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Celtics Survive Scare, Surge Ahead to Beat Nets

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

We all know that captain Paul Pierce is clearly the team’s leader, but who knew that without him the Celtics would have trouble with one of the worst teams in NBA history? Believe it or not, the Nets led the Celtics at the half and after three quarters before the Celtics survived the scare and beat the Nets 96-87.

Ray Allen stepped up without his teammate, putting up a game-high 26 points (3-7 from beyond the arc) with seven rebounds. Rajon Rondo again looked like the best player on the floor at times, as he finished with 17 points, 11 assists, and three steals. Both players, for most of the game, were the only productive Celtics against a Nets team that has just four wins all season (4-45).

Bench Had No Stench

The bench came up pretty big in the fourth, especially Eddie House, who got hot and finished with 10 points. He hit a big three-pointer to begin the fourth quarter, giving the C’s all the momentum they would need.

Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis combined to score 20 points off the bench, and each finished with three rebounds. ‘Sheed added five assists in a complete effort off the bench. A liability lately, the bench play was strong in the second half against the Nets. They needed to step up without Paul Pierce, and they did just that.

Nothing but Nets

All five Nets starters finished in double figures, led by Brook Lopez who finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Devin Harris, their other “best” player, added 17 points and eight assists.

In all, this is a pretty sorry squad. It’s worth mentioning twice: the Nets have just FOUR WINS all season and are careening toward the worst record in NBA history, held by the 9-73 Philadelphia 76ers of 1972-73. They didn’t win one game in October or November as they started an NBA-worst 0-18. Tell me, who is going to sign with the Nets next season?

Parting Words

One question I have: what has happened to Shelden Williams? How come he doesn’t even play anymore? I would have imagined he’d get time with Pierce out, but those minutes went to Bill Walker, who finished with two points in nine minutes. Remind me again what Williams did to deserve this?

The Celtics managed to beat a bad team Friday night, but the same can’t be said for the Magic, who lost to the Wizards. Next up for the C’s is that very same Magic team on Sunday afternoon.

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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2 comments for “Celtics Survive Scare, Surge Ahead to Beat Nets”

  1. There must have been something in the air last night all around the country: the Wizards beat Orlando, Minnesota beat the Mavericks, and the Celts came damned close to losing to the worst team in the NBA. Ouch!

    A few noteworthy points – Glen Davis actually began to look like a semblance of last year’s Davis, the bench played far better defense than the starters, Walker got to play more than 47 seconds, Garnett is clearly not the same player he once was (but thankfully he can still hit his jumpers), and Paul Pierce manages to show up on the bench when he’s injured as opposed to Kevin Garnett, who juat can’t be bothered to put in an appearance when he’s not playing.

    As for Shelden Williams, your guess is as good as mine. Ask Doc – I can’t wait to hear why he favors Scalabrine over Williams.

    Posted by Ken | February 6, 2010, 8:16 am
  2. Ken: sure was a crazy night in the NBA!

    I think KG can still be effective for this team with his jumpers. That play at the end of the game when Rondo penetrated, drew the triple team, and dished back to KG…that was awesome. I think that can continue to be effective for them.

    Yeah I don’t quite understand Doc’s thinking with the Shelden Williams situation…

    Posted by KC | February 6, 2010, 12:31 pm

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