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They just can’t win on the second game of back-to-backs. All season long the Boston Celtics have struggled to win in the second game of a back-to-back series. Things were no different Monday night as they took the loss to the Charlotte Bobcats 94-89. So far this season Boston is 5-7 when also playing the night before. Of course, most of those losses (five) were against teams with a record below .500, including two of the worst teams in league in Cleveland and Washington.
Late in the game, the Celtics just couldn’t keep up with Bobcats, and had a lot of their shots hitting the front of the rim. Boston had a good opportunity to make things happen in the second half, as the Bobcats were without Stephen Jackson after he was ejected for getting two technical fouls in the first half. I’m sure that didn’t bode well with head coach Paul Silas, as he said before the game that Jackson needs to keep his emotions in check after receiving his 12th technical on Sunday against Dallas.
“He’s been acting that way for quite some time now,” Silas said. “That’s up to him to evaluate himself.”
Now with 14 technicals, Charlotte’s leading scorer is two away from a suspension.
The loss brought the Celtics to a record of 38-13, 15-9 on the road. Boston has been mediocre in February thus far with a record of 2-2, but does have that big win over Orlando on Sunday.
With the win for Charlotte, the Bobcats are trying to claw their way into the playoffs, but are currently in ninth place with a record of 22-29, only a half game behind Indiana.
Another downer for the Celtics was that Ray Allen has to wait another night before tying Reggie Miller for the all-time lead in 3-pointers made in a career. Allen is one away from tying Miller and his NBA record 2,560 made 3-pointers and two from passing it. Allen will get his chance against Boston’s biggest rival, the Lakers, on Thursday. Charlotte Head Coach Paul Silas said before the game that Allen is one of the best shooters in the history of the league, but would like to see him face off against his former teammate “Downtown” Freddie Brown.
Although he didn’t set or tie the record, Allen was still the top player for the Celtics on Monday night. He went 9-for-17 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers, three assists, two rebounds and two steals.
Also getting some recognition is Paul Pierce. He finished with 22 points on 6-for-14 shooting, but struggled from deep, as he went 1-for-5. He also added six rebounds, three assists and a steal, but missed a crucial layup late in the game that would’ve brought Boston to within one point.
Toss up between Gerald Wallace and Shaun Livingston. Wallace came up big on the boards with 16 and made a couple key free throws late in the game. He finished with 19 points on 6-for-16 shooting, two assists, a steal and a block.
Livingston couldn’t have been more clutch for the team coming off the bench. He played only 22 minutes, but scored a season-high 18 points off 7-for-10 shooting to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Assists and steals. Rajon Rondo led all players (like normal) with 14 of the Celtics’ 25 assists in the game. The Bobcats only had 16 assists as a whole, so the ball was definitely moving for the C’s.
Boston also had 12 steals in the game compared to Charlotte’s seven. Rondo and Kevin Garnett led the team with three apiece. Garnett also led the team in rebounding with 14.
The bench. With the exception to Luke Harangody, who hit the only shot he took (a 3-pointer in seven minutes), the rest of the bench struggled to make anything happen and were simply outplayed. The bench was the one thing the Celtics needed to be productive coming into a back-to-back and they just didn’t perform.
Glen Davis ended up with seven points but was 1-for-5 from the field (5-for-6 from the free-throw line). Von Wafer went 1-for-5 as well, and Nate Robinson went 1-for-4 (0-for-3 from beyond the arc), just not producing when the starters needed them to. The Bobcats’ bench out-scored Boston’s 44-15
The Celtics travel back home to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night. The Lakers will try to seek revenge upon the Celtics after Boston took it to them in their last meeting less than two weeks ago. LA is currently 36-16 and is looking to show to everyone that they are not “too old,” so a matchup with the Celtics would be the perfect opportunity.