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Doc Rivers: Paul Pierce is ‘going to play for a long time if he wants to’ 03.17.13 at 10:07 am ET
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There was no Kevin Garnett on the floor Saturday night due to a left adductor (groin) strain. Rajon Rondo is gone for the season, and has been gone for seven weeks now.

So with captain Paul Pierce again left to be the man to keep things together, that’s exactly what he did in a fashion so routine, it was a thing of beauty to his coach.

Pierce was as efficient as ever, scoring 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting in just 23 minutes, adding eight assists and six rebounds in a 115-88 win over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden.

“He’s always been underrated,” Doc Rivers said. “I think he’s been underrated his whole career. I underrated him. When I coached in Orlando every time he scored I mean, I was so upset because I thought this slow, non-athletic guy, you look at him, you think. ‘How the hell was he scoring on you?’ And then when you coach him you realize he’s not slow, he plays at a slow pace. He’s athletic as heck, he’s stronger than most small forwards in the league, and he just surprises you with his fundamentals. You know he’s so fundamentally sound he actually looks un-athletic. And it’s a heck of a compliment to a player.

“He just plays to what he feels. He’s a professional scorer, he really is. He just knows how to play basketball. I think every young kid should watch him play because he can do it above the rim but he chooses not to. He’s just so fundamentally sound with his footwork, it’s just really nice to watch.

“I think he’s going to be able to play for a long time if he wants to. He can get his shot off. He plays at a great pace.”

Pierce led all five starters in double figures, as the Celtics proved picking up the slack for Garnett was truly a team effort. He pointed to a play Pierce ran several times in the first half that had different teammates involved.

“Yeah, we ran a play that just kind of matured into that,” Rivers said. “First time he came off I think he got Brandon (Bass), the second time he got the picker, then he just – the same play just kept building and building. I love – we call it ‘feed the pig’.”

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

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Green Night: With no Kevin Garnett, C’s find a way to blow out Bobcats 03.16.13 at 9:50 pm ET
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With Kevin Garnett out, Chris Wilcox helped the Celtics get a hand up on the Bobcats Saturday night in Boston. (AP)

With Kevin Garnett out, Chris Wilcox helped the Celtics get a hand up on the Bobcats Saturday night in Boston. (AP)

With Kevin Garnett sitting out with a strained adductor (groin) in his left leg, all five starters managed to score in double figures as the Celtics exacted revenge on the Charlotte Bobcats with a 105-88 laugher Saturday night at TD Garden. The Celtics avenged their 100-74 loss on Tuesday night in Charlotte, when Doc Rivers gave Paul Pierce the night off.

On Saturday night, Pierce scored a very efficient 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field, adding eight assists and six rebounds as the Celtics pulled away in the second half for the blowout win, their 11th straight at home. The Celtics improved to 36-29 while the Bobcats fell to a league-worst 14-52, with two of those 14 coming against Boston. Gerald Henderson, who had a career-high 35 points in Tuesday’s game, finished with just 16.

The Celtics hit 10-of-14 from three-point range, led by a perfect 3-for-3 from Jason Terry, who finished with a team-leading 15 points. Avery Bradley had 13 while Jeff Green, starting for Garnett, had 10 on 5-of-9 shooting. The Celtics, out-rebounded 48-29 in Tuesday’s loss, picked it up on the glass, beating Charlotte on the boards 42-35.

Leading 40-39 late in the second quarter, the Celtics went on a 10-4 spurt to close the half, as Pierce scored the final six points of the run.

The Celtics went up nine points in the first half and early third quarter, only to have the Bobcats respond. But leading 59-53, Green converted a layup that started a 16-4 run that put the game away. The Celtics led 83-66 heading into the fourth.

The Celtics scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, capped off by slam dunks from Chris Wilcox and Shav Randolph as the Celtics led, 92-66. The Bobcats made things somewhat interesting with a three-point barrage as part of a 20-7 run that cut the lead to 13 with 3:35 left.

The Celtics will practice on St. Patrick’s Day Sunday in preparation for LeBron James and the Miami Heat Monday night at TD Garden.

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

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Jason Terry
Kevin Garnett out with left adductor strain 03.16.13 at 7:05 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett will miss Saturday's game against Charlotte with a left groin strain.  (AP)

Kevin Garnett will miss Saturday’s game against Charlotte with a left groin strain. (AP)

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers ruled out Kevin Garnett for Saturday night’s game against the Bobcats with a lower left adductor strain.

“He wasn’t moving well in practice [Friday],” Rivers said in announcing his absence from the lineup Saturday night. Rivers did not immediately announce the nature of the injury, deferring to head trainer Ed Lacerte.

Lacerte and the Celtics later officially announced the diagnosis of adductor (groin) strain in his left leg.

Rivers said he did not know Garnett’s availability for Monday’s marquee matchup with LeBron James and the Miami Heat at TD Garden.

Jeff Green, as he did for Paul Pierce on Tuesday in Charlotte, takes Garnett’s place in the lineup. The Celtics will go very small in the lineup, with Brandon Bass representing their biggest player among the starting five.

Pierce, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee also start for the Celtics, who were blown out by the Bobcats, 100-74, on Tuesday in Charlotte.

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

Read More: Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Doc Rivers on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett: ‘They’re old as hell’ 03.15.13 at 5:38 pm ET
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WALTHAM — Doc Rivers knows the Bobcats have had the number of the last two times they’ve met, including a 26-point blowout on Tuesday night in Charlotte.

So don’t expect the Celtics to look beyond the lowly Bobcats on Saturday night in advance of their showdown with the Heat Monday night at TD Garden.

“No matter what our excuses are, they beat us two games,” Rivers said. “One game they beat us soundly and one game we kinda sputtered down the stretch. And no matter what you say to them, they’ve beat us twice. They are going to have great confidence against us. When you beat a team, they don’t care about the excuses, they know they beat you and that makes them a better team the next time they play you. When they beat you again, that makes them even a better team the next time you play them. So [Saturday] they are going to play great, and we have to expect that and we have to try to beat them playing great.”

The two players expected to lead the Celtics Saturday night in their revenge match are Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who have been the talk of the town this week after both reached scoring milestones on Wednesday and Garnett explained afterward how close the two were growing up.

Why is this story so special?

“That’s only because they’re old as hell,” Rivers answered with hearty laugh. “The only way you can reach those milestones together is you have to hang around a lonnnnng time. It is cool. I was joking but it does seem like every night one of those two does pass some kind of record. I think now we create some sort of new record to pass but it is awesome. They have that picture together, it’s a neat picture when they were 15.”

Meanwhile, Rivers was asked about how Rajon Rondo might fit into Celtics plans down the road and if he’s thought of changing his offense when Rondo is ready to return at the start of next season. Rivers said he’ll let Celtics GM Danny Ainge worry about most of that.

“I don’t think about it much,” Rivers said. “Again, you know how I am, when guys go down, there’s nothing we can do about it. I have given next year zero thought, I’m hoping Danny will do a better job of that than me — that’s his job. But I don’t think about that much at all.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Jason Terry, JET, LeBron James
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.

Read More: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Dahntay Jones, Kobe Bryant
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.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Charles Barkley, Jeff Green, Jerry West
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