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Third Quarter: Celtics – Knicks

03.17.10 at 8:31 pm ET
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Paul Pierce scored 16 points in the third quarter to give the Celtics a 92-71 lead over the Knicks. He accounted for but eight of the Celtics points in the quarter.

The C’s are dominating the Knicks in the paint and have a 46-24 advantage. They are also outrebounding the Knicks, 33-26.

Kevin Garnett is behind Pierce with 22 points. Kendrick Perkins has 12 rebounds while Rajon Rondo has as many assists.

The Celtics are 34-8 when leading or tied after the third quarter.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce,

Halftime: Celtics-Knicks

03.17.10 at 7:45 pm ET
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After a dreadful start, the Knicks were able to get back in the game a little bit, but a late Celtics run gave them a commanding 68-49 at the half. The Celtics are shooting 63 percent.

All of the starters had solid halves. Kevin Garnett made his six first shots and leads the Celtics with 16 points. Paul Pierce added 13 and Ray Allen added nine. Kendrick Perkins has nine points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo has seven assists.

The bench also played well. Rasheed Wallace spent most of his time in the post and scored seven points.Ex-Celtics Bill Walker and JR Giddens each scored four points in limited minutes.

First quarter: Celtics-Knicks

03.17.10 at 7:11 pm ET
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After one, the Celtics lead 32-19 and for the second straight game, the Celtics got off to a fast start against a mediocre team. The C’s scored the first seven points against the Knicks, who missed their first six shots and made only two of their first 12 shots to start the game.

Kevin Garnett led the way with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting and Kendrick Perkins added five points and five rebounds. Rajon Rondo already has five assists. It could have been worse but a Nate Robinson 3-pointer was actually after the shot clock expired.

Paul Pierce went to the bench with two fouls just two minutes into the game. Pierce also had early foul trouble against Detroit on Monday.

Perkins reminded of old times

03.16.10 at 12:53 am ET
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The Celtics were up by double digits late in the fourth quarter and Gino came out to celebrate. It was just like old times. Well, just like earlier in the season, actually.

The C’€™s commanding 119-93 win over the Pistons on Monday night in Boston was reminiscent of the blowout victories they had enjoyed so many times before. They got back to team basketball, something Kendrick Perkins was happy to be a part of.

‘€œI think today, the vibe was good on the court,’€œ he said after the game. ‘€œGuys were rooting for each other, being there on the help side, just being there, and it was just fun to be a part of.’€

Perkins was particularly please with the Celtics’ ball movement. Shots produced by four or five passes were a result of strong communication and being in sync with one another. The overall team effort reminded Perkins of the start of the season, when they went on six- and 11-game winning streaks.

‘€œIt does, especially when we’€™re playing like that,’€ he said. ‘€œI think just how guys were sharing the ball, like I said, just fun to be a part of. It reminds you of the time we were playing, I think, at our best. Those are the things we were doing. And on the defensive end we were playing great defense and rebounding and running and guys were denying the ball.’€

The Celtics have won six out of their last 10 and will face the Knicks on Wednesday at home.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kendrick Perkins,

Finley just making ‘the most of it’

03.15.10 at 11:26 pm ET
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When Danny Ainge decided to sign Michael Finley after the 37-year-old had been released by the San Antonio Spurs last week, Monday night was the kind of game the Celtics‘ general manager had in mind.

Finley came off the bench and scored 15 points, matching Paul Pierce and Ray Allen for the team lead in Boston’s 119-93 demolition of Detroit at TD Garden.

Most impressive was how smooth Finley made it look. He missed just once in seven field goal attempts, making the most of his 13-plus minutes off the bench.

‘€œI work out,” Finley said. “I try to work out every day where I have confidence in my game. Whenever my number is called, I just want to be prepared. Tonight was just an example of that. My teammates just got me in good positions to make plays and I just made the most of it.

‘€œI’€™m still trying to find my way in. This team was a good one before I got here. I just want to come in and help them be a better team. If that’€™s possible, I’€™m all for it.’€

On Sunday in Cleveland, the bench struggled mightily, with Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels held scoreless. On Monday, thanks to the early fire shown by Finley, the bench exploded for 61 points, including 13 for Davis and 11 for Daniels.

‘€œIt’€™s always good to win, especially coming off the performance we had in Cleveland,” Finley said. “It always good to get that winning taste back in your mouth and show each other what it takes to win ball games, despite the opponent.’€

Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been pleasantly surprised by the boost Finley has provided to the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Marquis Daniels and Glen Davis.

‘€œYeah, because I didn’€™t know what to expect, honestly,” Rivers said. “You know he hadn’€™t played a lot this year with San Antonio and he wasn’€™t making shots. I just don’€™t believe a guy can forget how to shoot. So we thought if we could get him in here and get him some looks, you know give him a chance to make some shots, they would go in. But, yeah, even his passing, just little things he does on the floor, he’€™s been great.’€

Wallace had a simple message for Finley on Monday – keep it simple and I’ll find you on the court.

“I’€™ve seen it in college when he was at Wisconsin, and you know for the few teams he played with here in the league, I know what type of player Fin is,” ‘Sheed said. “That’€™s one thing I told him when he first came here, when were out there in that second unit, I’€™m going to swing you the ball, just basic basketball. I’€™m going to come over set the pick, you can either come off for the shot, drop it off, or just play basketball and make that next pass.’€

More to the point, Finley, if he continues to play like he did Monday night, makes the Celtics’ bench that much more difficult to match up against come playoff time.

