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Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: Fourth Quarter

12.15.08 at 7:30 pm ET
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Click here for Paul’s third quarter recap.

The final 12 minutes are going to be physical. Tony Allen is taking it hard to the basket and Andrei Kirilenko and Matt Harpring aren’t letting him get there easily. Leon Powe got whistled for a controversial moving block and the Garden is not happy about this one.

– As we reported earlier, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps arrived at the Garden at halftime. During the fourth quarter he made an appearance with Jared Fogle (aka: The Subway Guy) to promote his recent endorsement with Subway.

– Gabe Pruitt’s back in and showing no hesitation on the long-range shot. After he drained a three a fan near me said, “I like this Pruitt kid.” Could he become this season’s Leon Powe? He got a standing O when he left the game.

Kevin Garnett needs the fans to feel it, at least that’s what he said on the Jumbotron. KG is feeling it with a seven point lead heading into the final five. The starters are back in and all are in double digits tonight.

– Rondo and Williams are engaged in a battle of daring shots.

– After this game P.J. Brown isn’t the only Louisiana Tech alum the Celtics will remember. Paul Millsap has been the offensive spark for the Jazz and will finish as the game’s leading scorer barring a freakish offensive spree.

Paul Pierce left the game with less than a minute left after a collision under the basket. Pierce grabbed his knee and was helped off the court by Glen Davis and Leon Powe.

- Game over. Celtics 100, Jazz 91. Recap here.

Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: Third Quarter

12.15.08 at 6:54 pm ET
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The Celtics strange run of poor second quarters continues as a double-digit lead is now a tie as we head to the second half.

The good: Kendrick Perkins with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The bad: 14 turnovers.

On we go… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: Second Quarter

12.15.08 at 6:12 pm ET
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Before the start of the second quarter Kevin Garnett pulled Rajon Rondo … and a ball boy … aside to demonstrate an offensive scheme. KG ran over the move three times while the ball boy had a quiet smile on his face.

– There’s a man two rows from the court wearing a Sebastian Telfair jersey. Either he’s a diehard fan or he scored on the sale rack.

– Talk about a true second unit: Gabe Pruitt, Tony Allen, Brian Scalabrine, Glen Davis, and Leon Powe. I’m waiting for Patrick O’Bryant to check-in and then it’d feel like a real fourth quarter blow out.

– The Scal experiment has been short-lived tonight. Ray Allen’s back on the court with 8:30 left in the game, looking to push the Celtics lead back up to double-digits. Here comes KG … and Rondo. Doc’s going for defense with Ray and Tony Allen, Leon Powe, Garnett, and Rondo.

– With the Celtics starters on the court the Jazz have tied it up at 37. Doc Rivers said it would be difficult to control the ball tonight and the Jazz have the Celtics playing sloppy.

– Here’s the problem: the Celtics aren’t hitting their shots and the Jazz are having their way in the paint. The Celtics shot 6-for-18 from the field and scored just six points in the paint in the second quarter. The Jazz, on the other hand, scored 10 points in the paint. It’s tied 43-43 at the half and still anyone’s game.

Celtics-Jazz Game Blog: First Quarter

12.15.08 at 5:34 pm ET
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We are live at the Garden for tonight’s game between the Celtics and the Utah Jazz. Some pregame drama surrounded the C’s as traffic delayed several players arrival. At last check Rajon Rondo was the last one to to make it in, but he is here and on the court warming up. That’s good news for the C’s because Eddie House is not here. He is with his family after his aunt died, and is expected to be back on Wednesday in Atlanta.

That means Gabe Pruitt will be first off the bench behind Rondo and Tony Allen may see some time as well. Sam Cassell is also in uniform and according to Doc Rivers “might play.” Might being a particularly strong word.

