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Celtics-Nets Game Blog: Second Quarter

01.14.09 at 8:14 pm ET
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FIRST HALF NUMBERS: Celtics lead 51-41 at halftime thanks to 52.6% shooting from the field. KG leads all players with 14 points (6/8 FG) and Ray Allen has 10. The Celtics have also attempted 12 treys (4/12 3PG) compared to the Nets four (1/4). They slowed down Devin Harris in the second quarter (5 points) and limited his passing to just two assists.

Second Quarter Notes

– The second quarter gets underway with Ray AllenPaul Pierce … Big Baby smiling from ear-to-ear after draining a three from way past the arc. That was Davis’ first trey of his NBA career.

– Pierce is in with the second unit (Davis/Powe/House/Pruitt). Vince Carter, who threw himself on to the Nets bench earlier in the game, is on the court. He’s a little hobbled but still aggressive at the hoop.

– Kudos to Big Baby for his effort on the boards. He may not be grabbing every missed shot but he is in the mix each time the ball goes up.

– Back by popular demand (allegedly), Celtics Slow Dance 3. It’s another slo-mo video montage of memorable dance moves from the Garden set to LoneStar’s “Amazed.” I’ll give the prize to my personal favorite, Soulja Boy Junior.

Brook Lopez is back in with Davis and Powe as the Celtics big men. Doc Rivers, who has been watching Lopez since high school, said the key to guarding him is keeping him off the glass rather than trying to get your own rebounds.

– No look pass from KG to Big Baby for a three-point play. I hope the fans sitting courtside were looking when Davis jumped into them chasing a loose ball. Davis has four fouls in 12 minutes, not including barrelling over spectators.

– Who said Rondo didn’t have a jumper? He drained a 20-footer as the shot clock expired. If only he could do that every night …

– KG ended the second quarter with huge “think about this at halftime” dunk.

- At the half … Celtics 51, Nets 41

Read More: Big Baby, Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, New Jersey Nets

Celtics-Nets Game Blog: First Quarter

01.14.09 at 7:38 pm ET
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We are live from the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the New Jersey Nets. We are at the midway point of the Celtics season and oddly this is the first meeting between the two teams. The Celtics have already played Toronto four times, the Knicks three times and the Sixers twice, but no Swamp Dragons so far. Curious.

We’ll be following the matchup between Rajon Rondo and Devin Harris all night, but there’s also an intriguing situation with 7-foot rookie Brook Lopez and Brian Scalabrine, who is most definitely not 7-feet but is starting in place of Kendrick Perkins.

Away we go… Read the rest of this entry »

Rhythm key for Perkins

01.14.09 at 7:27 pm ET
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Before Wednesday night’s game against the New Jersey Nets, Kendrick Perkins broke a sweat working on his post moves. He banked shots over Patrick O’Bryant and then sprinted down the court at the orders of Sam Cassell. This would seem like just another night, except Perkins is injured. That isn’t stopping the big man, though, from keeping his rhythm.

‘€œI’m just trying to stay on top of my conditioning,’€ Perkins said prior to the game. ‘€œI don’t want to lose my rhythm so I’m working on my post moves, doing a lot of shots, I did some jump roping, and a lot of court running, and stuff like that. I don’t want to be too far off.’€

Perkins will miss at least a week with a reoccurring shoulder injury. It has plagued him since a Christmas Day game against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, and is the explanation behind his recent inconsistency on the glass. As a precaution, Perkins is avoiding physical contact. Other than that, he’s following the same routine.

‘€œI just [can’t] play basketball, contact, that’s it,’€ he said. ‘€œI hit the weights earlier today so it’s getting better by the day … You’ve got to scale back but it never really fell off. I’m pretty much on the same page, I’m just doing different type of exercises now to work different parts of the muscle, so that’s really what I’m concentrating on.’€

Perkins hopes to play next Monday against the Phoenix Suns, but said he is not going to rush his return. As for Brian Scalabrine, who has been filling in for Perkins, his return against Shaquille O’Neal would be perfect timing.

‘€œWow,’€ said a wide-eyed Scalabrine, unaware of the upcoming match up. ‘€œI’d like the opportunity to start but Perk is the guy who should be on the Diesel.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Kendrick Perkins, New Jersey Nets

Game Preview: Twin Tower

01.14.09 at 9:15 am ET
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Boston Celtics (31-9) vs. New Jersey Nets (19-19)

It is never easy when a starting center goes down. With Kendrick Perkins out at least a week, Doc Rivers will have to use an undersized rotation of Brian Scalabrine and Leon Powe at the five spot. The Celtics caught a break in the past two games when the Toronto Raptors were without Jermaine O’€™Neal, but on Wednesday night the New Jersey Nets could pose a sizable challenge ‘€¦ a 7′ challenge to be exact.

Brook Lopez, the twin brother of Phoenix Suns center Robin, is emerging as a rookie to watch this season. He is coming off of a career-high 31 point, 13 rebound performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder and is averaging 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the last ten games. Lopez isn’€™t just beating up on lottery teams either. He posted 17 points, 10 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers and 15 points, 13 boards against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tip-off is at 7:30pm EST. Stay with WEEI’€™s Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the Garden.

