|Notes and Observations Week 16: Patriots Escape from New York with 17-16 Win; Clinch First Round Bye.||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Win By Less Than a FOOT||Panic Mode in Full Effect, Minutemen are Struggling||Patriots Survive Gritty Challenge From Jets|
Ray Allen’s return to Seattle did not go so well for the former Sonic, but his team still won 104-96 (NBA.com Box Score) behind a season-high 37 points from Paul Pierce. More importantly, the Celtics have already matched their win total from all of last season before the end of December. Through 82 games last season, the C’s had 24 wins, and in just 27 games (1/3 of a season) this season the Celtics have 24 wins. That has got to be some sort of record.
Ray Allen shot 4-13 from the floor (2-4 from 3-pt territory), finishing with 10 points, 1 rebound, and 3 assists. Perhaps Ray was overwhelmed with emotion in his return to Seattle, where he spent over four seasons with the team. Allen and the rest of the Celtics seemed to cool off in the second half, all except Paul Pierce, who scored 26 points after halftime to power the Celtics to victory.
It’s safe to say that Pierce stole the show, but that’s fine. He has shown an uncanny ability in the past to lead the Celtics through thick and thin. This year, he has relied heavily on the additions of Garnett and Allen to weigh much of the burden. It still seems like Pierce can take over a game, just like he did last night against the Sonics.
Former Celtics guard Delonte West played extremely well off the bench for Seattle, finishing with 19 points (6-8 from the floor), 4 rebounds, and 8 assists. Wally Szczerbiak, another former Celtic, finished with 14 points (5-11 from the floor) and 3 rebounds. Celtics No. 5 Draft pick Jeff Green played just 14 minutes, adding 4 points and 2 blocked shots.
No. 2 overall pick Kevin Durant did not disappoint in his first game against the Green, scoring a team-high 23 points on 10-23 shooting. He looks like he’s going to be an absolute star his entire career. Just imagine if the lottery balls fell differently…We’ve been through that before. Nothing to complain about with the Celtics. At 24-3, they have the NBA’s best record and one of the best starts in Boston’s storied team history.
Next up is a day off, then the Celtics head to Utah Saturday for a date with the Jazz. That game ought to be a test for the C’s.