|Rondo on Hornets: ‘It was intense’||11.01.09 at 10:31 pm ET|
After Rondo and Paul traded verbal barbs and even a double-technical midway through the second quarter, the two star point guards of the Celtics and Hornets got into it even more at the end of the fourth, with both teams needing to be separated.
“It was very intense,” Rondo said. “I think it was our first close game. I think we handled it well. We didn’t play extremely well tonight but when they made their run, we got stops and then we scored offensively.”
Ray Allen played next to Rondo all night and he liked what he saw from the intense tete-a-tete between Rondo and CP 3.
‘Yeah, they’re both feisty,” Allen said. “Both aggressive, in your face. They take the ball to the hole. Put you on your heels all game long. So I’m pretty sure it can get pretty chippy out there.’
And Allen didn’t mind seeing that, as long as the teams left the hard feelings on the court and controlled each other coming off, which was a bit of a challenge following Boston’s 97-87 win.
“Walk off the floor and say, ‘Way to compete tonight,’” Allen said. “For those 48 minutes, I cannot stand you. I wanted to fight you. I wanted to do everything I possibly could. And when you walk off the floor you say, ‘Way to battle.”
To hear what Chris Paul had to say for himself, click here.
|Fast break: A quick take on Celtics – Hornets||11.01.09 at 9:21 pm ET|
Player of the game: Paul Pierce scored 20 points in the first half before going quiet in the second. But with the game on the line, the captain drained a crucial three to give the Celtics a nine-point lead with 1:14 left in the fourth to lock up the victory. He finished the night with 27 points (10/14 FG, 3/5 3PG, 4/6 FT), four rebounds, and two assists.
Turning Point: The Celtics looked in control entering the second half before Peja Stojakovic got the hot hand. After watching him score 16 points in the second half, Rivers called timeout with 6:03 left in the fourth quarter to put his starters on the court, up 82-80. After Paul put the Hornets within six points on free throws, Pierce drained the game-clinching three with 1:14 left in the game to give the Celtics the determining 96-86 lead.
– The Celtics dominated the second quarter with a 13-5 run that bolstered their lead to as many as 11 points. The stretch included a pair of treys from Pierce, one from Allen, and an alley-oop from Rondo to Garnett. During that time the Hornets committed three fouls, two turnovers, and had one shot blocked. The Celtics went into halftime leading 47-38.
Battle of the Benches: Led by Stojakovic, the Hornets bench outscored the Celtics 40-21. Stojakovic scored 26 points off of 9-for-15 shooting from the field and 6-for-10 from three-point range. Bobby Brown and Hilton Armstrong combined for 14. Wallace led the Celtics reserves with 12 points (5/10 FG, 2/5 3PG) while House, Daniels, and Williams added a total of nine points.
Losing the lead: Prior to Sunday’s game, the Celtics had not trailed since 1:48 remaining in the second quarter against the Cavaliers on October 27. The Hornets broke the streak when they went up 9-6 with 7:54 to go in the first quarter. The Celtics had held the lead for just under 130 minutes.
|Turn up the volume: Rondo speaks out||11.01.09 at 8:54 pm ET|
Everyone wanted to hear from Rajon Rondo before Sunday’s game.
The NBA had extended their deadline to Monday evening for signing players before they can become restricted free agents at the end of the season and Rondo falls into that category.
No deal was announced but Rondo told reporters he’s not worried about the business aspect of his career. Smart move since he was getting ready to face Chris Paul and the Hornets.
Here’s what he had to say before the game.
|Rondo: ‘Unlikely I finish in Boston’||11.01.09 at 6:23 pm ET|
Before Sunday’s game against the Hornets, Rajon Rondo addressed his ongoing contract negotiations. After saying that he wants to stay a Celtic, he told WEEI.com, “Hopefully for my career, but it’s very unlikely because it’s like five guys that’ve played in the NBA for their entire career. Paul [Pierce] is one of them. You’ve got guys like Ray [Allen] and Kevin [Garnett] that are future Hall of Famers that haven’t been on the same team their entire careers.
“It’s unlikely [I finish in Boston] but I want to. ”
To hear Rondo speak to reporters before Sunday’s game, click here.
|Ray Allen is not about to stop now||10.31.09 at 1:41 am ET|
With 3:58 remaining in the fourth quarter of a blow out win against Chicago, and right after the ‘Gino Moment’ when the crowd celebrates another home court win, Ray Allen was recognized for passing John Stockton and moving into 33rd on the all-time NBA scoring list with 19,715 points.
