|Fast Break: Celtics – Knicks||03.17.10 at 8:55 pm ET|
The Celtics improved to 22-13 on St. Patrick’s Day with a 109-97 win over the Knicks on Wednesday in Boston.
Powered by 29 points from Paul Pierce, the Celtics led by as many as 27 in the third quarter. Kevin Garnett was right behind Pierce with 22 points and Marquis Daniels added 10 off the bench. Kendrick Perkins pulled down 12 rebounds while Rajon Rondo dished as many assists.
Davis Lee led the Knicks with 29 points. Former Celtics Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens 8 and 4, respectively.
Player of the Game: Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 29 points in the third quarter alone. It was Pierce’s highest game total since scoring 35 against the Hawks on January 29. He finished the night shooting 11-for-17 FG, 3-for-6 3PG, and 4-for-5 FT.
Turning Point: The Celtics accumulated a double-digit lead six minutes into the game. They led 35-19 after the first quarter, and that was with Pierce going scoreless in just 1:51 (he was sidelined with two fouls).
– The Celtics first five field goals came in the paint. They outscored the Knicks 56-44 in the paint overall.
– The last time Kendrick Perkins grabbed more than 10 rebounds was February 18 against the Lakers (14). It is only the second time since the All-Star Break that he has reached double-digits in boards.
– J.R. Giddens played his first game since undergoing knee surgery six weeks ago. It was his first game in a Knicks uniform and the first time he played at TD Garden since January 18 (as a member of the Celtics).
– Nate Robinson scored 8 points in 21 minutes against his former team.
– The Celtics improved to 12-2 in the Atlantic Division. They are now 7-1 at home on Wednesdays.
|Doc to big men: Shelden ‘wants your minutes’||03.17.10 at 8:40 pm ET|
Doc Rivers remembers how vital a sense of urgency can be for those who back up the starters.
Now, with Shelden Williams seeing some more playing time of late, he hopes history is in the course of repeating itself.
And he’s let everyone on the second unit know it.
“We kind of alerted the other bigs that if you’re not getting the job done, we’re just going to go with Shelden,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “If he’s not, then we’ll go back with you. But I think right now, with our team, I think that’s a good place for all of them to be in.”
Rivers clearly is looking for that extra fire in the second unit to motivate the likes of Davis and Rasheed Wallace.
“I thought that was very good a couple of years ago with Leon and Baby,” Rivers said. “I thought that sense of urgency that the other guy wanted to play your minutes was a good thing for our team.
“We kind of feel into but I think it’s great that Shelden is there and wants your minutes.”
Williams has seen significant minutes of late in blowouts over the Pacers, Pistons and Knicks.
“It’s need and he’s showing me something,” Rivers said. “It’s been great all year in the fact that once he stopped playing he never stopped working.”
|Third Quarter: Celtics – Knicks||03.17.10 at 8:31 pm ET|
The C’s are dominating the Knicks in the paint and have a 46-24 advantage. They are also outrebounding the Knicks, 33-26.
The Celtics are 34-8 when leading or tied after the third quarter.
|Halftime: Celtics-Knicks||03.17.10 at 7:45 pm ET|
After a dreadful start, the Knicks were able to get back in the game a little bit, but a late Celtics run gave them a commanding 68-49 at the half. The Celtics are shooting 63 percent.
All of the starters had solid halves. Kevin Garnett made his six first shots and leads the Celtics with 16 points. Paul Pierce added 13 and Ray Allen added nine. Kendrick Perkins has nine points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo has seven assists.
|First quarter: Celtics-Knicks||03.17.10 at 7:11 pm ET|
After one, the Celtics lead 32-19 and for the second straight game, the Celtics got off to a fast start against a mediocre team. The C’s scored the first seven points against the Knicks, who missed their first six shots and made only two of their first 12 shots to start the game.
Kevin Garnett led the way with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting and Kendrick Perkins added five points and five rebounds. Rajon Rondo already has five assists. It could have been worse but a Nate Robinson 3-pointer was actually after the shot clock expired.
Paul Pierce went to the bench with two fouls just two minutes into the game. Pierce also had early foul trouble against Detroit on Monday.
|Perkins reminded of old times||03.16.10 at 12:53 am ET|
The Celtics were up by double digits late in the fourth quarter and Gino came out to celebrate. It was just like old times. Well, just like earlier in the season, actually.
The C’s commanding 119-93 win over the Pistons on Monday night in Boston was reminiscent of the blowout victories they had enjoyed so many times before. They got back to team basketball, something Kendrick Perkins was happy to be a part of.
‘I think today, the vibe was good on the court,’ he said after the game. ‘Guys were rooting for each other, being there on the help side, just being there, and it was just fun to be a part of.’
Perkins was particularly please with the Celtics’ ball movement. Shots produced by four or five passes were a result of strong communication and being in sync with one another. The overall team effort reminded Perkins of the start of the season, when they went on six- and 11-game winning streaks.
‘It does, especially when we’re playing like that,’ he said. ‘I think just how guys were sharing the ball, like I said, just fun to be a part of. It reminds you of the time we were playing, I think, at our best. Those are the things we were doing. And on the defensive end we were playing great defense and rebounding and running and guys were denying the ball.’
The Celtics have won six out of their last 10 and will face the Knicks on Wednesday at home.
|Finley just making ‘the most of it’||03.15.10 at 11:26 pm ET|
Most impressive was how smooth Finley made it look. He missed just once in seven field goal attempts, making the most of his 13-plus minutes off the bench.
‘I work out,” Finley said. “I try to work out every day where I have confidence in my game. Whenever my number is called, I just want to be prepared. Tonight was just an example of that. My teammates just got me in good positions to make plays and I just made the most of it.
‘I’m still trying to find my way in. This team was a good one before I got here. I just want to come in and help them be a better team. If that’s possible, I’m all for it.’
On Sunday in Cleveland, the bench struggled mightily, with Glen Davis and Marquis Daniels held scoreless. On Monday, thanks to the early fire shown by Finley, the bench exploded for 61 points, including 13 for Davis and 11 for Daniels.
‘It’s always good to win, especially coming off the performance we had in Cleveland,” Finley said. “It always good to get that winning taste back in your mouth and show each other what it takes to win ball games, despite the opponent.’
‘Yeah, because I didn’t know what to expect, honestly,” Rivers said. “You know he hadn’t played a lot this year with San Antonio and he wasn’t making shots. I just don’t believe a guy can forget how to shoot. So we thought if we could get him in here and get him some looks, you know give him a chance to make some shots, they would go in. But, yeah, even his passing, just little things he does on the floor, he’s been great.’
Wallace had a simple message for Finley on Monday – keep it simple and I’ll find you on the court.
“I’ve seen it in college when he was at Wisconsin, and you know for the few teams he played with here in the league, I know what type of player Fin is,” ‘Sheed said. “That’s one thing I told him when he first came here, when were out there in that second unit, I’m going to swing you the ball, just basic basketball. I’m going to come over set the pick, you can either come off for the shot, drop it off, or just play basketball and make that next pass.’
More to the point, Finley, if he continues to play like he did Monday night, makes the Celtics’ bench that much more difficult to match up against come playoff time.
‘It gives us another guy where you have to step up,” Wallace said. “And I say that from an offensive standpoint, you know guys will have to respect Fin’s jump shot and driving ability, and that pretty much leaves all the post players open for a one on one.’
‘He’s a veteran,” added Daniels. “He’s a shooter. That’s something he does, it’s like riding a bike. He knows how to shoot the ball and he does it well.’
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