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Fast Break: Celtics suffer overtime loss to Lakers

Posted By Ben Rohrbach On February 9, 2012 @ 10:51 pm In General | 3 Comments


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Paul Pierce [1]‘s fadeaway jumper missed the mark and Ray Allen [2]‘s put-back got blocked as the Celtics [3] suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Lakers, 88-87.

The entire OT was a struggle for both teams, so an Andrew Bynum [4] tip-in with 1:29 to play proved the difference. The Lakers outscored the Celtics 6-5 in the extra period.

With a little more than a minute remaining in regulation and the Celtics trailing by one, Allen converted his second 3-pointer of the night to give the Celtics an 82-80 lead as “Beat L.A.” chants rained down from the Garden rafters. But Pau Gasol [5] tied the game with nine seconds remaining, and the final Celtics play before overtime resulted in a wild, failed 30-footer by Mickael PIetrus [6].

Gasol (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Andrew Bynum (16 points, 17 rebounds) both registered double-doubles, and Kobe Bryant [7] added 27 points for the Lakers (15-11).

Allen’s 22 points led the Celtics (14-11) in scoring, Kevin Garnett [8] (12 points, 12 rebounds) recorded a double-double, and Pierce and Rajon Rondo [9] combined for 32 points and 14 assists. The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the C’s.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Spry Bynum: Jermaine O’Neal [10] and the other veteran Boston bigs had trouble with Lakers 24-year-old center Andrew Bynum‘s youth and athleticism. A healthy Bynum is a dangerous Bynum, as the 7-footer nearly had a double-double by halftime. In fact, Doc Rivers [11] turned to Chris Wilcox [12] for a stretch — his first extended minutes with the Big Four.

Board room: Along similar lines, the Lakers size exploited an issue that’s plagued the Celtics this season — namely, rebounding. Bynum, Gasol and old friend Troy Murphy [13] of all people corralled 40 rebounds as the Lakers out-boarded the Celtics, 55-45. Uncharacteristically, Rondo didn’t record a rebound until there was three minutes to play.

Backing up the point: With Keyon Dooling [14] still sidelined and a suited up Avery Bradley [15] considered doubtful before the game, Rivers could only turn to E’Twaun Moore [16] for backup point guard minutes behind Rondo. Moore played four first-half minutes and registered a minus-8, so the Celtics had no choice but to play Rondo 40-plus minutes.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Mondo Rondo: Given that the Lakers had to throw out Derek Fisher and Steve Blake [17] against Rondo, there’s no wonder Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak would inquire about the should-be three-time All-Star point guard. Rondo owned both Fisher and Blake, getting to the hoop with ease and creating shots all over the floor early. That trend changed late — one reason for the Celtics end-of-game struggles.

Pietrus dishes: Newest Celtic Mickael Pietrus continues to fill his role to perfection: Spread the offense and tighten the defense. He took four first-half field goals — all 3-pointers off the pass — and made a pair of them during a slow offensive stretch. With just over four minutes to play in regulation, he converted another trey off a Pierce crosscourt pass that gave the Celtics a 77-75 lead. And he shouldered some of the defensive minutes against Kobe Bryant, who attempted only six shots before the half as the C’s took a 47-45 advantage.

Throwing down: Garnett appeared to have some extra pep in his step, converting three dunks in the first half alone — including one on a lob pass from Rondo that brought back memories from the 2007-08 season. Heck, even Jermaine O’Neal dunked on Pau Gasol in the third quarter. You don’t see that every day. Then again, Gasol tossed Bryant an alley-oop that probably rated higher on the difficulty scale, but still …


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2012/02/09/fast-break-celtics-suffer-overtime-loss-to-lakers/

URLs in this post:

[1] Paul Pierce: http://media.weei.com/basketball/paul-pierce.htm

[2] Ray Allen: http://media.weei.com/basketball/ray-allen-celtics.htm

[3] Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[4] Andrew Bynum: http://media.weei.com/basketball/andrew-bynum.htm

[5] Pau Gasol: http://media.weei.com/basketball/pau-gasol.htm

[6] Mickael PIetrus: http://media.weei.com/basketball/mickael-pietrus.htm

[7] Kobe Bryant: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kobe-bryant.htm

[8] Kevin Garnett: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kevin-garnett.htm

[9] Rajon Rondo: http://media.weei.com/basketball/rajon-rondo.htm

[10] Jermaine O’Neal: http://media.weei.com/basketball/jermaine-oneal.htm

[11] Doc Rivers: http://media.weei.com/basketball/doc-rivers.htm

[12] Chris Wilcox: http://media.weei.com/basketball/chris-wilcox.htm

[13] Troy Murphy: http://media.weei.com/basketball/troy-murphy.htm

[14] Keyon Dooling: http://media.weei.com/basketball/keyon-dooling.htm

[15] Avery Bradley: http://media.weei.com/basketball/avery-bradley.htm

[16] E’Twaun Moore: http://media.weei.com/basketball/etwaun-moore.htm

[17] Steve Blake: http://media.weei.com/basketball/steve-blake.htm

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