Next up is Tom Chambers with 20,049 at No. 32.
Allen had 20 points on Friday, moving him one point ahead of the man, who on Sept. 11, Allen witnessed head into Springfield and the Hall of Fame.
“I had no idea,” Allen said. “It definitely is a great feeling. Stockton played 18 years. He’s a Hall of Famer. I watched his induction. I was there personally.”
Of course, Stockton didn’t get there so much for his 19,711 points but rather his astronomical assist totals, 15,806 to be exact. That’s an NBA record, as are his 3265 steals.
Allen is a different story. He will be heading to Springfield as a Hall of Famer some day as the most prolific and deadly 3-point shooter in league history. But in his mind that certainly didn’t lessen the significance on Friday of the milestone.
“To be able to be in that company, you think about all the years, all the shots I’ve taken, and not the ones in games but off the court, in practice, it all seems worth it,” Allen said. “It stands for something at the end of the day. People look up, and you’re somewhere among greatness so I’d like to keep pushing.”
Someone who can appreciate Allen’s sharp-shooting skills is teammate Eddie House.
“That’s a big moment,” House said. “Hats off to Ray, a future Hall of Famer. I’m happy for him. But he’s not done. He’s got a lot more points to get.”
Allen’s 20 points also helped the Celtics to another easy win and a 3-0 start to the season.
“Winning any game, the day-and-a-half of preparation we put into it coming down from another game, it’s a lot more I think than people can see from the surface,” Allen said. “For us to go out there and the way we played tonight, moving the ball offensively, defensively we were all in the same accord, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
|Fast break: Celtics-Bulls||10.30.09 at 10:31 pm ET|
The Celtics did it with defense and the bench in the first half and then they buried the Bulls under a 3-point barrage in the second half in a 118-90 win win. While the Celtics pushed the lead into the 30’s in the third quarter, this game was essentially over early. The Bulls shot just 5-for-20 in the first quarter and 29 percent in the first half.
The Celtics are now 3-0 and looking very much like the best team in the league.
Player of the game: Paul Pierce. You could make a case for Kevin Garnett (16 points, four rebounds) and Rajon Rondo (16 assists, eight rebounds) as well, but Pierce was solid throughout racking up 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Turning point: At the 4-minute mark of the second quarter Garnett joined Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins on the bench with two fouls. The Celtics had a 15-13 lead at the time. Over the next 10 minutes the second unit (and Pierce) built the lead up to 14 points, 35-21, and the Bulls never got back in the game. It was a slow, methodical dissection built entirely on defense.
* The Celtics made their first six 3-pointers of the second half, including four from Pierce. The 3-point barrage was just the icing on the cake for the C’s. Even though they made just 2-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half they still shot an even 50 percent from the floor. They said after the Charlotte game that they had not played a complete game yet. Wonder if they still feel that way.
* It’s a little unfair to say that this is how the first round of the playoffs would have gone last year if Garnett had been healthy. After all, Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels are now in the mix and the Bulls are without Ben Gordon and are trying to work Luol Deng back into the lineup. Also, Derrick Rose is dealing with an ankle injury. All that said, it’s probably a safe bet that the series wouldn’t have gone seven games
* Allen moved past John Stockton for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Somehow seems odd to pass Stockton on any list that has to do with scoring.
* With about two minutes left in the game, Doc Rivers emptied the bench to play out the final string. Joining the five before they took the floor was Wallace who was dispensing advice to rookie Lester Hudson.
|Davis: It was a ‘stupid mistake’||10.30.09 at 8:33 pm ET|
Even though he needed a little prodding from general manager Danny Ainge next to him on the podium stage, Glen Davis characterized his actions that resulted in a fractured last thumb last weekend.
“It was a stupid mistake, a stupid mistake,” Davis said, after Ainge helped him answer the initial question. “Like Danny said, it’s something I most definitely have learned from looking forward.”
Sporting a white cast on his right hand and forearm, Davis continued to express his remorse for getting involved in an altercation last Sunday that has put him out of action for the next six weeks.
Ainge said Davis has made his apologies to everyone, including his team and now it’s time to move forward.
“My teammates are my teammates,” Davis said. “They’re there for me, no matter what. I just am thankful that I have great teammates like that.
“It’s been tough watching those guys play and not being there and be able to experience those experiences with them. I just want to move on, work hard and stay in shape to make sure I’m ready to play.” Read the rest of this entry »
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