Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Celtics Finally Win On The Road & Snap A 5-Game Losing Streak In The Process
It wasn't pretty but what else would you expect for the Boston Celtics in 2011-12?
They finally snapped their five-game losing streak and won their first road game in nearly a month as the C's (16-17) held on for a 86-83 win over the Cavaliers (13-19) at Quicken Loans Arena.
Anthony Parker had a chance to send it to overtime but his 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the front rim. Let's be honest, I'll take my chances with Parker (the second best basketball player in his family) any day.
Boston has to be happy to say goodbye to Cleveland (who isn't?) since the three games they played this season were decided by a total of seven points. The Celts were lucky enough to go 2-1 against the up and coming Cavs with the one loss being a game they totally gagged away at the Garden.
The first game after the All-Star break and official halfway mark of the season (33) was a success for Boston who saw the return of Brandon Bass (injury) and Rajon Rondo (suspension). With zombie Jermaine O'Neal the only Celtic out, Bass started and put up his usual 12 points and seven rebounds. Rondo was held scoreless (can't remember the last time that happened) but he managed to hand out 11 assists.
It was a good team win for Boston as nearly everybody that stepped on the court made a contribution. Ray Allen led the Celts with 22 points, Kevin Garnett had 18 points and eight rebounds while Paul Pierce slogged through a tough shooting night (4 of 11) to get 12 points and six assists.
Mickael Pietrus (9 points) and Chris Wilcox (5 points, 11 rebounds) were both excellent off Boston's bench as well.
Is it too early to hand in my ballot for rookie of the year? What's that, bloggers like me don't get to vote? Kyrie Irving (24 points in 27 minutes) is a stud and he's going to put the Cavaliers back on the NBA map soon. He's only 19 and played a handful of games at Duke but he has a polished all-around game. It's too bad he's surrounded by a bunch of stiffs, albeit hardworking ones.
Omri Casspi was the only other Cav starter in double figures with 10 points. Rookie Tristan Thompson (13 points, 10 rebounds) and backup point guard Ramon Sessions (13 points) played well off the bench for Cleveland.
Boston actually started fast (for once) to start and even jumped out to a 16-point lead (28-12) before Cleveland started to wake up, trailing 28-15 after the first quarter. The Celtics led 43-38 at halftime but the Cavs went up 66-64 heading into the fourth.
The three reasons the Celts won: they shot better (44.6% to 39.7%), they hit more 3-pointers (10-4) and they were unselfish (27-18 assists).
Boston will try to get back to .500 tomorrow night as they host the Milwaukee Bucks, who also played tonight (winning 119-118 vs. the Wizards in Milwaukee). The Bucks (14-20) aren't good but neither are the Celtics so expect it to be a close one.