‘€œIt gives us another guy where you have to step up,” Wallace said. “And I say that from an offensive standpoint, you know guys will have to respect Fin’€™s jump shot and driving ability, and that pretty much leaves all the post players open for a one on one.’€

‘€œHe’€™s a veteran,” added Daniels. “He’€™s a shooter. That’€™s something he does, it’s like riding a bike. He knows how to shoot the ball and he does it well.’€

Read More: Celtics, Michael Finley, NBA, Pistons

One year later: The tweet that impacted the NBA

03.15.10 at 11:22 pm ET
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One year ago Monday, then-Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva entered the locker room during halftime of the Bucks-Celtics game. He logged into Twitter and posted the following tweet:

@CV31: In da locker room, snuck to post my twitt. We’re playing the Celtics, tie ball game at da half. Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up.

Those hundred-something characters opened the virtual book on social networking in the NBA. His midgame tweet was frowned upon, and it created a ripple effect: Before the start of this season, a league-wide policy was enacted. Among its guidelines included the restriction of cell phones and other communication devices 45 minutes before the game and prohibited it during halftime.

A year later, Villanueva, now a member of the Pistons, is still surprised by the impact.

‘€œIt’€™s funny, because Twitter wasn’€™t really that big of a deal, like nobody really knew too much about it,’€œ he told following Monday’s Pistons-Celtics game. ‘€œI didn’€™t know it was going to get that much attention. I just did it, fun for the fans and whatnot, and the next day it just blew up. The media just took it and ran with it.

“Obviously I didn’€™t mean for it to get that much attention, but hey, it put my name out there even more,’€ he added with a laugh.

As of Monday night, Villanueva had 73,685 followers. It is a huge jump from his following a year ago. In an instant, he went from a Twitter novice to one of the early faces of social media in the NBA.

‘€œIt was crazy because I had just started, too,’€ he said. ‘€œI probably had like 2,000 followers at first. It was probably a couple of months old, two or three months old, my account. After that, it rose to like 13,000 in two or three days. It was ridiculous. Ever since, it’€™s just been picking up.’€

Villanueva has turned a potential negative into a positive by taking advantage of the benefits of social networking. He has raised awareness for charitable organizations, held contests for his followers to win game tickets, and spread well wishes to friends and fans alike.

‘€œThere are a lot of opportunities,’€ he explained. ‘€œYou get to meet a lot of people. It’€™s very important for networking, just opportunities come abound, appearances, they can just work directly with you instead of going through a third party.’€

Twitter has become the norm for many NBA players. On the Celtics, Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) has over 1.5 million followers, Ray Allen (@greenRAYn20) has nearly 25,000, and Shelden Williams (@SheldenWilliams) is a frequent tweeter with over 10,000 followers.

Now a seasoned vet, Villanueva has some advice for his fellow NBA athletes who are starting out in the world of social networking.

‘€œWhat the fans want to see is you being straight up and interacting with them as well,’€œ he suggested. ‘€œShowing pictures as well, they want to see what’€™s going on, what an NBA player does on a day-to-day basis.’€

Tweeting has become something Villanueva does on a day-to-day basis. Except during halftime, of course.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Charlie Villanueva, Detroit Pistons, Paul Pierce

Fast Break: Celtics – Pistons

03.15.10 at 9:42 pm ET
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No one on the Celtics scored more than 15 points yet they beat the Pistons by 26, 119-93, on Monday in Boston.

The victory was a total team effort, the kind of win the Celtics needed after their leadership had been critiqued. Ray Allen said the team has “a bunch of leaders,” and showed up on Monday. Every player on the C’s scored.

Allen, Michael Finley, and Paul Pierce scored 15 points apiece; Kevin Garnett scored 14; Glen Davis contributed 13; and Kendrick Perkins and Marquis Daniels each added 11. (Rajon Rondo scored just three points and dished six assists.) The Celtics shot 62.2 percent from the field, 0.1 percent away from their season high.

Player of the Game: Finley was the spark plug off the bench the Celtics have needed. He started off shooting a perfect 3-for-3 and finished the game 6-for-7 from the field and 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Finley’s 15 was the most he has scored since October 20, 2009 when he posted 20 against the Thunder in preseason action.

Turning Point: After being tied 6-6 five minutes into the game, the Celtics went on a 14-3 run early in the first quarter. They got up by as many as 18 early on and never gave up their lead.

Tayshaun Prince left the game with 4:53 remaining in the third after hitting his lower back against Jason Maxiell’s knee while fighting for a rebound. A timeout was called as Prince lay on the court and received medical attention. He was eventually helped off by the Pistons staff and did not return to the game.

– Before the game, Doc Rivers affirmed that he is not giving up on the Celtics. ‘€œI don’€™t care how frustrating it gets for me,’€ he said. ‘€œI see it, and if you see it or not, I see it and I’€™m going to get it out of you. And that’€™s what I told them after the game [Sunday]. I don’€™t know how but I will get it out of you.’€ Rivers also pointed out Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels and said both players could be more productive. Wallace posted 8 points and 4 rebounds; Daniels contributed 11 points and 5 boards.

Tony Allen set Nate Robinson up for an alley-oop dunk off the backboard with 43.5 seconds left. Despite drawing a standing O from the crowd, Robinson was called for a technical for hanging on the rim.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons,
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