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Rajon Rondo: When a triple-double is ‘irrelevant’ 01.25.13 at 11:18 am ET
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Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo says the Celtics simply did not execute down the stretch in their 89-86 loss to the New York Knicks Thursday night at TD Garden.

Rondo had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, his 27th career triple-double and fourth the season. But that couldn’t prevent Boston from suffering its fifth straight loss, 89-86, to the Knicks Thursday, dropping to 20-22 on the season.

“It wipes it out. It’s kind of irrelevant. You score 40 or 50 points, you lose, you lose. All that matters is Ws and Ls.

“I like our group, I like our guys,” Rondo insisted. “We have a group of guys that listen. Right now, we’re not getting it done. It’s like night and day. We won six in a row and we were clicking on all cylinders. But now, it’s not all five guys at one time throughout the game for 48 minutes. We go through stretches where we’re not scoring the ball and our defense is lacking as well. We just have to pick it up collectively as a team, and individually as well.”

Rondo was asked about Ray Allen coming back to Boston on Sunday and Paul Pierce not making the All-Star team Eastern Conference reserves. The answer was the same.

“We’re not worried about that,” Rondo said. “We’re worried about Atlanta.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, NBA, Paul Pierce
Doc Rivers: ‘If I saw that effort every night, I’d be very happy’ 01.25.13 at 10:58 am ET
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The message could not have been more clear from Doc Rivers.

Even in a loss, the energy and fight needs to be there if the Celtics are to get back on track and make a second-half run to the playoffs.

“If I saw that effort every night,” Rivers said, ‘I’d be very happy.”

He wasn’t happy with the fact his team lost its fifth straight after winning six in a row. He wasn’t happy with his team’s execution down the stretch. But he was satisfied with making life tough on Carmelo Anthony again, especially in the first half 26 minutes, when they held him to 4-for-15 shooting from the floor.

He was happy with the fact that his team trailed 80-70 with eight minutes left and made a charge to make it a two-point game.

He says the signed are there.

‘€œWe missed a lot of open shots,” Rivers said of his Celtics, who finished shooting 40 percent. “But I don’€™t think it’€™s pressing; I just think we’€™re missing shots. [At the end] those were just two turnovers. Overall, you look at the whole total, we had 12 turnovers. That doesn’€™t sound like pressing.”

Paul Pierce had another miserable night from the floor, making just 6-of-15 shots. He had a key turnover with 7.1 seconds left as the Celtics were trying to tie the game but that’s not what really bothered Rivers. It was the play with a minute left and the Celtics down five. A bad pass from Jason Terry and a golden opportunity to cut into the lead with under a minute left went by the boards.

“The play before [Pierce’s turnover] is what I was more disappointed in,” Rivers said. “I didn’€™t think we executed that great. That was supposed to be a hand-off to Paul coming off, and they got their hand in on the ball. And I had my three best shooters with Jet, Paul, and Kevin (Garnett) involved, and it just didn’€™t work out.

“It’€™s frustrating to lose when you give effort, because you’€™ve got to keep convincing your guys if you play that way every night, you’€™re going to make more shots than that. And you’€™re going to win a lot of games. But right now they’€™re sitting there thinking, ‘€˜We lost.’€™ So, they know it. They know with that effort you’€™re going to win most nights.’€

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA, New York Knicks
Wasted chance: Knicks beat Celtics despite triple-double from Rajon Rondo 01.24.13 at 10:35 pm ET
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Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points to lead the Knicks over the Celtics, 89-86, Thursday night at TD Garden. Rajon Rondo had 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in collecting his 27th career triple-double and his fourth this season for the Celtics, who lost their fifth straight. The Celtics lost five straight twice last season before rallying at the end of the season for a 37-29 record and the Atlantic Division title.

They might not be as lucky this season, as the Atlantic-leading Knicks improved to 26-14, seven games ahead of the 20-22 Celtics in the division.

There were no war of words or trash-talking incidents between Kevin Garnett and Anthony, who greeted each other with a fist-pound at the beginning of the game. Anthony even helped Garnett up from the floor after Garnett hit the deck early in the third quarter.

The Celtics managed a 24-20 lead after one quarter, despite shooting just 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from the field. The Knicks started the second quarter on fire, opening on a 9-0 run and scoring 11 of the first 12 points in the period to take a 31-25 lead. But the Celtics answered as Paul Pierce started to dominate.

The Celtics went on a 15-3 run to take a 40-34 lead. The Knicks rebounded and managed a 50-48 halftime lead on a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds left by Amar’e Stoudemire. Rondo missed a layup just before the buzzer that would’ve tied the game. Still Doc Rivers pounded his fist in the air and appeared happy with his team’s effort.

Rivers was particularly pleased with the fact that the Celtics held Anthony to just 4-for-13 shooting in the first 24 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, KG
Doc Rivers reiterates: ‘I have to figure out a way’ 01.24.13 at 8:10 pm ET
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Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday night’s game with the Knicks that he still believes his team has what it takes to overcome the doldrums that have seen his team lose four straight after winning six in a row.

Rivers was asked if he had any changes in store for a big weekend of basketball that includes the Knicks, Hawks and Heat on Sunday.

“Let’s hope we don’t [have to make changes],’ Rivers said. “If we start playing better then you don’t, obviously. If you don’t [start playing better], then we have to do something at some point. Again, I think we have what we need in the locker room. I’m just not getting it out of them and I have to figure out a better way of getting it out of them.”

