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The Celtics are starting to look a lot like Muhammed Ali. Ali used to just dance around for 15 rounds until his opponent got too tired. Then, he’d either just outlast him or knock him out late. The Celtics seem to start slow on purpose, only to build up toward the end of the game. It happened in the win over the Bobcats, and it happened again Friday night in a 101-89 win over the Bucks.
Boston surely floated like a butterfly in the first quarter, being outscored 30-23 at home by an inferior Bucks squad. But, that’s one of the reasons why they play four quarters in basketball. The Celtics more than made up for their poor effort in the first quarter, and proceeded to outscore the Bucks 88-59 the rest of the way.
The C’s had only two starters in double figures (Paul Pierce with 18, Kevin Garnett with 16), but had three bench players with more than 10 points thanks to increased minutes. Tony Allen provided a real spark off the bench as he is starting to look more and more comfortable running on his surgically repaired knee. He poured in 13 points, four assists, and two steals.
Leon Powe added 10 points with a steal and a block (including a nice dunk) and Eddie House scored 11 points and accumulated three steals. It’s nice to know that other players can carry the team, and the bench certainly helped the team blow away the Bucks.
Rajon Rondo found other ways to contribute to the team. He did score eight points, but also dished out eight assits with three steals. Rondo was paired up against Luke Ridinour and Ramon Sessions for much of the night, and his defensive skills shined through. Sessions, who had averaged 8.3 assists in three games this year, finished with zero assists in 20 minutes. Ridnour only finished with four, so Rondo is doing a nice job at isolating the opposing team’s point guard.
The Celtics are off Saturday, but return to action Sunday to face the new-look Pistons.