|Gordon’s return was expected||04.29.09 at 12:36 am ET|
Doc Rivers has seen this before. Last season he watched Paul Pierce bounce back from a knee injury to save the day in the NBA Finals. So he wasn’t surprised when Ben Gordon, the Bulls most dangerous scorer, played through a problematic hamstring in a critical Game 5.
‘Yeah I wasn’t worried about Ben Gordon being hurt,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen that act before.’
Gordon scored 26 points in 50 minutes during the Bulls overtime loss. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro explained why he left his guard on the court for so long.
‘A few times I said, ‘Ben, how are you? Are you alright?’ and he just said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine’ or ‘Yeah, I’m a little tight,’’ Del Negro said. ‘But he played 50 minutes so it wasn’t like I was going to take him out because once he gets tight it’s hard to get him loose again. So if he was fine then I was fine with him being out there because he’s such a threat.’
Rivers gave Gordon credit for leading the Bulls on the scoreboard. But that’s not to say he overwhelmed by a comeback performance.
‘He was terrific. You know, he made some unbelievable shots and honestly some of them were very well defended. We’ll take some of those shots and if he makes them, he makes them,’ said Rivers. ‘But overall he didn’t look injured to me.’
|Game 5: Final Wrap||04.28.09 at 10:17 pm ET|
Pierce finished the game with 26 (11-22 FG). Rajon Rondo led all scorers with 28 points, 11 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Ben Gordon, who was questionable for this game, led the Bulls with 26 points (6-21 FG).
This is the first playoff series in NBA history to feature three overtime games.
|Game 5: Back to Overtime||04.28.09 at 9:43 pm ET|
The Celtics and Bulls are heading to overtime tied at 93 apiece. Credit Tony Allen for tough defense on Ben Gordon as time ran out in regulation. Unlike Game 4, Gordon did not hit the jumper with TA in his face. The Celtics are without Ray Allen, who fouled out earlier in the fourth.
|Allen fouls out||04.28.09 at 9:18 pm ET|
Ray Allen fouled out of Game 5 with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter. He had just nailed a three to cut the Bulls lead to three, 83-80. He left the game with 10 points (3/8 FG).
|Game 5: Third quarter update||04.28.09 at 9:01 pm ET|
After three, we are just about where we started two hours ago. The Bulls have a 70-66 lead, but neither team has been able to extend much of an advantage and both teams are shooting around 40 percent from the floor. It appears that the first four games of this series have exacted a heavy toll on both teams.
For the Celtics, Big Baby Davis was the go-to guy offensively with 10 of his 18 points in the quarter. Rajon Rondo also filled up the stat sheet with six points and four assists. Kirk Hinrich has picked up the slack for the Bulls with 19 points off the bench.
Ray Allen picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter and his presence was sorely missed. The Celtics have 12 minutes left in what could be the final home game of the season to make a run.
|Game 5: Second Quarter Update||04.28.09 at 8:12 pm ET|
At halftime … Bulls 47, Celtics 44
Worried about Ben Gordon? He shot just 2-for 11. But watch Kirk Hinrich. Even though he’s coming off the bench, he had been the Bulls starting PG before Rose was drafted … and it shows. Hinrich leads all players with 14 points (5/9 FG, 2/4 3PG).
Kendrick Perkins has been the driving force for the Celtics. The big man has been fearless on the glass, posting 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Other notes and numbers:
– Point Guard Watch: Rose was scoreless for his first 12 minutes. He finished the half with six points (3/7 FG). Rondo has 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 20 minutes. He drained a jumper as time expired in the second quarter.
– The Celtics are getting burned by the Bulls on offensive rebounds, 8-4. They trail 26-22 in total boards.
– Doc was up in arms after Scal got called for a foul on what looked like he took the charge against Tyrus Thomas. Scal redeemed himself, though, with a three. He gave Perkins eight minutes of rest and added a bucket, rebound, and two assists during that time.
|Game 5: First quarter update||04.28.09 at 7:38 pm ET|
After one at the Garden, the Celtics have a 23-21 lead. Paul Pierce is the leading scorer with seven points, but it’s been the Kendrick Perkins show so far. Perkins has four points, seven rebounds and has made numerous great rotations to blow up would-be Bulls dunks and layups.
Chicago is shooting just 30 percent from the floor and if not for Ben Gordon (who does not look like his injured hamstring is giving him any trouble) and Kirk Hinrich hitting a couple of contested 3-pointers, they’d be shooting a whole lot worse.
A couple of other observations:
— After so much talk about the officials, they have not been a factor so far. Perkins did not pick up a foul and there were only six personals handed out in the first 12 minutes.
— In the moments before tipoff Kevin Garnett was engaged in some heated trash talk with the Bulls bench. It was a good show, if nothing else.
— Both teams turned the ball over four times. Play was ragged at times and one wonders if the series has already exacted a toll both mentally and physically.
— The C’s tried to get Pierce off early and while those attempts failed he did manage find his offense.
— Stephon Marbury and Brian Scalabrine both checked into the game at the end of the quarter. Scal received a big ovation as it’s his first game back in Boston since his head injuries. Those two in particular are going to have to give the Celtics quality minutes.
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