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Fast Break: Celtics vs. Wizards 03.07.10 at 10:46 pm ET
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It looked like another disappointing home loss for the Celtics. Down by 12 in the third quarter, the C’s were on the verge of falling to the Wizards just a week after being upset by the Nets.

But that’s when their winning experience came into play. The Celtics outscored the Wizards 24-17 in the fourth quarter to secure a 86-83 comeback victory.

Turning Point: Down 81-77, Rajon Rondo scored a fastbreak layup and drew the foul on Al Thornton with 1:37 to go. He missed the free throw, but Kendrick Perkins kicked out the offensive rebound to Ray Allen, who drained a trey. This capped a 16-2 Celtics run and put them up, 82-81.

Player of the game: Ray Allen (25 points) got the Celtics momentum back with a pair of treys in the third quarter. Not only did he hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth, he knocked down the game-winning 3 with 17 seconds left.

- Rondo scored just two points in the first half. He got hot late in the third to score seven points in a span of two-minutes. He finished the game with 15 points.

- Michael Finley was inactive and watched the game from the end of the Celtics bench in a charcoal suit.

- Tony Allen played two minutes in his first game back since injuring his hip on Wednesday against the Bobcats.

- The Celtics are now 6-5 on Sundays and improved to 25-6 against sub-.500 opponents.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,
First Quarter Wrap: Celtics vs. 76ers 03.05.10 at 7:38 pm ET
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A scoring duel is brewing in Philadelphia. Elton Brand started the game a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. He leads all players with 12 points. Ray Allen is right behind him, however, with 11. Allen tied Wednesday’s total (3 points) just over a minute into the game.

The 76ers opened the first quarter with a 3-point play by Andre Iguodala. They jumped out to a quick 9-3 lead but Kevin Garnett scored six consecutive points to propel a 10-2 Celtics run. Once the C’s tied it up, they kept the 76ers away from the line, committing just one foul in the quarter.

The Celtics trail 25-23 after the first.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen,
Meet Michael Finley 03.04.10 at 10:46 pm ET
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Proven veterans have become the norm on the Celtics, and Michael Finley looks to become the next one to add his playoff experience to the team. “It’s official now,” Finley told ESPN.com. “I’m soon to be a Celtic.” Finley has never played for an Eastern Conference team, but he comes to Boston with several links to the C’s. Here are a few quick facts to know about Finley:

Position: Guard-Forward
Height/Weight: 6-7, 225 pounds
Birthdate: March 6, 1973
NBA Experience: 15th season

Finley helped the Spurs capture the trophy in 2007

Finley helped the Spurs capture the trophy in 2007

Class of ’95: The Suns selected Finley with the 21st overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft. That year Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett were chosen with the fourth and fifth picks, respectively.

Before Beantown: Boston will be Finley’s first stint in the Eastern Conference. He played over a season for the Suns before being traded to the Mavericks as part of the Jason Kidd deal in 1996. He spent over eight years in Dallas, then signed with the Spurs as a free agent in 2005.

Most Recently: This season Finley played 25 games, including two starts, for the Spurs before being bought out on Monday. He averaged 3.7 points (38.1% FG, 31.7% 3PG) and 1.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game.

Title Run: In 2007, Finley won a championship with the Spurs. That postseason he posted 11.3 points in 26.9 minutes over 20 games. He also led the Spurs in three-point field goals and attempts (44-for-105). Finley has a career postseason average of 13.6 points (39.1% 3PG), 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 111 games.

Long-Range Momentum: Finley is averaging 37.4% from long range over his career. He currently ranks ninth among all active players in three-point field goals, trailing Paul Pierce by ten treys. He ranks eighth among all active players in three-point attempts. (Ray Allen is the leader in both categories.)

Major Minutes: He led the league in minutes in 1998, 2000, and 2001, averaging more than 41 per game in each of those seasons. He currently ranks fourth among all active players in total minutes played (37,683), behind only Jason Kidd, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kevin Garnett.

