to ensure everybody is focused and understanding that regardless what kind of adversity we go through, we still have to go out there and we have a job to do,” Pierce said. “Go to practice every day and help us win as many basketball games as we can.”

Rivers summed up Garnett’s availability for Monday this way: “If he’s healthy, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat, NBA

Doc Rivers: Paul Pierce is ‘going to play for a long time if he wants to’

03.17.13 at 10:07 am ET
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There was no Kevin Garnett on the floor Saturday night due to a left adductor (groin) strain. Rajon Rondo is gone for the season, and has been gone for seven weeks now.

So with captain Paul Pierce again left to be the man to keep things together, that’s exactly what he did in a fashion so routine, it was a thing of beauty to his coach.

Pierce was as efficient as ever, scoring 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting in just 23 minutes, adding eight assists and six rebounds in a 115-88 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden.

‘€œHe’€™s always been underrated,” Doc Rivers said. “I think he’€™s been underrated his whole career. I underrated him. When I coached in Orlando every time he scored I mean, I was so upset because I thought this slow, non-athletic guy, you look at him, you think. ‘€˜How the hell was he scoring on you?’€™ And then when you coach him you realize he’€™s not slow, he plays at a slow pace. He’€™s athletic as heck, he’€™s stronger than most small forwards in the league, and he just surprises you with his fundamentals. You know he’€™s so fundamentally sound he actually looks un-athletic. And it’€™s a heck of a compliment to a player.

“He just plays to what he feels. He’s a professional scorer, he really is. He just knows how to play basketball. I think every young kid should watch him play because he can do it above the rim but he chooses not to. He’s just so fundamentally sound with his footwork, it’s just really nice to watch.

“I think he’s going to be able to play for a long time if he wants to. He can get his shot off. He plays at a great pace.”

Pierce led all five starters in double figures, as the Celtics proved picking up the slack for Garnett was truly a team effort. He pointed to a play Pierce ran several times in the first half that had different teammates involved.

“Yeah, we ran a play that just kind of matured into that,” Rivers said. “First time he came off I think he got Brandon (Bass), the second time he got the picker, then he just ‘€“ the same play just kept building and building. I love ‘€“ we call it ‘€˜feed the pig’€™.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, NBA

Irish Coffee: Bill Walton’s St. Patrick’s Day revisited

03.17.13 at 9:54 am ET
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The NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year as a member of the 1985-86 Celtics that finished 67-15 during the regular season — and 41-1 at home in the Boston Garden — on their way to winning 15-of-18 playoff games and the franchise’s 16th NBA title, Bill Walton can wish you a St. Patrick’s Day far better than I can.

So, without further ado, I give you Walton uncensored, about five or six Guinesses deep most likely (from his appearance on the Big Show two years ago):

“Go Green. Go Guinness. I’m popping one right now. Ten million pints poured every day around this great globe of ours — the globe, the most perfect orb, just like the basketball. The basketball by itself does nothing, but when you make it an extension of your mind the way that [Rajon] Rondo does, the way that Danny Ainge did and DJ [Dennis Johnson] and Larry [Bird] and Kevin [McHale] and Chief [Robert Parish] and Jerry [Sichting] and Rick [Carlisle] and Scotty [Wedman] and all the guys did — but when you’re able to make an extension of your mind, of what it is you’re doing in life, whether it’s drinking a Guinness responsibly, whether you’re bouncing that magic basketball for the Celtic Green, you can make a difference, and that’s what we’re calling everybody to do on St. Patrick’s Day, the start of the college tournament, the most perfect harmonic convergence ever. Be bold, stand tall, quit your job and chase your dreams. …

“I only drink Guinness, the holy water falling from the sky, delivering spiritual guidance. We’re blessed. We’re so blessed. We’re on record pace, and we’re having the time of our life. …

“When this morning started, and it started more than 24 hours ago, the call to action was to take the day off. Who wants to lead a watered down life? C’mon. Let’s get up and be bold. Forget just taking the day off, just quit your job. Make your dream your job, and that’s what I was able to do. My parents ask me to this very day, ‘So, Billy, did you ever get a job?’ I’m closer than ever to being able to say yes. It’s so special. The remarkable thing about Guinness in our world is that in the mother country, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. In Canada, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday. Somewhere, we got lost along the path, along the golden road to unlimited devotion. …

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