|Fast Break: Suns rise, Celtics fall … again||01.20.12 at 9:56 pm ET|
Friday night’s Celtics game against the Suns at the Garden was a familiar story: Get off to a slow start, fall behind by double digits, make it close and fall behind again after exerting too much energy playing from behind all night.
The final result: A 79-71 Phoenix victory in Boston.
Ray Allen led the Celtics with 14 points. Paul Pierce (12), Brandon Bass (11), Kevin Garnett (10) and Avery Bradley all reached double figures, but the C’s (5-9) lost their sixth game in seven tries.
Suns center Marcin Gortat totaled 24 points (14 in the first quarter) and 12 rebounds to lead the Suns (6-9). Steve Nash added 11 points and nine assists.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Pole position: Gortat scored almost as many points in the first quarter (14) as the Celtics (15) — on just as many field goals (7) and eight fewer shots (19-11). If Jermaine O’Neal wants to be judged on his defense, let’s just say it wasn’t so good early, and the Celtics were forced to play catch-up all night once again.
Poor paint job: The Celtics simply had nobody capable of getting to the rim and scoring. Their guards weren’t deft enough to get to the hoop, and their bigs weren’t athletic enough to get their shot off cleanly. On multiple occasions, Paul Pierce worked his way into the paint, only to be contested by a quicker defender who could simply jump higher.
Rondo a no go: Let’s face it: At this point, Rondo is the Celtics offense. Without him orchestrating and finding Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on the wings or Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass for open jumpers, everything else falls apart. Even with Rondo, the Celtics offense hasn’t exactly looked pretty this season. Without him, it’s downright ugly. The Celtics succeeded in keeping their turnover total high (18), leading to 20 Phoenix points.
|NBA Draft day rumors, 11:30 a.m.: Steve Nash will not be traded||06.23.11 at 11:36 am ET|
There have been rumors surrounding the Suns and the team possibly trading point guard Steve Nash. President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby put an end to those rumors on Wednesday.
In an email to Sports Illustrated Babby wrote: “We are not trading Marcin Gortat, period. End of sentence. We are not trading Steve Nash, period, exclamation point.”
Nash does not believe he will be traded.
“They’ve told me plenty of times they don’t want to move me, so I don’t think they need to call me every day,” Nash said Wednesday. “I’m not up to date on all the rumors. Right now I have a contract with the Suns. I hope this year is better than last and I’m ready to keep playing in Phoenix and continue to build the team and win a championship.”
|Celtics-Magic Game Blog: Second Quarter||03.08.09 at 12:39 pm ET|
At the start of the second quarter … Magic 22, Celtics 15
- The Magic have scored 16 of their first 22 points in the paint. They’ve done more damage in the lane than the Celtics have done on the floor, and Howard has only played six minutes.
- This could be a big game for Gabe Pruitt. With only Marbury ahead of him at the PG, Pruitt has his first shot in a while to prove himself. He has not played since February 25 against the Los Angeles Clippers. That night he was arrested for suspicion of DUI and served a team-imposed two-game suspension.
- Both teams are going heavy on the bigs. The Celtics have Kendrick Perkins and Mikki Moore going up against Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat.
- The Celtics have scored just two points in four minutes. And the faint boos have already begun.
- There have been 18 fouls called in the first 18 minutes of the game.
- Howard’s on the bench with three personal fouls. Now is the time for the Celtics to do some damage at the basket. The Cs also have an advantage with J.J. Redick guarding Ray Allen. Redick is not known for his defense.
- The Magic’s deal for Rafer Alston did not get much buzz at the trade deadline but this acquisition is a difference maker in this game. Alston brings quickness to the Magic that the Celtics are having trouble stopping without Rajon Rondo.
- Pierce’s dunk past Pietrus and Battie has the crowd on their feet. The harsh reality is, the Celtics are still down by nearly 20.
- At the half … Magic 51, Celtics 33
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