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The Celtics made a nice gesture Friday night in giving James Posey his own special championship ring ceremony for helping the Celtics win Banner No. 17. Instead of helping the C’s pursue their 18th World Championship, Posey bolted for more guaranteed years and more money to play for the New Orleans Hornets.
Last year, the Celts started 21-3 with Posey. This year, they are an amazing 22-2 without him, and have won 14 straight games overall after defeating the Hornets 94-82 at the TD Banknorth Garden.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 28 points to go with six rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Kevin Garnett addded 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo rounded out Celtics in double figures with 10 points, six rebounds, and two assists.
Chris Paul led the way yet again for New Orleans, finishing with 20 points, six rebounds, 14 assists, and three steals on the night. He has truly become one of the five best players in the NBA, and should have won the MVP award last season. If 2008 winner Kobe Bryant had a previous MVP award, Paul would be your winner in ’08. Paul also has a chance for this year, but this could be LeBron James’s year for the MVP, so it should be interesting.
Celts center Kendrick Perkins had a strong game defensively, finishing with a team-high 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. He also added nine points as he is really starting to come into his own overall as a player. Perk and Rondo have improved DRASTICALLY from where they were two years ago, and a lot of that growth and maturation can be attributed to Doc Rivers and the veteran leaders on the team,
Posey finished seven points, seven rebounds, and one steal in his 28 minutes.
The Celtics next host the Utah Jazz Monday at 7:30 p.m.