Regardless, we’re ready to go. Will it be 15 in a row for the C’s? Will the Jazz repeat last year’s blowout? Will another coach get fired between now and then? Let’s find out… Read the rest of this entry »

Celtics Battle Traffic, Then Jazz

12.15.08 at 5:30 pm ET
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The Boston Celtics had to battle a different kind of opponent before their game against the Utah Jazz: Traffic. A mid-afternoon accident caused major delays on 93 North in Boston, a popular route to the TD BankNorth Garden. Twenty minute rides turned into hour-long endeavors as many of the players sat in gridlock traffic. Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe, and Brian Scalabrine showed up after 6pm and hurried to get in their pregame shots. Rajon Rondo arrived around 6:45.

This is a game where Rondo would probably appreciate extra practice time. Even though Deron Williams is recovering from an ankle injury, he still poses a oversized challenge for the Celtics point guard. Rondo will look to use his speed and length to outplay Williams, who is second in the league in assists. Williams couldn’t quantify just how fast Rondo is but noted that rookies Russell Westbrook and Mario Chalmers are already showing the most similarities to Rondo’s game.

Another NBA Coach Fired

12.15.08 at 12:38 pm ET
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The Sacramento Kings will have a new head coach when they take on the Boston Celtics at the end of the month. On Monday the Kings fired head coach Reggie Theus, the sixth NBA head coach to be let go this season. The team is 6-18 without their leading scorer Kevin Martin (ankle) and 1-9 over the last ten games. Theus was hired at the start of last season and recorded 44 wins and 62 losses (.415) during his tenure. He attended the same high school as Paul Pierce, Inglewood High School in California. Assistant coach Kenny Natt will serve as interim head coach. The Celtics play the Kings on December 28 in California.

Preview: Boston Celtics vs. Utah Jazz

12.15.08 at 10:27 am ET
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On Monday night the Boston Celtics (22-2) will take on the Utah Jazz (15-10) at the TD BankNorth Garden. The Celtics are off to a franchise-best start and enter tonight on a 14-game winning streak. The Jazz, who are 6-4 in their last 10 games, have been trying to find consistency without Carlos Boozer (left quad).

Celtics Out for Revenge
There were few teams last season who beat the Celtics, let alone blew them out. Of their 16 regular season losses, the 110-92 embarrassment at the Garden was the worst they suffered. Doc Rivers pointed out Deron Williams‘ 18 free-throw attempts in that game. It didn’t matter how many he made (17, for the record), 18 trips to the line was the problem in itself. Also that night, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen combined for 2-for-9 from the field and the Celtics shot 3-for-15 from long range.

“That was the one game that I can remember that they really, really beat us,” Paul Pierce said. “A lot of losses we had, it was like we had a chance to win. But we just had no chance versus Utah. They outplayed us, they out-hustled us, they out-executed us, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. They’re a very good team and well coached with some great players.”

Match Up to Watch: Rondo vs. Williams
Prior to last Friday’s game against the New Orleans Hornets, Rajon Rondo was unaware he would be going up against Chris Paul and Deron Williams in back-to-back games. Williams is averaging 10.3 assists, second in the league only to Paul, and 12.3 points. Nonetheless, Rondo does not use these match ups to measure his own progress.

‘€œI don’€™t look at it like that,’€ Rondo said. ‘€œEvery night I feel like at the point guard position is pretty tough no matter who we’€™re against. I didn’€™t know we played Utah next but last night I had Juan Dixon and tonight (Friday) I have Chris Paul, so that’€™s just part of the NBA. I think the point guard is the hardest position to guard each night.’€

In the Last Five Games …

Boston: 109.0 PPG, +16.8 margin of victory, 50.0% FG, 41.8% 3PG, 74.7% FT, 23.8 APG, 46.0 RPG, 8.4 SPG
Utah: 101.6 PPG, +5.6 margin of victory, 47.2% FG, 36.5% 3PG, 74.5% FT, 25.8 APG, 42.4 RPG, 10.4 SPG

Stay with WEEI’s Live Celtics Game Day Blog for all the latest from the TD BankNorth Garden.

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