All-Star Accolades: Finley is a two-time NBA All-Star. He played on the Western Conference team in 2001 and 2002 with Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace.

Dunking Duel: Finley faced off against Ray Allen and former Celtic Chris Carr in the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest. He finished third in the finals that year. The previous year, Finley came in second place to Brent Barry.

School Ties: Finley attended the same high school as Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Proviso East HS in Maywood, Illinois. He played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin, the same school as recently acquired Marcus Landry.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Michael Finley, Ray Allen
Daniels dedication contagious 02.26.10 at 1:06 am ET
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Marquis Daniels is sick.

Not sniffly nose sick, but that stay-in-bed-all-day kind of sick where you can’t help but feel bad for him when you see that pained look on his face.

Daniels has been battling the flu the entire week, but he still played on Thursday night against the Cavaliers. He started, in fact, in place of Paul Pierce.

He fought through picks, defenders, and illness. Daniels hustled for 31 minutes, defended LeBron James, grabbed three rebounds, and picked off a steal along the way.

“He did a great job,” said Glen Davis. “Being sick is tough. He’s a competitor and he plays hard. But he went out there and did what he had to do.”

After the game Daniels looked exhausted as he slouched at his locker. His voice was faint and he  simply shook his head when asked how he felt.

The Celtics will not practice on Friday. Daniels will wait until then to talk to the doctors about what he kind of activity he should or should not do.

But even though he is sick, it’s his dedication that’s most contagious.

“I commend him because the last day or so he’s been somewhat shaky and not strong,“ said Ray Allen. “You could tell that his energy was very low. So for him to be out there, I definitely commend him.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Glen Davis, Marquis Daniels, Ray Allen
How C’s-Cavs are different now 02.25.10 at 1:00 pm ET
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WALTHAM — It seems much longer than four months when last the Celtics played the Cavaliers on opening night in Cleveland.

And for both teams – who meet tonight at TD Garden at 8 p.m. – the perspective has changed.

The Celtics went into Quicken Loans Arena on Oct. 27 and came away with a 95-89 win and served notice that they were intent on reclaiming their perch atop the Eastern Conference with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen back in full stride.

That night Pierce led a balanced attack with 23 points, overcoming a game-high 38 from LeBron James. But C’s coach Doc Rivers said beyond the final score, there’s not much to take from the result that night.

“Nah, they’re not the same team,” Rivers said. “We’re not the same team. We won. We can take that away from it but other than that, I think both teams have forgotten about that.”

Indeed. Since then, the two teams have taken different paths. The Cavs, after losing their first two and starting the season 3-3, have rebounded to claim the top spot in the East and the NBA at 44-14, despite a recent three-game skid.

[Click here to listen to Rivers explain how Cavaliers are different than opening night.]

The Celtics, who stood 23-5 following a Christmas Day win over Orlando, have battled injuries and inconsistency and stand 36-19, just ahead of fourth-place Atlanta by a game in the loss column.

Both teams made moves at the trading deadline to strengthen themselves. While the Celtics added firepower with Nate Robinson, Cleveland acquired more front court athleticism in Antawn Jamisoin, dealing away Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The Cavs lost their first three games following the trade with Jamison in the starting lineup before he scored 18 in Tuesday’s win over New Orleans.

“They are different, watching them on tape the last two games,” Rivers said. “The Jamison thing has changed them a little bit. It definitely makes it more difficult to guard them so we have to get ready for that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Cavaliers, Celtics, LeBron James, Nate Robinson
Celtics wish the best for Powe 02.24.10 at 11:59 pm ET
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Thursday night will be Leon Powe’s first return to Boston since signing with the Cavaliers last summer.

It could also be the first time he plays in over 10 months.

The Celtics still appreciate Leon Powe's dedication during his career in Boston.

The Celtics still appreciate Leon Powe's dedication during his career in Boston.

Powe tore the ACL in his left knee during Game 2 of the Celtics first round playoff series against the Bulls last season. That was April 20, 2009. He has not played in an NBA game since.