Rivers also said he hopes his team is inspired by the Kevin Garnett-Carmelo Anthony incident the last time the two teams met in New York, a 102-96 Boston win. Anthony was held to 20 points on 6-of-26 shooting from the field.

After getting into a confrontation late in the fourth quarter, Anthony tried to meet with Garnett in front of the Celtics locker room and then in front of the Celtics team bus before Madison Square Garden security and police intervened.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce left off Eastern Conference All-Star squad 01.24.13 at 7:43 pm ET
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For just the second time in 13 seasons, Paul Pierce did not earn a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad as the reserves were announced Thursday night on national television prior to the Celtics‘ game vs. the Knicks.

Pierce is leading the Celtics in scoring at 18.9 points per game and has started all 41 games for the Celtics, but that wasn’t enough to win a spot on the team. Pierce didn’t make it in 2007 when his season was shortened due to a stress reaction in his foot. The last time a healthy Pierce was left off the All-Star team was 2001, just his third season in the NBA.

Joining starters Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony are five first-time All-Stars, including Tyson Chandler (Knicks), Paul George (Pacers), Jrue Holiday (76ers), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers) and Joakim Noah (Bulls). Miami’s Chris Bosh and Chicago’s Luol Deng, making his second consecutive All-Star appearance, round out the East reserves.

Joining Duncan as reserves in the West are LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers), James Harden (Rockets), David Lee (Warriors), Tony Parker (Spurs), Zach Randolph (Grizzlies) and Russell Westbrook (Thunder). It’€™s the first selection for Harden, in his first season with the Rockets. It’€™s the second All-Star nod for Lee, Randolph and Aldridge, while Westbrook earns his third consecutive trip to the All-Star Game. Parker is an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 17.

Read More: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA All-Star Game, Paul Pierce
Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers keep Celtics reeling 01.22.13 at 9:30 pm ET
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Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 40 points and Tristan Thompson added 21 as the Cavaliers added to the misery of the Celtics with a 95-90 win at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Irving completely dominated the Celtics in the final six minutes, scoring nine points and helping the Cavaliers win for just the 11th time in 43 games. After a season-high six-game winning streak, the Celtics lost their fourth straight and are again under .500 at 20-21. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Making matters worse, the Cavaliers were playing without their starting center Anderson Varejao, who was ruled out for the season this week due to a blood clot in his lower right lung.

Paul Pierce had 12 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Jared Sullinger had another big game off the bench with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett was the only other Celtic in double figures in scoring with 16 points, as Boston shot just 38.1 percent from the field.

Defense was non-existent in the first quarter as the Celtics allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 59.1 percent, as Cleveland made 13-of-22 shots from the floor in building a 31-27 lead. The Celtics cut the deficit to 54-53 at the half.

The Celtics built their lead up to six 64-58 early in the third on back-to-back threes from Avery Bradley but couldn’t pull away.

Irving’s pull-up jumper in transition gave the Cavaliers a 76-75 lead with 7:30 remaining but Pierce found an open Rondo moments later for a layup to give the Celtics the lead right back. Sullinger picked up his fifth foul with just under six minutes remaining and the Cavaliers immediately began their charge behind Irving.

The Cavaliers reassumed the lead 82-81 when Pierce missed a jumper and Tyler Zeller raced out on the break for a layup. But again it was Rondo who answered, this time with a layup with just over four minutes remaining, as the Celtics went back in front, 83-82. Rondo then drew Irving’s fifth foul when he took a charge with 3:30 remaining. But the Celtics couldn’t convert as Garnett missed with the shot clock winding down.

Irving’s reverse layup with 2:30 left gave Cleveland the lead again, 84-83. Replays showed rookie Zeller kicking the ball ahead to Irving but no violation was called and the basket stood. Irving scored 15 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter as he took control of the game.

Then Rondo committed a mental mistake on a loose ball that careened into the Celtics backcourt. He tried to throw it off Irving but was unsuccessful, allowing Irving to go in for an uncontested layup with just over two minutes left.

Garnett drew the sixth foul of the night on Zeller with 1:30, with Garnett hitting both free throws cutting Cleveland’s lead to one, 88-87. With a chance to give Boston the lead, Garnett missed a baseline fallaway jumper. That led to another spectacular coast-to-coast drive by Irving to put Cleveland up, 90-87, with 52.9 seconds remaining.

The Celtics host the Knicks Thursday night at TD Garden. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving
Joakim Noah says Kevin Garnett full of ‘cheap shots’ and ‘bulls***’ 01.19.13 at 1:48 am ET
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One of the most intense rivals of Kevin Garnett was at it again Friday night after Chicago’s nailbiting 100-99 win over the Celtics at TD Garden.

Joakim Noah, who scored 14 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, got into several times in the second half with Garnett under the Bulls’ basket.

Afterward, he claimed Garnett continued his strategy of throwing “elbows” and “cheap shots” at the Bulls big man. Noah and Garnett were called for double technicals with 2:20 left in a game that the Bulls led, 84-83. Garnett did not address it after the game but Noah did.

‘€œJust trying to throw elbows,” Noah said. “Cheap shots, just trying to get you off your game. But he’s a vet, he’s been doing this a long time, but it’s all right.’€

Noah was asked how he held Garnett to just 5-of-16 shooting from the field.

“Just playing defense,” Noah said. “Just playing sound defense, just contesting his shots. He’s a hell of a competitor. He’s always on some bulls***. Always on some bulls***.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah, Kevin Garnett
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