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The most unlikely contenders

04.18.09 at 5:47 pm ET
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If someone had told Mikki Moore in February that three members of the Sacramento Kings would face each other in the first round of the playoffs, he never would have believed them.

“[It would have taken] a sign from God [to convince me],” Moore laughed prior to Game One of the Celtics-Bulls series. “No, all of us knew that our careers weren’t going to end in Sac, but we didn’t know it was going to happen this fast. But by the blessings of God, we got out of there. ”

The Kings were 11-44 and on a six-game losing streak when Moore was waived on February 19, setting him free to sign with the Boston Celtics. Just a day earlier, they had traded Brad Miller and John Salmons to the Chicago Bulls. The Kings finished the season 17-65 while the trio are continuing theirs in the playoffs.

“It’s a crazy league and things work out crazy sometimes,” said Salmons. ” I’m happy for Mikki that he landed on his feet. He was in a tough situation in Sac from the beginning of the year and being on a good team now, he’s got a great opportunity.”

Moore is happy for his former teammates, too. That is, off the court.

“I’m happy for both him and Brad, just to be able to have another chance to be successful, for them to be able to redeem themselves after another bad season in Sac,” he said. “Those are my brothers and everything, but once the ball’s up in the air, I can’t think of that.”

Read More: Brad Miller, John Salmons, Mikki Moore,

Celtics lose Game 1

04.18.09 at 3:37 pm ET
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The Chicago Bulls held on to a 105-103 OT victory after Ray Allen (1/12 FG) failed to connect on a game-tying shot. Derrick Rose led all scorers with 36 points. Rajon Rondo scored 29 f or the Celtics.

Rose fouls out

04.18.09 at 3:35 pm ET
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Derrick Rose (game-high 36 points) is out of the game with 10.3 seconds left in overtime after committing his sixth foul on Rajon Rondo.

Is the well dry?

04.18.09 at 3:28 pm ET
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The Celtics have gone to the two-man game with Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce time and again in overtime and down the stretch. It usually results in Pierce getting a jumper against a smaller defender, but it puts a tremendous burden on the Captain to carry the load.

Look for more movement in the last minute.

Game 1 in Overtime

04.18.09 at 3:17 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls,

3:25 to what?

04.18.09 at 2:54 pm ET
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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.

Third quarter update

04.18.09 at 2:27 pm ET
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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.

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