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Benchmark: Green, Sullinger power C’s 01.09.13 at 9:48 pm ET
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Jeff Green scored 14 points and had three monstrous dunks while Jason Terry had 13 points and Jared Sullinger added a career-high 16 rebounds and 12 points as the bench powered the Celtics to their fourth straight win, 87-79, over the Suns Wednesday night at TD Garden. Green’s effort came on the one-year anniversary of the open heart surgery to fix his aortic valve. Suns center Marcin Gortat, rumored to be on the trading block, led the Suns with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Rajon Rondo returned from a one-game suspension, scoring eight points while adding eight assists for the Celtics, who opened a five-game homestand and improved to 18-17 on the season.

The Celtics started out slugglishly in the first quarter, falling behind by six early, 15-9, before scoring the next six points. Boston shot just 42 percent in the first 12 minutes but held Phoenix to 42 percent, and trailed 24-23.

In the second quarter, Jeff Green had a pair of electrifying slam dunks that highlighted a 14-2 spurt and put Boston up, 47-35. Green led the Celtics in the first half with 10 points while Avery Bradley had nine. The Celtics took a 53-41 lead to locker room at the half.

The third quarter started off well with a Kevin Garnett fadeaway jumper to increase the lead to 14, 55-41. But the Suns scored the next 17 points to take a three-point lead, 58-55. The Celtics recovered in time to take a 67-64 lead into the fourth quarter.

Another monstrous Green dunk with under eight minutes left in the fourth pushed the lead back to 12, 78-66. The Suns pulled to within nine, 82-73, and had the ball on a fast-break but former Boston College star Jared Dudley airmailed a 3-pointer with 2:51 left. But with 2:32 left Luis Scola hit a pair of free throws to make it 82-75. Then, after a turnover, Scola drew another foul and made a free throw to make it a six-point game before Sullinger responded with a floater in the lane to push the lead back to eight with 1:23 left. Jason Terry converted an uncontested layup with 1:03 left to make it 86-76 and send the fans to the exits.

Dudley finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Suns had two players with double-doubles on the night. The Celtics continue their five-game homestand on Friday against the Rockets at TD Garden. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Avery Bradley happy NBA moving back to his hometown 01.09.13 at 9:04 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo on Carmelo Anthony: ‘People just get away with anything in this league’ 01.09.13 at 7:56 pm ET
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Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been suspended for one game without pay by the NBA for confronting Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett in the arena tunnel, near the players’ locker rooms, and in the parking garage following the Celtics at Knicks game on Jan. 7. The announcement was made Wednesday by Stu Jackson, the NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

“There are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game,” Jackson said in a statement. “Carmelo Anthony attempted to engage with Kevin Garnett multiple times after Monday’s game and therefore a suspension was warranted.”

The Celtics had different reactions to the suspension.

“I get suspended for a phone hang-up and people just get away with anything in his league,” said a tongue-in-cheek Rajon Rondo, who was suspended one-game for allegedly bumping official Rodney Mott on Saturday in Atlanta and being “unresponsive” to a league inquiry on Monday. “Oh, my goodness, so that’s the same thing huh? The rep I’ve earned, I’ll have to deal with it.”

Coach Doc Rivers had a different take on the Melo suspension.

“I don’t believe guys should ever be suspended,” Rivers said. “It’s not a surprise. [Teams] get in trouble for sitting players and then you suspend players; it’s the same thing. If you’re a fan, you’re not happy with that.”

Anthony will serve his suspension on Thursday when the Knicks play the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, New York Knicks
Melo suspended a game for KG confrontation 01.09.13 at 7:01 pm ET
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Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has been suspended for one game without pay by the NBA for confronting Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett in the arena tunnel, near the players’ locker rooms, and in the parking garage following the Celtics at Knicks game on Jan. 7. The announcement was made Wednesday by Stu Jackson, the NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

“There are no circumstances in which it is acceptable for a player to confront an opponent after a game,” Jackson said in a statement. “Carmelo Anthony attempted to engage with Kevin Garnett multiple times after Monday’s game and therefore a suspension was warranted.”

The Celtics had different reactions to the suspension.

“I get suspended for a phone hang-up and people just get away with anything in his league,” said Rajon Rondo, who was suspended one-game for allegedly bumping official Rodney Mott on Saturday in Atlanta and being “unresponsive” to a league inquiry on Monday. “Oh, my goodness, so that’s the same thing huh? The rep I’ve earned, I’ll have to deal with it.”

Coach Doc Rivers had a different take on the Anthony suspension.

“I don’t believe guys should ever be suspended,” Rivers said. “It’s not a surprise. [Teams] get in trouble for sitting players and then you suspend players; it’s the same thing. If you’re a fan, you’re not happy with that.”

Anthony will serve his suspension on Thursday when the Knicks play the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

For more, including video from Doc Rivers and Avery Bradley, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Rajon Rondo on his behavior: ‘I’ll adapt’ to NBA 01.08.13 at 3:12 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo said Tuesday he was simply making a joke with official Rodney Mott when he bumped him in Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, which along with what the NBA said was “a failure to cooperate with a league investigation” ended in a one-game suspended for Monday’s game against the Knicks.

On Saturday, Rondo was called for an offensive foul when he ran into Atlanta’s Josh Smith with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter, and made contact with Mott as he protested the call.

