|01.22.10 at 10:30 pm ET|
BOSTON ‘ Kevin Garnett’s return was nothing short of dramatic.
The Celtics expected energy from their big man and this game had plenty of it.
On paper, the combination of KG’s comeback plus homecourt advantage gave the Celtics a clear edge over the Brandon Roy-less Trail Blazers. But nothing has been a sure bet for the C’s as of late and they struggled yet again in the second half to put together four solid quarters of basketball.
The Celtics blundered an 11-point lead, trailed down the stretch, but eventually forced overtime. All they needed was five more minutes to put away the Trail Blazers, 98-85, to snap their three-game losing streak and reclaim control at home.
Player of the Game: Credit Paul Pierce (24 points) for carrying through regulation before fouling out in the final seconds, and then give kudos to Ray Allen in overtime. It is unusual when a player who shoots 3-for-14 from the field is named Player of the Game, but in this instance it was the one who struggled the most that had the biggest impact when it mattered. He drained a three-pointer late in overtime to put the Celtics up by one … and they never looked back.
Turning Point: Let’s start with regulation. Martell Webster hit a long jumper to tie the game at 91 apiece with less than a minute in the fourth. Rondo fought through a cluster of Trail Blazers to snag the rebound at top of the key. Pierce drove the lane on an attempted game-winning layin and instead was whistled for his sixth foul. The Trail Blazers failed to connect and the game headed to overtime.
In OT, Ray Allen made up for a poor offensive performance and hit a critical 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 96-95. Tony Allen beat out LaMarcus Alridge on a steal, sending Aldridge tumbling into the broadcasters table. Tony Allen slammed it home and gave the Celtics a final three-point lead.
– Garnett played 30 minutes in his first game back since December 28. He posted 13 points (4-for-9 FG, 5-5 FG), four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. He was also whistled for five fouls.
– In spite of hitting the the key go-ahead bucket, Allen scored less than 10 points for the third time in the past four games.
– The Celtics were outscored on second chance points (22-8) for the third time in four games. They were outscored 12-0 by the Pistons on Wednesday and 16-2 by the Bulls last week.
– The Trail Blazers bench did not score until just over three minutes left in the second half. Their reserves were outscored 29-11 by the Celtics.
|01.22.10 at 9:09 pm ET|
“I have no reaction,” Rivers answered initially.
But then, as he always does, Rivers offered more perspective.
“It was high,” he added. “I thought it was extreme but I do understand, I get it,” Rivers said.
Rivers then gave a more light-hearted view on the matter.
“You just can’t do what he did and get caught. That’s my last joke on that.”
[Listen to Doc Rivers talk about Baby’s fine in detail by clicking here.]
“It’s very difficult,” Rivers said. “Some of the things we hear in the crowd is just absolutely amazing. There are times I stare up at the guy and hopefully, that menacing look will stop him and it usually doesn’t. Usually, the beer wins out. But it is tough but you have to [control yourself]. It’s not like it’s something new. It’s been going on for quite a long time, for years.”
Davis was fined heavily but not suspended and played on Friday night against Portland. Read the rest of this entry »
|01.22.10 at 7:24 pm ET|
BOSTON — Marquis Daniels has not been told a definitive date, but he hopes to return to action prior to the All-Star Break.
Daniels has been sidelined since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb in December. He had the hard cast removed on Thursday and will wear a soft cast while he continues his rehab.
His return depends on when he can regain a full range of motion in his thumb.
“Right now it’s not really painful, it’s just stiff,” he said before the Celtics – Trail Blazers game, adding, “[My return] could be earlier. It just depends on how my body reacts to it.”
Daniels expects to practice in a week or so. In the meantime, he is just happy to see the hard cast gone.
“It’s very relieving,” he said. “No more tying my hand up to take a shower, tying my shoe, all the small things. “
|01.22.10 at 7:11 pm ET|
Doc Rivers announced before the game that Kevin Garnett will make his return tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 10 games with a hyperextended right knee. The Celtics were 4-6 in his absence.
|01.22.10 at 11:37 am ET|
Marquis Daniels tweeted Friday morning that he had the hard cast taken off of his left hand. He will receive a soft cast to continue his rehab.
@lambo6: ‘Thanks to my higher power my good LORD n Saviour on that note Got my cast off one step closer to gettn back, so excited.’
Daniels underwent surgery in December to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to return around the All-Star Break in February.
|01.22.10 at 10:21 am ET|
Kevin Garnett’s return, if it happens tonight, couldn’t come at a better time for the Celtics. But for Garnett personally, the timing couldn’t be worse. The Celtics have problems right now ranging from the physical to the mental. Garnett can help fix some of those things but he can’t do it all in one night, and it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask him to try.
Garnett hasn’t played since the end of 2009, or just over three weeks ago, and during that time he apparently did no conditioning before this week, according to the team. It will take him a week’s worth of action, at least, to get back in rhythm and game-condition. The end game isn’t for the Celtics to get out of their swoon, it’s to be functioning on all cylinders in April, May and June.
All that said, if he does play tonight, his mere presence can have a galvanizing effect on a team that has grown stale. Just don’t expect him to solve all the Celtics problems yet.
TRAIL BLAZERS (26-17, 6-4 last 10)
Points Per Game: 97.7
Points Allowed: 94.2
Differential: +3.5 (Eighth)
Offensive Efficiency: 111.0 (Fifth)
Defensive Efficiency: 107.1 (17th)
Pace: 87.4 (30th)
CELTICS (27-13, 4-6 last 10)
Points Per Game: 99.9
Points Allowed: 93.8
Differential: +6.1 (Third)
Offensive Efficiency: 108.2 (11th)
Defensive Efficiency: 101.6 (Third)
Pace: 91.8 (21st)
|01.21.10 at 8:13 pm ET|
Kevin Garnett was voted in by the fans as a starter to the 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, the NBA announced on Thursday night. Garnett received 1,978,116 votes for his 13th All-Star selections. LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, and Dwyane Wade were also named to the East team. Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash were named starters for the West. The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 14 in Dallas.
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