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Paul Pierce on Miami Heat: ‘I hope they lose every game rest of the season’

03.15.13 at 4:40 pm ET
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Call it bulletin board material. Call it being honest. Or just call it bringing some life to a mid-March meeting. But Jason Terry certainly added some pizazz to Monday night’s matchup between the Celtics and Miami Heat at TD Garden.

Terry was asked what he thought of Miami’s 20-game winning streak heading into this week, just the fourth of 20 or more in NBA history.

“Not really impressed with it or anything that they do,” said Terry, who faced and beat the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. “So, for me, it’s more about what our team is doing and how we’re coming together as a unit.”

Terry’s words add a more flare to a rivalry that dates back to last year’s seven-game Eastern Conference finals, the Ray Allen signing over the summer and a double-overtime Boston win over Miami on Jan. 27 without Rajon Rondo.

Paul Pierce gives the Heat a little more credit for their accomplishment.

“It’s rare when you’ve got a team that plays so well to be able to do that,” Pierce said. “It’s hard not to keep track of it. Anytime you go to NBA.com or ESPN.com, it’s going to be right there. It’s very impressive what they’re doing. It is what it is. But I think they don’t care about the winning streak. All that matters to them, just like us. We had a winning streak 19-games. It would’ve been better if we won the championship. winning streak but it didn’t matter. We didn’t win the championship.

“I really don’t even care. I hope they lose every game the rest of the season. I just worry about what this team does.”

Added Doc Rivers: “I don’t really care. We’re going to play them one way or another, whether they have a streak or coming off a loss. We’ll be ready, I’m sure they will be.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Paul Pierce says foul on Kobe Bryant ‘blown out of proportion’

03.15.13 at 4:29 pm ET
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WALTHAM — From the moment Dahntay Jones fouled Kobe Bryant on Wednesday night, causing Bryant to badly roll his right ankle, it seemed everyone had an opinion, including Kobe himself.

No foul was called but the NBA admitted Friday that one should’ve been called in the game won by the Hawks over Bryant’s Lakers. It was classified as a high ankle sprain and Bryant was questionable for Friday’s game in Indiana.

Celtics captain Paul Pierce saw the same highlight and this was his take:

“I had a chance to kind of see it,” Pierce said. “I think it got kind blown out of proportion. He put his hands up, got into his defender. The fact it was Kobe Bryant, it’s an issue. If it was anybody else (injured), we wouldn’t probably even be talking about this.”

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Doc Rivers on D&C: ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever seen’ defense like Avery Bradley’s

03.14.13 at 12:04 pm ET
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Doc Rivers

Doc Rivers

Celtics coach Doc Rivers made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday to discuss Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce‘s scoring milestones, the Heat’s winning streak and other NBA topics.

In Wednesday night’s 112-88 Celtics win over the Raptors, Garnett passed Jerry West for 15th on the NBA all-time scoring list, while Pierce passed Charles Barkley to moved into 20th place.

“It’s really cool when you hear names like Jerry West,” Rivers said. “Kevin Garnett just passed the NBA logo, and Paul passes Charles Barkley. So when you hear names like that, you know how lucky you are as a coach that you’re coaching guys like that.”

After Garnett’s milestone, he received a thunderous ovation from the TD Garden crowd, and he acknowledged the reception for a few moments. While that might not be a typical thing for Garnett to do, Rivers said that the future Hall-of-Famer is realizing just how close his career is to being over.

“I do think over this year especially, I think he understands that he has how many years left, and we don’t know that,” Rivers said. “But I do think he’s starting to acknowledge a lot of that and appreciate it, and soak it in, and I’m happy he’s doing that.”

The C’s victory Wednesday came after perhaps their worst loss of the season Tuesday. They fell on the road to the lowly Bobcats, 100-74, albeit without Pierce. Similar to how Rivers gave Garnett a game off recently, he decided to do the same with the captain Tuessday.

“Paul was banged up a little bit in the Oklahoma game,” Rivers said. “I thought just the Oklahoma travel, that was a very difficult trip. When you travel basically four hours, get off a plane and play the next day at 12 noon. … That was a difficult game for us.

“You’re thinking about two things. You want to win every game now. But you also want to be fresh and right when the playoffs start. To do that, with Kevin especially, and then maybe Paul, and even JET [Jason Terry], we have to consider doing it.”

