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Happy flight: Paul Pierce, Celtics knock off Jazz in overtime

02.26.13 at 12:08 am ET
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The Celtics bounced back from a loss in Portland on Sunday night to close out a challenging five-game Western Conference swing with a victory in Utah, claiming a 110-107 win in overtime against the Jazz. Paul Pierce broke a 99-99 tie with a 3-pointer, the first of his three consecutive baskets in overtime that put the Celtics in control of the game’s final minutes. Kevin Garnett added four points in overtime, and Courtney Lee helped to ice the game with a pair of free throws with one second left on the clock. Randy Foye‘s attempt to tie the game with a last-second 3-pointer missed the mark, permitting the Celtics to close out their road trip with a 2-3 mark to start the second half.

The strong overtime period continued a roller-coaster second half in which the Celtics outscored the Jazz 32-19 in the third quarter, only to see the Jazz go on a 13-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter that gave Utah an 85-82 lead. However, the Celtics recovered in time to send the game into overtime in a 97-97 deadlock. Pierce missed a chance to give Boston the win when he could not convert a turnaround jumper at the end of regulation, but he made up for the miss by taking over in overtime.

Pierce led the Celtics with 26 points while adding seven rebounds and eight assists. Garnett added 13 points and 10 boards, while Avery Bradley tallied 18 points on 8-of-12 shootingGordon Hayward led the Jazz with 26 points.

For more Celtics coverage, visit weei.com/celtics.

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Irish Coffee: The 41 best parts of the most revealing Rajon Rondo interview to date

02.25.13 at 10:45 am ET
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How will Rajon Rondo adapt upon returning to the Celtics next season? This interview may reveal the answer. (AP)

How will Rajon Rondo adapt upon returning to the Celtics next season? This interview may reveal the answer. (AP)

Rajon Rondo doesn’t usually trust the media, which makes the fact he told Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins a reason for that — his father left home in his formative years — all the more fascinating. This Jenkins piece is the definitive Rondo feature, even if most of the reporting took place prior to the Celtics point guard’s season-ending ACL injury. It offers insights we rarely ever see into the enigmatic NBA All-Star. Here are 41 great ones.

  • Rondo loves Shirley Temples. So do his Celtics teammates. “Waitresses are like, ‘What?’ I feel like I have to add a splash of Patron, and I don’t even really drink.”
  • Rondo loves Connect Four. Honing his skills on the front porch of his mom’s College Court home in Louisville, Ky., he plays at charitable events, if only to avoid the awkwardness. Three days before this past Christmas, after handing out bikes, Razor scooters and iPod Touches, he lost for the first time in roughly a thousand charity games. “I can’t believe it. But did you notice I played the guy five more times and won them all? I had to show him, ‘You beat me, but I’lll beat the [expletive] out of you.” His opponent was a 12-year-old named Olisa. Talk about awkward.
  • Rondo doesn’t like game-time decisions. “They just want an excuse if they don’t play well.”
  • Rondo doesn’t like playing grab-ass. “I’m not trying to make friends. We can talk in the summer.”
  • Kevin Garnett: “With Rajon, there ain’t no [expletive]ing around.”
  • Rondo admits, “A lot of times I’ll be shooting and think, Maybe I should pass.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, Rajon Rondo,

Celtics continue road sputter in Portland with loss to Blazers

02.24.13 at 11:40 pm ET
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The Celtics lost for the third time in four games since the All-Star break, falling to Portland, 92-86. Though Boston erased an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit with a 12-4 run that resulted in a Kevin Garnett game-tying layup with 1:46 to go, Damian Lillard responded with a three-point play on a layup just 14 seconds later that put the Blazers ahead for good, as Portland went on to snap its seven-game losing streak.

Guard Wesley Matthews  posted 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting to lead the Blazers, though Portland’s dominance on the boards proved a difference-maker. Portland grabbed 47 rebounds, 11 more than the Celtics corralled.

In defeat, the Celtics were led by Paul Pierce (23 points) and Garnett (20 points), but the team lacked offensive production from the rest of its rotation. Celtics newcomer Jordan Crawford was held scoreless in 12 minutes, missing all four of his shots.

The Celtics fell to 1-3 on their current Western Conference swing, and now face a need to bounce back on Monday in Utah before heading back home. The Celtics are 9-18 on the road this year.

For a complete recap, click here.

