|04.18.09 at 3:17 pm ET|
The Celtics and Bulls are headed into overtime tied at 97 apiece.
Final seconds of regulation: Pierce hit a pair of three throws with 37.4 seconds left to put the Celtics up 94-93. Derrick Rose drove the lane and the Celtics were called for goaltending (CHI 95-94, 31.1 seconds). Allen missed his 10th shot of the game, Rondo grabbed the rebound and put it back in (BOS 96-95, 22.1 seconds). Ben Gordon missed, pig pile ensued, Bulls are called for traveling. Call is reversed (12.1 seconds). Rondo called for foul on Rose, made both FTs (CHI 97-96, 9.4 seconds). Pierce pulled up for attempted game-winner, Noah is called for foul. Pierce made one (BOS-CHI 97-97). End of regulation.
|04.18.09 at 2:54 pm ET|
There are three minutes and 25 seconds left in the game. The Celtics are up one, the Garden is electric. The next three and a half minutes might be the most important of the series. The Bulls may not have a better chance to steal a game at the Garden.
|04.18.09 at 2:27 pm ET|
Well, that was different. After playing in third gear for most of the first half the Celtics came out in full throttle for the second half and have a 72-71 lead. Paul Pierce led the charge with eight quick points after being held to just four points in the first half. Ray Allen, however, has still not been able to get himself on track. He is just 1-for-8 from the floor.
The concern for the Celtics is that they have not been getting stops on the defensive end with regularity. Derrick Rose has lived up to his billing and is in the midst of a star-making turn in his playoff debut. If people weren’t aware of Rose yet, they are now.
We are headed to a make or break fourth quarter for early control of this series.
|04.18.09 at 2:07 pm ET|
The Celtics looked lethargic in the first half, but three minutes into the second half they have cut into Chicago’s lead and the Garden is alive again. Paul Pierce, in particular, is lighting it up.
Now they need to get stops.
|04.18.09 at 1:45 pm ET|
At halftime … Bulls 53, Celtics 44
Doc went with this bench to start the quarter, even sending Pierce back to the bench mid-way through the second. Playing the reserves is critical for two reasons — 1. the bench must find a chemistry/rhythm in the postseason and 2. The Bulls want to run. The Celtics starters could get tired out if they are forced to play Chicago’s up-tempo game.
The starting five came back in down 42-38, but they didn’t get the Celtics back in the game. Rather the Bulls ended the half on a 11-6 run. The Celtics are letting the Bulls their style of ball, which leaves the Cs in the dust as they have been outscored by the Bulls 15-2 on fastbreak points.
Pierce and Ray Allen have to play better in the second half. They are a combined 2-for-11 from the field, adding just four points apiece. This game, of course, is far from over. But the Celtics must take control early in the third to make up for a sloppy first half.
|04.18.09 at 1:07 pm ET|
A sloppy start, but both teams settled down into an entertaining back and forth kind of a game. As expected, Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose are going at it like a 1-on-1 game at Rucker Park. Give Rondo the upper hand so far with 12 points. He has been getting into the lane at will and a big reason why the teams are tied at 28-28.
Chicago made a concerted effort to get Ben Gordon started early and he scored seven quick points, but the Celtics adjusted and started bumping him coming off the curl screen. Joakim Noah has been very active (eight points and seven rebounds) and the Bulls big men have been attacking the offensive glass, as expected.
Kendrick Perkins responded with a solid first quarter with eight points and two rebounds. Most importantly, Perk picked up just one foul. He has to stay out of foul trouble.
For those of you wondering about the Kevin Garnett dynamic, KG is rocking a charcoal gray suit and providing non-stop commentary to assistant Kevin Eastman.
|04.18.09 at 12:38 pm ET|
Before Rajon Rondo took the court, Stephon Marbury looked animated as he gave him last minute veteran advice. Kevin Garnett has made a rare appearance on the Celtics bench, too, trading in his sweater/tie combo for a suit. Expect KG to be bellowing plenty of pep talks from the sidelines as well.