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Greatest Kevin Garnett postgame interview ever?

03.14.13 at 12:09 am ET
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After passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and watching Paul Pierce eschew Charles Barkley in 20th, Kevin Garnett offered a rare glimpse inside the personal relationship of the latest Celtics greats.

“Paul and I have history, and it’s only right that we come in here and we make history together,” said Garnett. “At 13, 14, we were tearing up his mom’s living room, breaking vases, almost getting our asses whooped. I was with Paul the first time I ever experienced Crenshaw on a Sunday. For y’all who don’t know about Crenshaw on a Sunday, Crenshaw on a Sunday is a big deal. He was taking me out, and we were being 15, 16 years old.”

It might sound like something out of a sitcom, but the soliloquy Garnett delivered after the C’s 112-88 destruction of the Raptors was nothing but pure, honest truth. When Garnett joined Pierce’s AAU team in high school, he stayed with the Celtics captain and his mother in Inglewood, Calif. The rest is literally history.

“Being able to follow our dream at McDonald’s, having some duration together, trying to go to the same school, obviously going different paths, and then finally meeting up here in Boston, winning the championship, doing the things we’ve been doing since we’ve been here — 20,000 points, now we’re surpassing people that we grew up mimicking and obviously idolizing — it’s special,” added Garnett. “It’s special to do with a personal friend. You know what I mean? Not just a teammate, but a real friend. Someone who knows you, knows your family, knows who you are, where you come from and vice versa. Knows the things that motivate you and push you.

“I always tell people that I’ve got the greatest seat in the house to watch one of the best players in NBA history put the ball in the basket every night, and it’s special to be able to do it with him.”

Let’s just say the feeling is mutual.

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Fast Break: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce help Celtics spread wealth

03.13.13 at 9:58 pm ET
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Seven Celtics scored in double figures and every member of the team but Shavlik Randolph made a bucket as they handed the Raptors a 112-88 blowout win to bounce back from a loss to the Bobcats the night before.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

New Logo: In what’s becoming a nightly occurrence, Garnett passed another milestone, the Celtics crowd gave him a standing ovation and he reciprocated with a salute. This time, Garnett (12 points) passed Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with a layup two minutes into the second quarter. Midway through the third quarter, Pierce (15 points) surpassed Charles Barkley to claim 20th on the same list and also saluted the cheering crowd.

Green lantern: After shooting a combined 16-for-47 (34 FG%) in his last four games, Green came out firing. He made 5-of-7 attempts, including his lone 3-pointer, to enter the break as the lone player in double digits (12). His three rebounds paired with Garnett’s seven first-half boards gave the C’s an early edge on the glass. Green finished with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

Air Jordan: Jordan Crawford submitted his best two performances in a Celtics uniform in back-to-back games. After scoring 14 points in the stinker against the Bobcats, he totaled 12 against the Raptors, and each basket was more improbable than the next. The off-balance 3-pointer to beat the shot clock and a half dunk over a chagrined Raptor in transition were just two of his highlights. At some point, as the kid keeps hitting ridiculous shots, it’s more skill than luck, right?

WHAT WENT WRONG

Worst first: It’s hard to tell whether the first quarter was even basketball or not. The Celtics and Raptors combined for 11 turnovers (BOS 6, TOR 5), Jason Terry (12 points) earned himself a silly technical foul for batting the ball off an announcer and the C’s allowed 14 points in the paint. The result? A 22-21 Toronto lead after one.

Turd-quarter runs: The Celtics built a 53-40 lead a minute into the second half, but they proceeded to watch as the Raptors ran off a 9-0 run that included three layups and a Rudy Gay (19 points) dunk. For the sake of Garnett and Pierce’s legs, thankfully the C’s closed out the third quarter on a 28-13 run, taking an 81-62 edge into the final frame.

Finish rim: Avery Bradley came into the game shooting a season-worst 56 percent at the rim. Considering the number of times he gets himself open under the basket, that’s disturbing, but most of his misses seem to come in transition, when he’s 1-on-1 with a defender as he was at the end of the first quarter. Since Bradley’s defensive prowess will so often put him in transition, he needs to work on finishing at the rim.