On Tuesday, after months of rehab, Powe was activated into the Cavaliers lineup. While he did  not get on the court, it presented the possibility for him to make his regular season debut against his former team.

Even though he is in a different uniform this time around, those who spent seasons around him expressed their best wishes for his return:

Ray Allen: “I’d be happy for him. I’d definitely be happy for him. I’m just wishing him well because how he injured himself and how everything went, I was so distraught. We all felt bad so I’d be glad to see him just lace them back up.”

Kendrick Perkins: “I’d be excited for him. Just for him to bounce back after the injury, it could have been a career-ending injury. But for him to come back and get a chance to play, I’d be happy for Leon. He’s a great guy. … He works hard. Leon’s a hard worker. He’s all basketball. He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do any of the club stuff. He’s strictly basketball.”

Tony Allen: “That’s my man. I’m happy for him. If anybody could come off injuries and play, hey, I’m all for it. I hope he gets back to where he wants to get back. That’s my man. We’ve got a friendship that’s going to last forever. He’s a championship teammate, we won it together, we threw champagne together, he understands me.”

Glen Davis: “It means a lot. He’s a great guy, and for him to have an opportunity to play and do some big things, come back from a tough knee injury, I know it means a lot to him. It’s a joy to see a guy bounce back and fight adversity and come back and be able to play. … We won a championship together. We won it together so he’s always going to be a part of that.”

Head coach Doc Rivers: “It’d be nice to see him playing basketball. I’m looking forward to it. I don’t know, except for having gone through the knee injury myself, and he’s gone through it a couple times, what he has had to go through. So I’m really looking forward to him just playing basketball again. It’ll be great. To me, it’ll be a success story  in a lot of ways because a lot of people didn’t think he could ever play again. When he got hurt, I heard that the first time. I said, ‘You clearly don’t know who Leon Powe is. That kid will always be a success story.’”

Powe averaged 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds over three seasons for the Celtics. Last season he stepped into the starting role in place of an injured Kevin Garnett and Davis. He scored a career-high 30 points and added 11 rebounds against the Grizzlies last March.

Powe’s troubled childhood has also been chronicled as a testament to his dedication to succeed in the NBA. Click here to read more.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Kendrick Perkins, Leon Powe
Allen always expected return to Boston at 12:53 am ET
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On Tuesday night, Ray Allen returned to TD Garden for the first time since the trade deadline.

He didn’t expect to be anywhere else.

“I had my whole West Coast bag packed already, so it was going on the plane to Sacramento on that Monday morning [for the Celtics four-game road trip]. So I wasn’t thinking about anything anyways,“ he said prior to the Celtics-Knicks game. “I think there was more made up than honestly I knew because people were tweeting me, hoping I stayed here. But it wasn’t a question for me whether or not I thought I was going anywhere.”

Allen repeatedly vocalized his desire to retire as a Celtic. There was no questioning his interest in finishing his career in green.

However, an expiring contract combined with the Celtics’ inconsistencies had landed his name is trade rumors for weeks. Many thought Allen had played his last game as a Celtic when the C’s blew a late lead to the Magic on Feb. 7, their final home game before the deadline. And when he sat out the next game in New Orleans with back spasms, even more speculation buzzed.

But as Celtics fans waited anxiously for the trade deadline to pass last Thursday, Allen was unaware of the time frame. He actually thought the deadline was Feb. 20, not the 18th.

Besides, one deadline did not dictate his 14-year career.

“Not that I was ever worried about it because at worst you go somewhere else and you still play. Just you start somewhere else,” he said. “So that was my mindset. But I think obviously there were people that either wanted me to stay or wanted me to go, one way or the other, it didn’t make a difference. I was still going to play.”

Just as leaving the Garden before the trade deadline didn’t trigger any emotions for Allen, neither did his return. For him, it was just another game in Boston, the city he always intended to return to.

“I never expected not to be [here],” he said. “If they traded me, then I’m gone. But I was never worried about it so I never thought otherwise, like I’m going to be somewhere else. This is where I planned to be and I didn’t think about anything else.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, Ray Allen,
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