|Halftime: Celtics vs. Nuggets||03.24.10 at 8:19 pm ET|
The Celtics rebounded nicely from their second-half fade on Monday night by claiming a 61-51 lead over the high-powered Denver Nuggets at the break.
The exclamation point on the outstanding play was a spectacular Tony Allen dunk on a beautiful feed from Rajon Rondo with 1:23 left and a layup with 0.1 seconds remaining in the half. Allen had 10 points off the Celtics bench.
This game was played at a breakneck tempo right out of the gate, with both teams executing their offenses at a high level.
The Celtics came out and appeared ready to make a statement against a Nuggets team that is expected to be the chief competition out West to the defending champion Lakers this spring. The Celtics made 13-of-21 shots from the floor and outscored Denver 20-8 in the paint to take a 30-27 lead after one.
Paul Pierce again showed he is ready to assume leadership of the team heading into the home stretch as he poured in a game-leading 16 points. That offset an equally impressive first half from Carmelo Anthony, who had 14.
The Celtics bench again saw a significant amount of playing time, bridging the first and second quarters effectively, and even building the lead up to nine points late in the second quarter. The down side to that was foul trouble.
In addition to the three first half fouls that sent Pierce to the bench early prematurely, Marquis Daniels also picked up three and Glen Davis two as 16 fouls were called on the Green in the opening 24 minutes.
But again the ball distribution was outstanding as the Celtics racked up 19 assists, led by seven from Rondo.
Growing up, Nate Robinson was supposed to stay away from sweets. All that sugar would keep him awake, his mother told him. He found a way to get into it anyways.
But Robinson never needed sweets and sugar to get going. He has been high-powered for as long as he can remember. The 25-year-old is the oldest of nine siblings (the youngest is 4 years old), and being a ringleader of energy was something he says fell into his lap.
“It just came naturally, I guess,” he said. “I was always energized and always wanted to have fun and mess with people. I always wanted people to have as much fun as I’m having. I think that’s what it was for me. I feel like if other people are not having fun or not being energized, I think that I didn’t do my job that day. So I always have to bring that energy.”
Robinson has made a career out of channeling that energy on to the basketball court. The former University of Washington standout was selected by the Suns with the 21st pick in the 2005 draft. He spent past 4½ seasons providing an instant spark for the Knicks in a backup role before being traded to the Celtics in February.
Robinson’s “ready whenever” mentality was showcased this season in his return from being benched for 14 straight games with the Knicks. On Jan. 1, he exploded for 41 points in just 38 minutes off the bench. He scored 11 of the Knicks’ 13 overtime points in a victory over the Hawks. To Robinson, he was just doing his job.
“It’s funny,” he said. “I felt the same like I always do.”
Robinson instant energy has enhanced the C’s second unit in the second half of the season. While the Celtics lost one sharpshooter in Eddie House, they gained another confident offensive player who has the potential to make an impact in the postseason. After less than two months on the team, Doc Rivers told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show, “Nate is a guy who has the chance to be a one-game sensation. He’s going to win a playoff game for us.”
Robinson may not know when Rivers is going to call his name, when he does, he’ll be ready to go.
“For them, they don’t need much because they’re a smart team,” Robinson said of the Celtics. “They’re a fun team. Baby [Glen Davis], he brings the energy as well, so they have guys that do that. Me, I’m just adding a little more fuel so they can go a little faster.”
As part of WEEI.com’s “Inside the Game” series with the Celtics, Robinson explains what it means to be a high-energy player:
Call him ‘Garbage Man’: Providing a spark off the bench may not be appealing to every player, but Robinson enjoys doing the dirty work on the court.
“It’s kind of like, it’s a job that has to be done. It’s kind of like a garbage man, that’s how I look at it, kind of like a garbage man. Everybody needs their garbage picked up and I’m that guy to do it. I’m the energy guy. I’ve got to bring enough energy for everybody, enough for the whole building.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Green soars in Russian dunk contest||03.22.10 at 1:14 am ET|
It has been almost four months since former Celtic Gerald Green signed overseas, and he has been showcasing his high-flying skills internationally.
