|Francona Wins Big in Return to Fenway||Connelly’s Top Ten: Rask Falls on Face||Bruins Lose 4-3 in OT as Rangers Fight to Stay Alive||For the Bulletin Board: Lundqvist’s “Lucky Bounces,” Savard’s “#ByeByeTorts”|
The Celtics improved to an impressive 17-4 Tuesday night and won their eighth straight game, beating the Bucks 98-89. For the eighth straight time, the Celtics have Kevin Garnett to thank.
KG has come full circle since offseason knee surgery, and is looking a lot like the Garnett of old. He tied a game-high with 25 points, and also added nine rebounds and two steals. He’s re-transforming into a dangerous, accurate, and efficient shooter, as he went 9-14 from the field and 7-9 from the free throw line Tuesday night.
Rajon Rondo was the big beneficiary of Garnett’s strong play (along with the always good Paul Pierce and Ray Allen). He dished out 13 assists and grabbed nine rebounds, but perhaps the most important stat of the evening: Rondo scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.
“I knew eventually they would sag back and make me try and score,” Rondo said. “In the second half, I tried to be a little bit more aggressive.”
The Celtics and Bucks were tied at 86 late in the quarter, but the C’s pulled away, scoring 12 of the game’s final 15 points. Rasheed Wallace was a big part of the fourth quarter rally, as the big man nailed two clutch threes. In all, Wallace scored 13 points, finishing 5-8 from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc.
Rounding out the starters, Paul Pierce finished with 15 points, Ray Allen had 13 points, and Kendrick Perkins pitched in 15 points on 7-8 shooting.
Andrew Bogut led the way for the Bucks, finishing with a team-high 25 points on 11-17 shooting. He finished with 14 rebounds and two blocked shots, but forked over an absurd seven turnovers. In fact, the Bucks finished with 20 TOs overall, thanks in part to 17 Celtics steals.