Getting the start for Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green leads Celtics past Suns

02.23.13 at 7:00 am ET
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Jeff Green (AP Photo)

Jeff Green (AP Photo)

Getting his first start in nearly two years, Jeff Green helped lead the Celtics to a 113-88 win over the Suns in Phoenix Friday night.

Green scored 31 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the floor, with Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley and Jason Terry each chipping in which 13 points. Newly-acquired Jordan Crawford netted 10 points in in his Celtics debut.

“Jeff was phenomenal,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We started the game running a set we had never run in our lives. We literally drew it up right before the game. They just had the basketball IQ to keep working and they actually showed us options we didn’t know we had.”

Green was starting in place of Kevin Garnett, who was getting the night off with the Celtics playing their third game in four nights. The forward’s performance also helped make up for Paul Pierce’s night, with the Celtics’ captain scoring just eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

The Celtics, who held a 53-41 advantage at halftime, led by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter.

To read a complete recap, click here.

For more Celtics news, go to the team page at weei.com/celtics.

Ainge on Big Show: ‘I didn’t want to move’ Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett

02.22.13 at 6:09 pm ET
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Danny Ainge (AP)

Danny Ainge (AP)

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge didn’t want to trade Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett at the NBA trade deadline — not for pennies on the dollar, he told the Big Show.

“We really like those guys,” said Ainge on Friday evening. “I like Kevin and I like Paul a lot, and I didn’t want to move them.”

Ainge wouldn’t discuss how close he ever came to trading Garnett to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan — other than to say, “I never talked to Kevin” — or dealing Pierce to the Nets for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a pick.

“You don’t just give them away,” he said. “There is great value in those guys.”

So, Ainge apparently wasn’t offered a deal that matched the value he places on either Garnett or Pierce, so he never had the opportunity that Red Auerbach had. For some background, here’s what Ainge told The Boston Globe two years ago (h/t @trubygreen):

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jordan Crawford, Kevin Garnett, NBA

Adrian Wojnarowski on M&M: If Celtics wanted Kevin Garnett to waive no-trade clause, ‘they would have just traded Paul Pierce out from under him’

02.22.13 at 2:33 pm ET
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Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about what the Celtics did at the trade deadline and whether or not they missed an opportunity to trade Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett and get something of value in return.

“I don’t know what opportunity really was there,” Wojnarowski said of potential Pierce and Garnett trades. “You could trade them and you could get something for them, but I think the deal Boston really would have liked to have done was with the Clippers. To get Eric Bledsoe, 22-year-old point guard, and DeAndre Jordan, who’s a 23-year-old center who’s developing. That’s a deal I believe Boston would have went to ownership with and said, ‘We’d like to do this, let’s see if we can get KG to lift his no-trade clause.’

“The Clippers coaching staff wanted to do it, and a lot of executives and coaches among the elite in the Western Conference, and some of the elite in the East, they were terrified of KG going to the Clippers. They thought that made the Clippers the team to beat out there. But ownership was reluctant to this deal, and … they never agreed in principle to that package. I think that’s one [Boston] may have pulled the trigger on.”

Reports of another proposed Celtics deal, which would have sent Pierce to Brooklyn for Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and the Nets’ first-round draft pick,  also surfaced. That didn’t happen, and Wojnarowski said he doesn’t think it was urgent for the Celtics to make a deal like that.

“I think that Boston can revisit it in deals around draft time,” he said. “Brooklyn’s draft pick is not going to have a great value. They’re a playoff team, you’re getting a pick that’s not going to be really high, in a pretty bad draft. And you’ve got to try and get one good player back. Humphries and Brooks, you’re not really getting either. Humphries is fine, he has a purpose, but not if you’re trying to get younger and rebuild. I have no problem with the Celtics not doing that Brooklyn deal.”

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Read More: Adrian Wojnarowski, Danny Ainge, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Straight out of China: D.J. White in Celtics’ sights

02.22.13 at 11:22 am ET
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The Celtics are interested in the services of former Bobcats big D.J. White, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

Playing alongside Gilbert Arenas on the Shanghai Sharks, White averaged 21.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 assists in 33.0 minutes a night over 32 games in the Chinese Basketball Association this season. The Sharks finished their season on Sunday. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound power forward averaged 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per 36 minutes in 124 games over four NBA seasons with the Thunder and Bobcats. He’s 26 years old.

Read More: Boston Celtics, D.J. White, NBA,
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