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Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers decided to rest aging star Paul Pierce for tonight’s contest against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Turns out he probably didn’t have to.
None of Boston’s starters played more than 30 minutes as the Bobcats ran away with this one in the second half, outscoring the Celtics by 23 points en route to handing Boston an embarrassing 100-74 loss on the road.
Gerald Henderson scored a game and career high 35 points to lead the Bobcats. Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford both led the Celtics with a whopping 14 points each. Kevin Garnett was held to a paltry 5 points and 2 boards in just 21 minutes.
The game got off to an inauspicious start when the Celtics went scoreless for the first 3:42 of the game. After quickly going down 8-0, Boston would come back to take the lead after one quarter, 20-19.
The two teams traded baskets in the second quarter, which saw eight ties and three lead changes, according to the ESPN play-by-play. The Bobcats would hang 30 points on the Celtics, though, taking a 49-46 lead into intermission.
From there, it was all downhill for Boston. The Celtics shot an abysmal 3-for-15 in the third quarter, scoring just 15 points to the Bobcats’ 27. By the time the Celtics went down 83-63 with 10:02 left in the game, Rivers waved the white flag and pulled Green and Garnett to join Pierce on on the bench.
All told, the Celtics scored a mere 28 points in the second half on just 27.6% shooting (8-for-29). They were outrebounded 48 to 29 by the Bobcats, which included giving up 16 offensive boards. Multiple times the Bobcats drove through lanes big enough to permit tractor trailers (or Big Baby Davis) for wide open layups and dunks. The sign that the game was truly over came when Crawford shot a technical with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Those Celtics fans unfortunate or masochistic enough to watch the remainder (yours truly included) were treated to the Shanghai Celtics lineup, as Chinese imports DJ White, Shavlik Randolph, and Terrence Williams all spent time on the court together, though not to particularly encouraging results. Crawford joined them for one of the least intriguing lineups the Celtics have seen since the Big Three Era began.
The Celtics will try to regroup back at home on Wednesday night, as they take on Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors at the TD Garden. Tipoff is at 7:30 PM.