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Fast Break: Celtics vs. Timberwolves

12.20.09 at 8:32 pm ET
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BOSTON – Their first meeting was close, but that would not be the case on Sunday. The Celtics reached a season-high in scoring and easily defeated the T’Wolves, 122-104, at the Garden.

Turning Point: In a moment that is sure to appear on SportsCenter, Eddie House stole the ball, passed it behind his back as he stumbled out of bounds near the scorer’s table and dished it to Tony Allen for a dunk over Corey Brewer. That second-quarter play proved the entire Celtics squad ‘€“ not just their starting five ‘€“ was going to cause problems for the Timberwolves.

Player of the Game: Paul Pierce hit six 3s (tying a team season-high) and led all players with 29 points. He shot a perfect three-for-three from long range in the second quarter alone. Pierce also chipped in seven rebounds and four assists.

– Tony Allen also had an impressive night ‘€“ 15 points (5-8 FG, 5-7 FT), six rebounds, three assists. This was Allen’s second consecutive double-digit performance.

– The Celtics scored a season-high 34 points in the first quarter. (The previous high was 31 against the Thunder on December 4.) The Celtics held the Timberwolves to 28 percent shooting in the first quarter (7-25 FG). Just four Minnesota players scored in the first 12 minutes compared to seven on the C’s.

Kendrick Perkins was whistled for a technical in the third quarter. He did not get to the free throw line the entire night.

– The Celtics improved to 4-0 when scoring more than 30 points in the first quarter. They are also 4-0 on Sundays.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce,

Allen to play with injured finger

12.20.09 at 5:44 pm ET
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BOSTON – Ray Allen will play tonight against the Timberwolves with a hyperextended right ring finger.

“I think we all have a finger or two that’s probably pointing in another direction,” he said prior to the game. “It’s just an occupational hazard.”

Allen injured his finger during practice on Saturday playing defense against Tony Allen. He considered taping it for gametime but decided against it. He would be more aware of the injury that way.

Even though Allen acknowledged that his finger is sore and he could aggravate it during the game, he pointed out “Once I start playing, nothing bothers me.”

Allen stuck to his gameday routine even with a bothersome finger. Aware of the snowstorm, he left his house at 1:45pm to get to the Garden with plenty of time for his pregame shooting. Allen did, however, have one regret.

“The mistake I made was I didn’t get those little poles to stick in my grass because [the snow plower’s] all over the grass. He’s killing my grass,” he said with a laugh. “When April roles around I’m going to look at my grass and there’s going to look like some moles or some hedgehogs are climbing out of my grass. Just tore my yard up.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,

Refs shorthanded for Celtics game

12.20.09 at 5:37 pm ET
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BOSTON – There will only be two officials on hand to call the Celtics-Timberwolves game on Sunday. Leon Wood was scheduled to officiate and is not available. Derrick Stafford and Kevin Fehr will referee the game.

Doc Rivers, who played part of his career with just two refs, prefers a two-man team but believes there could be a learning curve.

“I enjoy it, actually, because I thought first of all there were less rules. You just played and the refs reffed the game,” he said prior to the game. “Now I think they have so many things they have to call, I think it actually makes it difficult. And I think sometimes that third ref, one ref will see something and he will not want to make the call because it’s the other guy’s call. When it’s two refs, they just call what they see and they don’t worry about stepping on each other’s toes. I think it will be difficult, though, in this instance because they’re not used to doing it with two refs.”

Celtics recall Hudson from Red Claws

12.20.09 at 4:20 pm ET
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The Celtics recalled rookie Lester Hudson from the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, the team announced on Sunday. Hudson averaged 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in three games with the Red Claws.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Lester Hudson,

Allen expected to play with finger injury

12.19.09 at 3:18 pm ET
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WALTHAM – Ray Allen hyperextended his right finger during an open practice on Saturday. He seemed to jam his finger and left practice, but later returned to shoot free throws. He is expected to play on Sunday against the Timberwolves.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,

WEEI Contest Winner Hits $50K Shot

12.19.09 at 2:12 am ET
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BOSTON – He never practiced the shot but it looked effortless when it went in.

On Friday night, WEEI Miller Lite 50 Grand Shootout contest winner Chris Miller drained a halfcourt shot worth $50,000 during the Celtics-76ers game.

‘€œGoing into it I wasn’t that nervous only because there was absolutely no chance of making that shot normally,’€ he said at halftime. ‘€œBut you know what? It wasn’t even that weird because I thought there was no chance of making it. So when I did make it, it was very cool.’€

The Quincy resident earned his opportunity after wining a series of shootout contests over the last four weeks. The final competition was held just prior to the Celtics game at the Harp. Hours later Miller donned a Kevin Garnett jersey and hit nothing but net.

‘€œI had a lot of people tell me how to do this,’€ he explained. ‘€œAll I was thinking about was getting my routine, so I didn’t change anything up, and making sure it’s long enough. It wasn’t quite as long as I wanted, I wanted it off the backboard, but it was just long enough and it was great.’€

Miller plans to put the money toward a down payment on a home.

Read More: Boston Celtics,

A Sheed-less Loss

12.18.09 at 11:01 pm ET
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BOSTON – The Celtics were rolling with an 11-point lead before it happened.

Rasheed Wallace got whistled for an offensive foul with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. He didn’t agree with the call. During a timeout less than a minute later he got slapped with a technical. And then another one. Wallace had to be restrained by assistant coach Tom Thibodeau as he was tossed with 5:35 to go in the first half.

“That definitely helps because he can spread the floor,” Elton Brand said of the ejection. “He’s a good player for them and he was posting up and scoring, absolutely.”

Wallace had posted five points and three rebounds in nine minutes before he was ejected. The 76ers took advantage of his absence and tied the Celtics with 13 points in the remainder of the quarter. Big man Marreese Speights scored five points in the last 2:20 alone.

After having a 31-20 advantage on the boards in the first half, the Celtics were outrebounded 25-15 in the second. Without Wallace, the second unit combined for just four rebounds in the entire game before losing 98-97. (Recap here)

His absence played a role in the Celtics loss, but that doesn’t mean they are putting it all on him.

“Sheed’s a big part of our team,” said Kevin Garnett. “Not only does he give us length and a great voice out there on defense and offense, but he’s a presence in the post, a presence on the outside, and knows how to play and shares the ball. But that’s no excuse. I mean he didn’t have anything to do with our energy. That’s just a team thing and we’ll get it right.”

Added Brian Scalabrine, “This is the kind of game where we will all look at ourselves in the mirror and say we all should have done better. We’re not blaming anyone else on this one. We should have won this game tonight.”

The Celtics will practice on Saturday and host the Timberwolves on Sunday evening.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Elton Brand, Kevin Garnett
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