|The cold truth: Paul Pierce leads Celtics to 7th straight in epic fashion||02.10.13 at 9:15 pm ET|
The two hottest teams in the NBA rewarded hearty New England basketball fans with the game of the year in professional basketball. In a game with countless ebbs and flows, the Celtics outlasted the Nuggets, 118-114, in triple overtime Sunday night at TD Garden, earning their season-high seventh straight win in the process. The Celtics also ended Denver’s nine-game win streak, with Rajon Rondo in attendance.
In 54 spectacular minutes, Paul Pierce finished with a triple double, scoring 27 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing 14 assists. But with a chance to tie the game, his second free throw rattled in and out with 32.5 seconds left in double overtime. Ty Lawson hit jumper to put Denver up three. Pierce came down and drained a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left to send the game into triple overtime.
After missing six straight 3-pointers, Jason Terry drilled a straightaway trey with 1:33 left in triple OT to put the Celtics up 116-113. Terry finished with 26 points off the bench. Sunday marked Boston’s ninth overtime game this season, matching a franchise record for a season (1950-51 and 1953-54). Kevin Garnett was big on the boards in 47 minutes, hauling in 18 rebounds to go with 20 points.
The Celtics were 3.6 seconds from their seventh straight win when the officials overturned a Nuggets turnover out of bounds under the Celtics basket. Given a second chance, Lawson hit the game-tying layup off the glass to send the game into overtime.
There were very few empty seats in TD Garden as Celtics fans braved the elements and lack of public transportation to get to the game just 24 hours after a state of emergency was lifted in the wake of the “Nemo” blizzard.
The Nuggets entered the game with an NBA-best nine-game winning streak, beating the Cavaliers Saturday night. The Nuggets (104.8) entered the game as the third-highest-scoring team in the NBA, with only the Thunder (106.6) and Rockets (106.0) scoring more per game.
Kris Joseph has a new start with a new team in the NBA.
Joseph cleared waivers and was released last month after appearing in six games for the Celtics. He was subsequently re-signed by the Red Claws. Joseph averaged 18.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game in 12 games with Boston’s D-League affiliate.
As for Mays, he was invited to Brooklyn Nets training camp and cut before being assigned to the Springfield Armor, the D-League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets. Mays was undrafted in 2008 before signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Nuggets. Mays is averaging 16.4 points and 10.6 rebounds in 26 games, earning him a spot on the D-League All-Star team.
For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Doc Rivers ‘very concerned’ about Nemo after effects||at 5:55 pm ET|
As Nemo was belting New England Friday night and Saturday morning, all Doc Rivers could do was stay inside in his Boston home, cook up a batch of gumbo and watch – what else – basketball.
“I cooked some gumbo,” Rivers said when asked how he kept himself busy. “I went out on the blizzard night because my oldest [Jeremiah] was in. He’s from Florida and he’s never been in one. So I thought he should experience it. We walked about a half block and he wanted to turn around — that was disappointing. But it was cool. It was really neat seeing the city with no one in it, at least no cars. It was great.”
While the Bruins did everything in their power to get in Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay before the NHL, city of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts stepped, Rivers likewise thought there might be some way to get his team out to Waltham for a practice.
“Trust me, we tried everything we could [Saturday], even into the evening I had guys in our [director of] security, Mr. Phil Lynch, thought it would be very dangerous, and he was right, which I hate to say that,” Rivers said. “So I’m very concerned. We even contemplated going this morning on a 6 o’clock game, it’s just tough when you have two days off. What actually concerned me more is that Denver was playing last night, because you knew they would come in with rhythm.
“But there’s nothing you can do. We came earlier than usual this evening [to TD Garden], and actually went over stuff at a real pace. I don’t know what that does, but it makes me feel better.”
But not much. Rivers knows his team will have a monumental challenge in handling the Nuggets, winners of nine straight, including a victory in Cleveland Saturday night. The Nuggets didn’t get into Boston until 3 a.m. Sunday, not leaving much time for coach George Karl and the Nuggets to get ready. Still, the Nuggets (33-18) are impressive, just 5.5 games behind Oklahoma City in the Northwest Division.
“Because they run, they play together,” Rivers said when asked to explain their success. “I love watching them, I tell George that all the time. They are genderless when you watch them play — nobody cares. They have six guys in double figures. [Kenneth Faried] led the team in attempts or second in attempts [Saturday]; he could take two attempts and he doesn’t care. They don’t care and that’s what you see when you watch them play. It’s very difficult team to load on. We load on a couple guys per game, [but] we’re sitting trying to pick which guy do we do that to tonight. It’s just hard.”
