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It wasn’t a pretty game, but mostly for the Bobcats, who lost to the Boston Celtics 93-62. That’s the lowest number of points allowed by the Celtics in a game all season. With Shaquille O’Neal out one more game with a sore calf, Semih Erden filled in, and played 40:42. Charlotte started out good early, but quickly did nothing afterwards.
Charlotte jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, which was their biggest of the night. Boston missed three shots and turned the ball over twice (including an 8-second violation) before Erden put in a dunk. It was a considerable amount of time before fluidity returned to the game; both teams traded consecutive, air ball threes before Boston took the lead (for good), 15-14, with 2:54 left in the 1st.
Despite not making a field goal between the 9:27 and 3:26 remaining marks in the 2nd (that’s 6:01, more than 1/8 of game time), Charlotte still stayed within single digits. In fact, Paul Pierce’s first (and only) field goal of the game came with 5:27 left in the half, and Ray Allen’s first came with 3:10 left. Pierce’s free throws with 2:47 left gave Boston it’s first double-digit lead. One of the few bright points was when Glen Davis took a charge with 2:03 left in the half (his 27th taken charge by Mike Gorman’s count), which helped Boston take a 42-32 lead into the locker room.
Charlotte finally scored its first (and only) three of the game 1:15 into the 2nd half, courtesy of Gerald Wallace. But then Boston finally got cooking. A 9-0 run put them up 53-37 with 6:05 left in the 3rd. Trading buckets with Charlotte put Boston up 64-47 going into the final frame. At that point, Charlotte was held to a 37.0 field goal percentage, and Boston led by 17 despite a 38.9 FGP of their own.
From there on out, it was all Boston. The name of the game was steal and force turnovers, which allowed even the lowest members of the Celtics’ bench to come in safely. Only Luke Harangody (5:42) and Avery Bradley (3:58) played less than 12 minutes. In the last eighth of the game, Marquis Daniels gave Boston their first 20-point lead (74-53) with 6:34 left. Nate Robinson hit two quick threes to put Boston up 80-55. And finally, with 57.9 seconds left, Semih Erden hit an alley oop to give Boston a 30-point lead, 91-61.
Erden was a major presence in the paint, getting blocks and rebounds, and generally tipping the ball on many occasions.
You’d think Pierce would do more than go 1/9 from the field. He did get four rebounds, two assists, two steals, three blocks, and six free throws, but if you’re not going to score, then at least do something else a lot, and don’t try to “find yourself” mid-game.
“Tonight was a perfect example of how you break down another team’s offense.” – Tommy Heinsohn on Boston’s defense.
Tags: Avery Bradley, Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, Luke Harangody, Marquis Daniels, Mike Gorman, Nate Robinson, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Semih Erden, Shaquille O'Neal, Tommy Heinsohn