Fast Break: Rajon Rondo’s triple-double delivers sixth straight Celtics win
|01.14.13 at 10:01 pm ET|
Apparently, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo doesn’t reserve his triple-doubles just for nationally televised games, since he recorded the 26th such night of his career in a 100-89 win on a Monday night against the Bobcats.
Rondo totaled 17 points (8-11 FG), 12 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Celtics (20-17) to their sixth straight victory. Paul Pierce (19 points), Avery Bradley (16 points) and Jeff Green (11 points) all reached double figures while Kevin Garnett grabbed 10 boards on a poor shooting night (2-11 FG).
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Rondo from the get-go: The Celtics point guard assisted on the C’s first four field goals — getting Bradley, Pierce and Brandon Bass involved within the game’s first 1:45 — and then made their next four buckets, staking the home team to a 16-6 advantage midway through the first quarter. By the end of the opening frame, Rondo recorded nine points, six rebounds and five assists. Needless to say, Good Rondo was in the house.
Avery good night: With the possible exception of his 13-point, five-assist night against the Knicks last week, Bradley enjoyed his sharpest offensive performance of the season. His defense never relents, but his offense hasn’t quite rounded into pre-surgery form. The slashing backdoor buckets are still there, but Bradley connected on 56 percent (20-36) of his corner 3-pointers last season, and he started this winter 2-of-9 from the same spots. Against the Bobcats, however, Bradley made 4-of-7 triples, all from the corner.
Green light: Quietly, Green’s scoring numbers are climbing into double digits. He entered the game averaging 9.7 points per game and connected on four of his first seven shots off the bench, scoring all 11 of his points over a five-minute stretch in the second quarter. He’s now reached double figures in 17 games, including three of his last four. His rebounding numbers, while still not reflective of a 6-foot-9 hybrid forward, are also rising.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Turd quarter: The Celtics led by as many as 18 points and took a 56-45 lead into halftime, holding Charlotte to 28.0 percent shooting while connecting on 63.2 percent of their own shots. But the Bobcats connected on 5-of-6 attempts out of the break, including baskets by four of their five starters, to tie the game at 58 just 3:45 into the second half. The C’s couldn’t stretch the lead beyond seven and led by just six entering the fourth quarter.
Terry-ble: Jason Terry‘s cold January continued. He came into the game averaging just 6.0 points on 37.5 percent shooting (25.0 3P%) for the month, and those numbers actually got worse. Terry missed all three of his attempts, including his lone 3-point try, and finished scoreless for the first time all season. Celtics coach Doc Rivers even turned to Leandro Barbosa off the bench in an eight-point game midway through the fourth quarter.
Freebies: Free throws were pretty much the only thing keeping the Bobcats from being completely blown out. The Celtics totaled more 3′s, more rebounds, more assists, and for the most part kept their turnovers (15) under control, but the Bobcats got to the line 24 times and made 17 of them. Meanwhile, the C’s connected on 14-of-20 free throws, including a rare three misses from Pierce, who had an off shooting night altogether (6-16 FG, 2-8 3P, 5-8 FT).