Rondo: Feels good to win

01.14.09 at 8:34 am ET
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In the latest edition of his blog, Rajon Rondo said he is happy to be back on the winning side of things. Back-to-back victories over the Toronto Raptors have the Boston Celtics point guard feeling good again.

I’m glad to say that we have won the last two games (knock on wood). I don’t want to jinx anything, but these past two wins have felt great. It is extremely tough to beat the same team back to back, but I’m glad that we did. Our defense was better and we were able to make shots-two things that we needed. We have another game tomorrow. Hopefully, we will be able to get the W.

Rondo averaged 11.5 points, 9.5 assists, and 5.5 rebounds in the last two wins. He will be tested tonight against the New Jersey Nets standout PG Devin Harris.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets, Rajon Rondo

Sounds of the game… Celtics 115, Raptors 109 OT

01.13.09 at 6:42 am ET
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Maybe Kevin Garnett is right. Maybe the Celtics should play the theme from Superman every time Paul Pierce steps on the court. On a bum right knee, or at least very ‘ginger’ as Pierce himself said, the Celtics captain made 13 of his 26 shots and totaled a season-high 39 points to lead the Celtics to a 115-109 overtime win against the Toronto Raptors Monday night at TD Banknorth Garden. With the Celtics already missing starting center Kendrick Perkins with a bad left shoulder and Tony Allen in a protective boot with a sprained right ankle, Pierce picked it up a notch for the entire game, even when Andrea Bargnani hit a three with one second remaining. Pierce did have a supporting cast, as Kevin Garnett scored 20, Ray Allen 12 and Brian Scalabrine, playing for Perkins, chipped in with 11, including three three-pointers.

Paul Pierce said he can play through the injury.

Pierce and Garnett together talk about Pierce’s secret weapon on dealing with the pain.

Garnett has an idea for those running the music at the Garden.

Head coach Doc Rivers said Pierce has a way of playing through the pain.

Rivers said Scalabrine has a way of getting the job done.

Scalabrine said this was just a good win.

Doc Rivers describes what Kendrick Perkins is going through.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Brian Scalabrine, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

Feeling like the playoffs already

01.12.09 at 9:49 pm ET
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It was a familiar scene. The Dropkick Murphy’s ‘€œI’m Shipping Up to Boston’€ blared in the background. Fans jumped around in their seats and screamed when prompted by Kevin Garnett on the JumboTron.  Paul Pierce had an unwavering look of determination on his face. Ray Allen drained a three and the Boston Celtics bench could hardly contain themselves. It’s only January, but on Monday night it felt a lot like June in the Garden.

‘€œIt reminded me a lot of the playoffs, the intensity,’€ said Glen Davis. ‘€œWe had to get us a win, try to get us a streak going again. We just found a way to win tonight and the crowd was there for us and gave us some good energy.’€

Similar to a postseason schedule, the Celtics took on the Raptors for the second time in as many days. Sunday’s game had been intense, with technical fouls and a close finish. Monday’s 115-109 overtime triumph over Toronto did not have any less energy.

‘€œThey showed great fan support, like they’ve been doing all year and my entire career here,’€ said Rajon Rondo. ‘€œThat’s how it is basically every game when we’re at the Garden, especially when in close game situations. We need them to step up and make noise and they definitely do a great job of it.’€

Up three points with seconds left in regulation, the Celtics watched the Raptors drain a trey to send the game into overtime. The starters had already been exhausted through the first four quarters. Pierce, who recently aggravated his knee, had played nearly 45 minutes. Allen, Garnett and Rondo were all approaching 40. Nonetheless, there was no let-up in the Garden.

‘€œActually, I felt pretty good,’€ said Pierce. ‘€œCould have played another quarter I think. I’m feeling pretty good.’€

It took nine ties and six lead changes for the Celtics to put the Raptors away by six points in OT (RECAP HERE). Even though the game ran relatively late by NBA standards, the fans weren’t packing up. Neither were the Celtics.

‘€œThey gave us a lot of energy, just to play even harder,’€ said Leon Powe. ‘€œEven when you didn’t think you had any more left, you push yourself even harder just to get the win and get a stop for the fans and for ourselves. It was just fun to be out there. I know everybody had fun, with the fans yelling and the coaches yelling, everybody on the bench standing up. It was like a playoff atmosphere again.’€

Just as in the playoffs, every game counts this season. The Eastern Conference is not promised to the Celtics and they have competition at the top of the standings for homecourt advantage. Whether they are playing the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Memphis Grizzlies, no game can be taken lightly.

‘€œOur fans are not dummies. I know they are looking at the top three rankings right now with Cleveland and Orlando and us, and they know every game is important,’€ said Kendrick Perkins. ‘€œSo I’m expecting that from every home game from here on out. Every game is important and we’ve got to expect the same thing from the fans.’€

It was only January but it felt like June. And the Celtics are expecting the same intensity come the playoffs.

‘€œThey got pretty loud tonight and they’re just getting warmed up,’€ said Ray Allen. ‘€œThey’re getting warmed up.’€

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