Monday, November 26, 2012

C's Pull Rabbit Out Of A Hat, Vanquish Magic In Overtime: 116-110

The Boston Mixed-Bags? How about the Boston Boxed-Chocolates?

Seriously, though, you really never do know what you're gonna get when it comes to the C's these days as they continue to work on establishing consistency in this toddler stage that is the NBA season. They've been putting it together more often than not lately, but on occasion (like in the 3rd quarter against the Orlando Magic!), they'll go into Space Jam "an alien stole my powers" mode. Again, this is to be expected as they incorporate 10 new players (including rookie Jared Sullinger) into the mix of a championship-or-bust squad, but it can be...shall we say, watch at times.

Oh, they started things off well enough taking a 28-22 lead after one and staying ahead by 4 entering half-time. The third quarter, though…the third quarter…let’s just be charitable and say that the C’s must be fans of the AMC show “The Walking Dead,” because the group that took the floor for the
3rd quarter looked like our C’s
portraying the zombified versions of their former selves. Spinning through the undead-Celtics like they were MBTA turnstiles, the Magic went 13 for 17 from the floor – led by hot potato Jameer Nelson (20 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists for the game), who turned the C’s defenders into giant orange traffic cones for use in his own personal obstacle course. Nelson would finish the game scoring 17 points between the 3rd and 4th quarters and the overtime period, and the Magic would head into the 4th quarter up 2.
No matter, though. The C’s, showing the resilience and willingness to fight that has been a hallmark of the team for the past five years, battled back on the strength of The Tremendous Trio (I’m giving “The Big Three” a night off to rest), who flipped a seven-point Magic lead into a tie at the end of regulation. Kevin Garnett was especially tremendous during that stretch, scoring 8 points in the last five minutes of regulation play. KG led the C’s with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds while Rajon Rondo not only streaked into a tie with John Stockton for the second-most consecutive double-assist games (16 assists on this night), but he fell just shy of a triple-double with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
Paul Pierce, who had yet ANOTHER strong game (23 points, 5 boards), still managed to produce his share of potential “goat” moments not only missing on what could have been the game-winning shot from his preferred spot on the elbow at the top of the key, but he also managed to overcome this…uhm, ahhh…awkward moment in his role as one of the aforementioned orange traffic cones in Nelson’s “All-Star Skills Challenge” workout. That Nelson missed the shot may be one of the only saving graces on what surely will be a point of comedy for The Captain’s teammates and a “Sports Center” favorite this week, at least. In his defense, though, on both plays, you can clearly see his foot slipping on the court before each mishap. 
In any case, once in the extra period, the Celtics went to work, wrapping the Magic in a defensive blanket and executing down the stretch on offense. Paul Pierce, shaking off any doubt that might have been cast at the end of regulation, hit a clutch three to put the C’s up ahead for good in the overtime, and the Celtics got a tough but satisfying win over a young, active Magic team.

Brandon Bass was beastly, grabbing his own double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa was an offensive catalyst, scoring 15 points and Jared Sullinger continues to make Danny Ainge look like a genius with his tantalizing play, this time going for 11 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes.

Magician Big Baby Davis tallied 15 points 7 rebounds 3 assists 3 steals against his old team, but he shot just 3-12 from the floor (9-10 on free throws, however); JJ Redick scored 21 on 8-13 shooting; and Aaron Afflalo scored 15 with 7 assists for the Magic cause. Former C's draft pick E'Twaun Moore made 2 from Threeland and hit two freethrows for 8 points.

Box Score


Next Up:

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
7:30 pm
@ Boston Garden

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