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Sounds of the Game… Celtics 100, Jazz 91 12.16.08 at 8:39 am ET
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The Green Machine rolled to their 15th straight win thanks to another All-Star-worthy performance from point guard Rajon Rondo. He poured in a career-high 25 points and was just a rebound and two assists shy of another triple-double. He also had the move of the night late in the fourth quarter when he drove to the basket, got turned around and threw threw the ball over his head. The ball banked off the glass and came down, sending the sellout crowd into a frenzy and sealing Boston’s 23rd win in 25 tries. The Celtics matched the NBA’s all-time best 25-game start. All three previous teams to start 23-2 have won the NBA championship. The last time the Celtics won 15 straight was during their franchise-record 18-game run in the 1981-82 season. Next up, the Atlanta Hawks on the road Wednesday night at Philips Arena.

Doc Rivers on the amazing Rajon Rondo and how ‘English’ on the ball helps his shot – sometimes.

Rivers said Rondo’s speed was the difference Monday because the Jazz didn’t guard him aggressively.

Rondo said he just tried to stay aggressive.

Rondo expects a battle from Atlanta Wednesday night.

Paul Pierce said Rondo is All-Star worthy.

Pierce expects playoff atmosphere Wednesday in the ATL.

Kevin Garnett gave it up for Rondo’s driving layup.

Utah coach Jerry Sloan said the Celtics let his team back in the game but his players were scared.

Read More: Boston Celtics, jerry sloan, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
Phelps Makes a Splash with Celtics 12.15.08 at 9:42 pm ET
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There was a ruckus coming from the trainers room following the Boston Celtics 100-91 win over the Utah Jazz. They weren’t celebrating their win but rather their special guest, U.S. Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

“B-More!” Kevin Garnett screamed out of the trainers room.

Sam Cassell rushed in to see the fellow Baltimore native Phelps, who grew up north of Cassell in the suburb of Rodgers Forge. Cassell had met Phelps after his first Olympic run in 2000.

“It’s good, a guy from the suburbs accomplished so much,” Cassell said. “He’s cool, he’s cool. He’s from the suburbs but he does everything a city guy does.”

So who has to fend off more fans in Baltimore? The swimmer or the point guard?

“It depends on which neighborhood we’re in. In my neighborhood they’d attack me because they know who I am. They might not know who he is,” Cassell replied with a laugh.

The prolific swimmer was ushered into the Celtics locker room by an entourage of security and Jared Fogle, with whom he is promoting Subway.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Michael Phelps, Sam Cassell
Hold the Fries for Pierce 12.14.08 at 9:33 pm ET
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“I got a rotisserie, so you can pretty much throw anything in that and just sit it and forget it,” Paul Pierce said with a laugh.

Pierce's go-to off the court

Pierce's go-to off the court

If only his weight loss program was that simple. This summer Pierce estimates he dropped between eight to ten pounds, a step he took to enhance the quality of his career. Pierce, 31, had seen plenty of players gain weight around the same age and he couldn’t afford to do the same. Not when there is a championship to defend.

“You always want to improve. I’m at the stage and the age where I’m not getting any younger and it’s going to be more difficult to keep off weight,” he said. “But it’s just making a conscious effort, especially as my career winds down for the last four or five years, to just be in the best shape possible.”

Pierce became his own personal chef and said goodbye to many of the foods he had grown accustomed to.

“I just cut back on a lot of meats, like red meats. I don’t eat a lot of steak as much as I did before, hamburgers, stuff like that,” he explained. “It’s more chicken and fish, salads, pasta. Not as much pasta either, but you gotta sneak it in there sometimes. There are some great Italian places out here in Boston.”

The NBA season keeps Pierce out of his kitchen so he has to be extra cautious on the road. The combination of eating in the locker room after games, late-night meals, and dining out are red flags he has to avoid, or pay the price the following day.

“It’s hard, especially when you go to Dallas and Mark Cuban puts all that food in [our locker room],” he said. “I’m not saying I don’t cheat though. I just know I’ve got to get some extra work in the next morning.”

Pierce's toughest competition

Pierce's toughest competition?

While Pierce decided to lose the weight on his own, he was impressed by how much shedding pounds transformed his teammate’s career. Kendrick Perkins lost 16 pounds heading into last season.

“Just seeing him where he was day one,” Pierce said. “I watched him from a kid to now and if you look at his pictures from his rookie year, you’d be like, ‘Man, who was that?’”

So now that Pierce has traded in fried food for fresh fruit, what guilty pleasure does he miss the most?

