Celtics sunk by coming out party of Anthony Davis, drop fourth straight
|03.16.14 at 8:51 pm ET|
Sunday night the Celtics proved they are nothing if not entertaining in this rebuilding season.
Former No. 1 pick Anthony Davis scored a career-high 40 points to lead the New Orleans Pelicans a heart-pounding 121-120 overtime win over the Celtics in the Bayou Sunday night. Davis added 21 rebounds, the first 40-20 game in the history of the New Orleans franchise. Jared Sullinger, who helped sparked a late fourth quarter rally with a 3-pointer, missed a trey with 11 seconds remaining that would have given the Celtics the lead.
The last two minutes of regulation featured a frantic Boston rally and several wild sequences.
Kris Humphries forced the overtime when he took an inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo and drained a 20-foot turnaround jumper at the regulation buzzer. Jeff Green matched his season high with 39 points while Humphries had another double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Green was fouled in the act of taking a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining and made all three free throws to tie the game, 110-110 before Anthony Davis drilled a jumper that appeared to give New Orleans the win with 1.1 seconds left in regulation.
Down one, the Celtics had a chance to win the game after winning a key jump ball with under 20 seconds left but Avery Bradley dribbled the ball off his leg and out of bounds, setting the stage for the frantic final sequence.
The Celtics lost their fourth straight and fell to 22-45 on the season.
The Celtics scored 39 points in the second quarter to take a 64-57 halftime lead. Leading the way in the second quarter was Green, who hit two threes and led Boston with 12 points in the stanza.
The Celtics led 66-57 on a Brandon Bass dunk with 10:40 left in the third quarter. The Celtics were outscored 27-18 in the final 10 minutes of the quarter and went into the fourth quarter tied, 84-84.
As was the case Friday night in the loss to the Suns, the Celtics had a poor third quarter shooting the ball. They made just 9-of-23 shots and were outscored 11-0 at the free throw line.
The Celtics appeared to run out of gas completely early in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 18-5 by New Orleans in the first seven minutes. The Pelicans led by 13, 102-89, with 5:36 left. The Celtics did make a run as Jeff Green‘s baseline three with just over three minutes left capped an 8-0 run and brought the Celtics within five, 102-97. Two Anthony Davis free throws with 3:04 left put New Orleans up, 104-97.
Sullinger drained a three with 1:58 left to make it a one-possession game, 104-101. The Celtics could not get a stop as Brian Roberts answered with a runner in the lane to make it 106-101. Sullinger came back and a baseline jumper to make it 106-103. Humphries nailed a jumper with Just over a minute remaining make it a one-point game, 106-105. But Davis answered on the next possession for New Orleans, giving the Pelicans a 108-105 lead with 49.4 seconds left. Green came back with reverse layup with 38.4 seconds left to make it 108-107 New Orleans.
Green hit two free throws with 4:06 left in overtime to give Boston its first lead since the third quarter, 114-112. But the Pelicans answered with the next seven points of overtime to take a 119-114 lead, as Anthony Davis dominated the defensive glass on four straight misses in overtime. But like he did in the fourth quarter, Sullinger hit a huge three to bring the Celtics to within two, 119-117, with a minute remaining. Sullinger tried to give the Celtics the lead on the next possession but missed his next three.
The Celtics finish up their brief two-game southern swing on Monday night in Dallas with a date against the Mavericks. The Celtics return home to take on the Miami Heat at TD Garden.
Rondo finished with six points and 14 assists in 45 minutes and is not expected to play Monday in Dallas as he continues to rest his right knee in the second game of back-to-back contests.
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