“Yeah, I thought Josh flopped,” Rondo told reporters Tuesday. “I told Rodney, his body size and what he weighs, and look at me, there’s no way I could have made him go into the stands off of contact. [Mott] laughed, threw the ball in, and we got back on defense.”

Rondo said he talked to league officials about the bump and didn’t understand why he was cited for failing to cooperate.

“I don’t know about an investigation,” Rondo said. “I don’t feel it was needed to have an investigation. I know Rodney, and that particular time on that play, I actually went up to him and I made a joke, he laughed. In the midst of it I guess I touched him. I did touch him, and the league, I guess, reviewed it. The media blew it up on SportsCenter or whatever, and I served a one-game suspension.”

Rondo insisted Tuesday he “didn’t drop any bad words” on his chat with the NBA Monday. But reporters, after Rondo agreed to a limited number of questions, kept pressing the point guard on the issue.

“I said like one or two questions,” Rondo said. “You [reporters] are asking like 30 questions. That situation’s over, man. They did what they had to do. Ask the league, you know?”

Monday’s suspension was Rondo’s fourth in less than a year, and second this season. When asked if he felt like a “repeat offender” in the league’s eyes, Rondo turned sarcastic.

“Yeah, I feel like I’m a criminal. I go to court a lot, they say investigation — what happened during the investigation?” Rondo said. “I’m not on trial or anything, it’s just how it is when you’re dealing with the league when you get in a little bit of trouble. I’m a repeat offender. I don’t know if I have two or three strikes, but it is what it is.”

Rondo admitted he might have to “adapt” his behavior as the NBA keeps his conduct under close monitoring.

“Maybe. I may have to, but I’ll adapt. I’ll learn the game,” Rondo said. “But I’m an emotional player in that aspect. I think at that time I had a triple-double, we were up 10. I wasn’t angry. I didn’t go over and yell at Rodney. I think he even said that in his statement. But the league put the hammer down and made a decision.”

Rondo also discussed the incident that took place after Monday’s win, in which Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony approached the Celtics’ team bus after verbally sparring with Kevin Garnett for much of the game. Video of the incident showed Rondo nearby as Anthony hovered close to Boston’s bus.

“I don’t know. I haven’t talked to Carmelo Anthony,” Rondo said. “I talked to KG, but like I said, we’ll focus on Phoenix tomorrow and getting better here as the Celtics. There was a couple people at the bus. I thought everybody was coming to talk to each other and figure out some things, going to dinner next time. I don’t know.”

Rondo said he knew Anthony and Garnett had been going at it during the game, but didn’t realize Anthony’s behavior carried over afterward.

“No, I didn’t. I actually left my location where I was watching the game around like three minutes to go in the fourth to get to the team bus, and I didn’t know what had happened,” Rondo said. “They were talking trash in the game, but I didn’t know it escalated to whatever happened after the game.”

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

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Rajon Rondo suspended again by the NBA 01.07.13 at 5:12 pm ET
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Rajon Rondo has been suspended one game without pay for making contact with a game official and failure to cooperate with a league investigation, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations. It is the second suspension for Rondo this season, after serving a two-game suspension for his shoving Kris Humphries on Nov. 28.

The latest incident involving official Rodney Mott occurred with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 89-81 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at Philips Arena. Rondo will serve his suspension tonight when the Celtics play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

There’s a secondary angle to the story. Hawks GM Danny Ferry is being fined $15,000 for approaching the NBA referees and handing them a videotape of the incident after the game.

The league has a strict rule about players or team officials approaching a referee after the game, for any reason, so Ferry was hit with the fine by the league.

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

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Kevin Garnett: ‘This game was not some sort of foreplay’ 01.05.13 at 10:09 am ET
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Kevin Garnett has a way with words unlike any other Celtic. He knows what to say and when to say it, especially to his teammates.

That showed Friday night after the Celtics disposed of the Pacers, 94-75, at TD Garden, a game in which he was ejected for a shot to the face of Tyler Hansbrough with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“I was firm, I didn’t mean to get him in the face like that, I was actually trying to swipe the ball but it was a physical game and they called it the way it was, part of the game,” Garnett said of the “flagrant-2″ foul that earned him the rest of the night off.

Garnett and Doc Rivers have been pleading with the Celtics to stay true to the defensive principles that have been the cornerstone of the Celtics for the past five seasons. Friday night, Garnett had plenty of help on defense from Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce.

Was this type of ugly game, one that featured 107 missed shots, the kind of game that the Celtics need to play to get themselves out of the funk they’ve been in?

“This game was not some type of foreplay,” Garnett said. “I thought we came out firm and aggressive on both ends, but more importantly defensively. I thought we stayed sound for 48 minutes no matter who was in. Avery made a very very big impact on the game, I thought Paul’s defense was very energetic, and we followed those guys lead. You could tell from how we came into the locker room that we really needed this win.

“You know, since we’ve been in this funk, Doc’s been saying that through out this tough ordeal that we have to continue to play defense no matter what we’re doing. Offense cannot dictate defense. I feel like for the most part we did just that. Some nights you click, some nights you don’t, and tonight we just knew we needed to win to stop the bleeding and I feel like we went out and did it.”

The message to Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jeff Green?

“There’s no perfect answer to this, there’s no perfect situations,” Garnett said. “Everyone has to accept their roles wholeheartedly and embrace it, and tonight I think we did. Being consistent with those roles is what we want to be, if we want to be anything of a good team, everyone is going to have to fill those roles. It was just a full team effort from a defensive standpoint.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Kevin Garnett, NBA
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