Green, a member of Lokomotiv Kuban, recently squared off against former NBA players James White and Pops Mensah-Bonsu in the 2010 Gatorade Dunk Contest in Russia. Even though Green always maintained he wanted to be viewed as more just a dunker, he didn’t shy away from his leaping abilities in this competition.
(Warning: Content features music with explicit lyrics.)
|Fast Break: Celtics – Rockets||03.19.10 at 10:12 pm ET|
The Big Three came together to help the Celtics beat the Rockets, 94-87, on Friday night in Houston.
Paul Pierce led all players with 26 points (15 in the fourth quarter); Ray Allen shot 5-for-8 from 3-point range (19 points), and Kevin Garnett scored 15. Allen and Garnett’s contributions were so significant because they kept the Celtics ahead when Pierce was benched early on with foul trouble. The trio didn’t have to be on the court at the same time to be effective.
The Celtics actually trailed 13-6 early in the first before going on an 8-0 run to erase their deficit. The comeback was a team effort. The C’s first 10 points came off of baskets from each of the five starters. They led 28-24 after the first 12 minutes.
The Celtics held the Rockets scoreless for the first 3:38 of the second quarter. During that stretch, they went on a 5-0 run and built a nine-point lead, which they carried into halftime.
When the Rockets made a push in the third, the Celtics fended off the threat with long-range shooting. Ray Allen and Nate Robinson nailed 3-pointers that kept the Rockets at bay.
Then the fourth belonged to Pierce. He scored 15 of his 26 points in the final quarter to ice the Celtics third straight win.
Turning Point: The Rockets had closed in, 57-55, with 5:28 left in the third. Kendrick Perkins blocked a driving layup attempt by Aaron Brooks and Rajon Rondo grabbed the rebound. He dished it to Ray Allen, who nailed a trey and pushed the Celtics back up, 62-57. It set the Celtics up for a series of 3′s that would maintain their lead.
Player of the Game: It’s tough to give the award to just one player when the Celtics won the game with a combined effort by Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. Each player did their part to lead the C’s to victory and picked up the slack when the other was off the court.
- Rasheed Wallace had one of his best performances in a Celtics uniform. He scored seven points off a combination of inside and outside shots, and grabbed nine rebounds.
- Glen Davis also had a solid contribution off the bench. He posted seven points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes. Nate Robinson scored eight in 13 minutes.
- Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 10 assists. The Rockets as a team dished just 15.
|First Half: Celtics – Rockets||at 8:47 pm ET|
The Rockets jumped out to an quick lead but lost control over it just five minutes into the game. The Celtics trailed 13-6 early in the first before going on an 8-0 run to erase their deficit. The comeback was a team effort. The C’s first 10 points came off of baskets from each of the five starters. They led 28-24 after the first 12 minutes.
The Celtics held the Rockets scoreless for the first 3:38 of the second quarter. During that stretch, they went on a 5-0 run and built a nine-point lead. They still lead by nine at halftime, 50-41.
Paul Pierce is the Celtics high scorer with 11 points. Rasheed Wallace is having one of his best showings all season, driving the lane and hitting his outside shots. He had added seven points, four rebounds, and two blocks off the bench. Luis Scola leads all players with 13 points.
|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.
|Third Quarter: Celtics – Knicks||at 8:31 pm ET|
Paul Pierce scored 16 points in the third quarter to give the Celtics a 92-71 lead over the Knicks. He accounted for but eight of the Celtics points in the quarter.
The C’s are dominating the Knicks in the paint and have a 46-24 advantage. They are also outrebounding the Knicks, 33-26.
Kevin Garnett is behind Pierce with 22 points. Kendrick Perkins has 12 rebounds while Rajon Rondo has as many assists.
The Celtics are 34-8 when leading or tied after the third quarter.