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Milestone win: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce pass NBA legends in laugher over Raptors

03.13.13 at 9:53 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett rejects Jonas Valanciunas (17) as the Celtics celebrated a milestone win for Garnett and Paul Pierce. (AP)

Kevin Garnett rejects Jonas Valanciunas (17) as the Celtics celebrated a milestone win for Garnett and Paul Pierce. (AP)

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce achieved significant NBA scoring milestones while leading the Celtics to a bounce-back 112-88 blowout win over the Raptors Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Garnett scored 12 points and passed Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with a dunk with 6:30 left in the first half. Pierce scored 15 and passed Charles Barkley for 20th place on the same list with a pair of free throws midway through the third quarters.

Both Pierce and Garnett received a video tribute during separate timeouts and a standing ovation from the Garden crowd.

Riding a two-game losing streak, the Celtics (35-29) raced out to an early 18-12 lead but thanks to six first-quarter turnovers, allowed Toronto to go on a 10-4 run to end the quarter and trailed the Raptors, 22-21, after 12 minutes. Seven Celtics scored in double figures and Shav Randolph was the only Celtic not to score.

The Celtics took better care of the ball in the second quarter and raced out to a 49-40 lead at the half, as Jeff Green scored 12 points in the quarter. Green finished with a team-best 20 points while Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford had 12 each off the bench.

THe Celtics quickly built their lead to 13 in the opening minute of the third, 53-40, but the Raptors came back to close to within four, 60-56. The Celtics finally put the game away with a 21-6 run to end the third and head into the fourth with an 81-62 lead. Former Celtic Sebastian Telfair picked up his second technical foul in the third quarter intermission and was ejected.

The Celtics built their lead up to as many as 25 in garbage time, allowing Doc Rivers to take out Garnett with just under 10 minutes left. However, unlike the night before, Garnett was getting rest because of a blowout lead.

The win came one night after arguably Boston’s worst effort of the season in a 26-point loss to the lowly Bobcats in Charlotte. The Celtics have Thursday off and will practice Friday in advance of their rare Saturday night home game, a revenge contest against the Bobcats at the Garden.

The Celtics will conclude their three-game homestand with a Monday night game at the Garden with LeBron James and the Heat, who ran their win streak to 20 games with a narrow 98-94 win over the Sixers Wednesday night in Philadelphia. The Heat have road games against Milwaukee Friday and Toronto Sunday afternoon before taking on the Celtics in Boston Monday night.

For more from the team of Mike Petraglia and Ben Rohrbach from the Garden, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

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Doc Rivers: ‘Just like we wanted Ray to stay, I know they wanted Wes to stay’

03.13.13 at 7:34 pm ET
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Doc Rivers (left) and Bill Belichick (right) have a lot in common, like losing popular free agents. (AP)

Doc Rivers (left) and Bill Belichick (right) have a lot in common, like losing popular free agents. (AP)

The shockwaves from the Wes Welker signing in Denver extended not only beyond New England but beyond the NFL.

Just ask Doc Rivers. The Celtics head coach is a close friend of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and was the guest of the Patriots coach on Dec. 10 when the Patriots beat the Texans on Monday night football at Gillette Stadium.

So, Rivers, who grew up a Bears fan, actually felt badly for Patriots fans and acknowledged as much before the Celtics hosted Toronto Wednesday night at TD Garden, just hours after Welker’s seismic signing with the Broncos.

“Say it ain’t so, Wes,” Rivers said in opening his pre-game press availability Wednesday night.

But the most interesting part of Rivers’ reaction came later when asked if he ever talked about team building and keeping it together. Rivers compared Welker’s exit to that of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat.

“We lost Ray, it feels like, the same way that they lost Wes,” Rivers said. “We wanted him, we did everything we could, and somehow they go somewhere else.”

The similarity is striking. Allen left via free agency for Boston’s chief rival and defending champion Miami Heat. Welker is now going to the Broncos and playing with Peyton Manning, New England’s biggest rival behind the Ravens in the AFC.

“Just like we wanted Ray to stay, I know they wanted Wes to stay,” said Rivers. “It just sometimes doesn’t work out.“

For more, visit the Celtics and Patriots team pages at weei.com/celtics and weei.com/patriots.

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