“Man, Mexican food,” he said. “Growing up in Los Angeles you’ve got all the good Mexican places. I’m a taco guy, burritos, stuff like that. I cut back on those but I kind of sneak those in here and there. My mom makes the best chicken enchiladas. (Pauses) Man!”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Kendrick Perkins, Mark Cuban
Sounds of the Game… Celtics 94, Hornets 82 12.13.08 at 8:53 am ET
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Yet another sign on Friday night that these Celtics may be even better and more focused than last year’s 66-win, NBA-champion group. The C’s came in after an 8 p.m. game the night before in Washington and had to battle the talented New Orleans Hornets, with James Posey making his return and collecting his ring. After circling at midcourt and doing Ubuntu one more time with the man Doc Rivers said understood it as well as anyone, the Celtics went out and won their 14th straight, matching their longest since March-April 1986. Rajon Rondo didn’t have his finest game but Paul Pierce more than picked up the slack with 28 points. Even Pose had to concede that this team may be even better than last year’s group.

James Posey said the Celtics know each other now.

Posey was touched by the Celtics’ pregame tribute to him at midcourt.

Paul Pierce said it was nice to see Posey get his ring.

Pierce on winning this game in a back-to-back situation.

Pierce said the streak is nice but there’s work to be done.

Tony Allen on reuniting with Posey.

Doc Rivers on facing Posey for the first time.

Doc Rivers said the win was a struggle.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, James Posey, Paul Pierce
Stojakovic Done with Three-Point Shootout at 1:06 am ET
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Sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic is saving his long range game for the regular season. The two-time Three-Point Shootout champion will no longer compete in the All-Star Weekend contest.

“I did that so many times so I don’t think I need to do it again,” he said on Friday night prior to the New Orleans Hornets-Boston Celtics game.

Stojakovic participated in five Three-Point Shootouts, dating back to 2001 as a member of the Sacramento Kings. He dethroned Celtics guard Ray Allen to win back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003. Stojakovic took a three-year hiatus before returning this past February to show his appreciation for the host city of New Orleans. He looks forward to spending time with his family during the All-Star Break.

Read More: Boston Celtics, New Orleans Hornets, Peja Stojakovic, Ray Allen
All about the focus… 12.10.08 at 12:41 pm ET
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The last time they visited the nation’s capital, all the Celtics could focus on was being on the same stage with President Bush.

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Wednesday afternoon, as they boarded a plane for D.C. again, their focus was quite different.

The Celtics are 20-2 and once again on top of the NBA world. But listen to them at practice and they realize that they are the only people who can keep them there.

“It’s not hard at all, especially when you’re ultimate goal is to win a championship, the focus is there everyday,” Paul Pierce said. “Just because we’re veterans, we don’t have any letdowns. We check everybody, we check on one another and when we see one guy have slippage, we pick them up. That’s what this team is all about.”

Pierce added that the Celtics have a very good system of checks and balances on each other to keep the focus where it needs to be.

Coach Doc Rivers has found ways to keep his team sharp.

As well as the Celtics know themselves, the Wizards are wondering who they are. They completed a stunning comeback on Tuesday night, coming from 15 points down to beat the Detroit Pistons going away. But still, at 4-15, the Wizards are a mess. Coaching journeyman Ed Tapscott took over for Eddie Jordan following the team’s 1-10 start without the injured Gilbert Arenas available.

In an effort to get more scoring depth, the Wizards pulled off a three-way trade on Wednesday, a deal that should have former Celtic Mike James available for Thursday’s contest.

If the Celtics can handle Caron Butler, they stand a very good chance of improving to 21-2 with the James Posey-Chris Paul-led Hornets up next on Friday at the Garden.

Read More: Boston Celtics, James Posey, Paul Pierce,
Sounds of the game… Celtics 93, Trail Blazers 78 12.06.08 at 11:44 am ET
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Last season, in their run to their 17th NBA title, the Celtics went from potential to prolific, winning 66 games in the regular season. This season, they are going from hype to historic, as in no team in NBA history has ever followed up an 18-2 start one season with a 19-2 opening the next… until now. What’s scary about the Green Machine’s is they honestly believe they have yet to play a complete game. Friday night, the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA came to town with a 16-4 mark and a six-game winning streak. They hadn’t lost to an Eastern Conference team. They had lost just twice in 16 games when holding their opponent under 100 points. Still not enough to overcome the Celtics, who overwhelmed them with a 21-0 run. The Celtics are all on the same page, preaching the same message, we’re playing well but there’s a lot of season remaining and a lot to play for. Just take a listen.

Doc Rivers loved the energy and effort against Portland.

Rivers said his team took the offensive rebounding challenge against Portland to heart.

Paul Pierce said the Celtics are just looking to get better.

Kevin Garnett on the flow of the team during the 21-0 run.

Garnett said the team is all business right now.

Kendrick Perkins said the team is ready for a battle in Indiana on Sunday.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett
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