|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||Smart Era Gets Off to a Good Start with Win over T’wolves|
As Kevin Garnett starts to get eased back into the Celtics rotation, the Celtics defense continues to strengthen. Garnett played nearly 18 minutes and finished with 12 points on 5-5 shooting Monday night for the Celtics. More important, the C’s defense continued its improvment in a 90-77 win over the Clippers.
“We have such a great chemistry when our starting five is out there,” Paul Pierce said. “We don’t like him on the bench. We like him on the floor.”
Baron Davis was held to 13 points on 4-12 shooting, and Eric Gordon was held to eight points on 3-12 shooting as Clippers were held to just 35 points in the second half. In all, L.A. shot 43.7% from the field and turned the ball over 21 times. Then again…they still are the Clippers.
Zach Randolph was one of the few bright spots for the Clips, finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Teammate Marcus Camby also helped with six blocked shots, but L.A. dropped to 17-58 as they head to another lottery pick in the NBA Draft.
Ray Allen, playing for the now 57-win Celtics, scored 20 points (3-3 from beyond the arc), while Rajon Rondo added 14 points, seven assists, and five steals. Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored eight points on a woeful 1-11 shooting, but added four steals and a block to help round out his line. If you know your math well, you know that Rondo and Big Baby finished with nine steals between them, which is a great sign.
The Celtics will look to hang onto their hold of 2nd place in then Eastern Conference when they face the Magic Wednesday night.