Rivers was asked if that formula could play well for the Celtics.
“I don’t know if we’ll have that balance because we have a guy named Paul Pierce on our team that’s pretty good, and Kevin Garnett,” said Rivers. “After those two, the balance should look like theirs.”
With practice canceled Saturday in Waltham, Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley were just two of the Celtics out early before Sunday evening’s game with the Denver Nuggets at TD Garden. The “Nemo” blizzard of 2013 shutdown most modes of transportation in and out of Boston, including Boston’s commuter rail and T system, making transportation to the Garden difficult for even players and coaches.
The Celtics game is the first game at the Garden since Nemo hit Friday night.
The Bruins had their game with the Lightning postponed due to the state of emergency in Boston through Saturday night. The game was originally slated for 1 p.m. Saturday at the Garden and then pushed back to 7 p.m. before the NHL canceled the game late Saturday afternoon.
As for the Celtics (26-23), they are second-hottest team in the NBA having won six straight. The only hotter team is Denver. They have won nine straight and sit 33-15 on the season. Boston has moved up to seventh place in the East and stand just a game behind No. 6 Atlanta. They are just three games back in the loss column of third place Indiana and fourth place Chicago.
The Celtics leave immediately after the game with the Nuggets for Charlotte, where they take on the Bobcats Monday night. For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Celtics recall Fab Melo in time for Nuggets||at 2:50 pm ET|
The Celtics announced Sunday that they have recalled center Fab Melo from their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. The 7-foot center will be dressed and available for duty against the Nuggets in the 6 p.m. contest at TD Garden.
In his one game on assignment to the Red Claws, Melo scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and had one assist in just under 23 minutes against the Bakersfield Jam on February 8. He is averaging 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.45 blocks in 27.4 minutes per game in his 20 contests with Maine this season.
For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.
|Report: Rajon Rondo ACL surgery set for next week||02.08.13 at 3:04 am ET|
Rajon Rondo will have season-ending surgery after all.
A source tells Yahoo’s Marc Spears that Rondo “is projected to be out six months after surgery next week” to repair a partially torn right knee ACL.
Rondo suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Hawks in Atlanta on Jan. 25. He was diagnosed with a torn ACL before the game with the Heat on Jan. 27. Since his injury, the Celtics have not lost, going on a six-game winning streak.
Spears added that Rondo has “spoken to three doctors, one in person, and will decide as early as Friday” which one will perform his surgery. According to Spears, Rondo also will not attend NBA All-Star weekend in Houston Feb. 15-17 because he won’t be able to travel so soon after surgery.
Spears added that the surgery will take place next Tuesday or Wednesday.
BOS G Rajon Rondo’s surgery is expected to be on Feb 12 or 13 and will be a procedure using either his ligaments or a cadaver,source told Y!
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 8, 2013
There had been speculation as late as Thursday that Rondo suffered only a partial tear of the ACL and might attempt some sort of drastic comeback this spring.
Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy told CSNNE.com that Rondo’s tear was only “partial” and could lead to a return “sooner” than expected.
|Kobe Bryant, the Celtics and the fountain of youth||at 1:54 am ET|
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the Garden parquet, laughing side-by-side as Gino danced his ridiculous dance on the Jumbotron. The former had submitted his finest performance against the Lakers since walking off the same floor with an NBA Finals MVP trophy. The latter had scored his 25,000th point in owning the league’s most dominant big. Together, they delivered a sixth straight Celtics win sans Rajon Rondo.
They are 35 and 36 years old, respectively. Combined, they’ve played nearly 90,000 minutes, which translates into more than a year of playing time on NBA basketball courts across the country. And they’re not done yet.
“It’s a generational thing,” said 34-year-old Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant after an embarrassing 106-95 loss to the Celtics. “In that generation, we all seem to hold on or have found the same fountain of youth somewhere.”
And not the kind of fountain of youth Alex Rodriquez reportedly found in Miami. “Not that one,” laughed Bryant. “Not that one.” More like a pacemaker that keeps a championship heart beating year after year. Like a 32-year-old Muhammad Ali biding his time against a 25-year-old George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle.
“It’s typical Celtics basketball,” said Bryant. “They all just put their hard hats on, and they go out, play hard and figure things out. Whenever their backs against the wall, that’s when you really see the best from them. … It’s just like last year, when they made their playoff run. That’s just what this team does. They kind of rope-a-dope you.”
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