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Celtics Survive Comeback Attempt to Defeat Suns

Nenad Kristic #4, Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics celebrate during the game against the Phoenix Suns on March 2, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Brian Babineau / Getty Images)

For the majority of the game, it appeared that Phoenix was laying down. Then, that completely reversed, but Boston managed to hold on and managed to win 115-103. A 10-0 run by Boston, to go up 16-8, forced a Phoenix timeout 3:51 in. Phoenix cut the lead to 18-15 before Boston resumed their run. By the end of the 1st quarter, the Celtics had put the lead back up to double digits, 32-21.

From there, Boston continued climbing. They got the lead up to 17, but Phoenix got it down to 10. Boston got it climbing again, and led by 20 for the first time when Rajon Rondo hit a jumper at the buzzer. Of greater interest in the quarter was with 21.6 seconds left. After Rondo hit a layup, Steve Nash was called for a technical foul for mouthing off. He then proceeded to go on a profanity-laced tirade down the court. However, a second technical was not called. As Tommy Heinsohn noted when comparing it to future technicals, Nash was allowed to get away with a lot more than he should have been.

4:26 into the next half, Paul Pierce helped continue Boston’s lead extension with a dunk, was called for a technical for no real reason. It was officially for taunting via staring; Pierce didn’t move towards anyone, didn’t celebrate, didn’t even move and didn’t even stare very badly. The CSN-NE crew chalked it up to green officials.

Of greater concern for everyone was with about five minutes remaining in the 3rd, when Phoenix’s Vince Carter and Channing Frye collided heads when jockeying for position with Kevin Garnett while waiting for the inbounds pass. When play finally stopped, both men were attended to, and neither returned to the game. Carter, who was down for a noticeably longer amount of time, was diagnosed with a mouth laceration; Frye had an eye contusion.

Boston went on to extend their lead to as much as 29, and with two minutes left in the quarter, Ray Allen put Boston up 91-63. Pay attention to the score and time, because that’s when all of New England started to get quite nervous. Phoenix scored nine straight points to cut the lead to 91-72 to end the 3rd.

In the 4th, Phoenix just kept coming, and Boston kept letting them do it. Phoenix scored another nine straight points, to make it an 18-0 run and cut the lead to 91-81. Glen Davis finally hit a pair of free throws with 8:17 left, Boston’s first points in 5:43. After Phoenix reduced the lead to single digits, Rondo’s jump shot put Boston back up 95-85; it was Boston’s first field goal in 7:03.

With Boston managing to stabilize the lead at 10, give or take, for the remainder of the game, that’s when you really started to notice the poor officiating manifest itself, which is way too prevalent against the Celtics. Boston was getting called for a lot of fouls when they shouldn’t have been, while Phoenix was getting away with just as much. Still, Boston kept the lead at about the same level.

Meanwhile, with 49.3 seconds left, Glen Davis hit a dunk, but came down limping. Phoenix had called a timeout without noticing, so Davis was able to get immediate attention. He limped down the court a bit, then laid down to wait for help before being escorted to the locker room under his own power. The incident drew comparisons to Kevin Garnett’s similar occurrence a few months back. Davis will have an MRI on Thursday, so stay tuned for the results.

By that point, the game was firmly in Boston’s grasp. But that didn’t stop KG for getting a technical with 16.2 seconds left, for some reason which was never explained. With .4 seconds left, Rondo was fouled rather roughly considering the lead at the end of the game while shooting a three. Some were upset at Rondo shooting with the shot clock turned off, but Tommy Heinsohn thought it should have been called a flagrant foul. Players always take practice shots during breaks between plays and just after whistles, so nobody really should have taken offense with the shot, and the foul was awfully close to Rondo’s head. In any case, all it really did was slightly extend a lengthy and entertaining game.

C’s Stud of the Game: Kevin Garnett

In addition to 11 rebounds, Garnett scored a season high 28 points, thanks to a very good 12/14 from the field and perfect 4/4 from the line.

C’s Dud of the Game: Troy Murphy

In his debut, Murphy played 14:11. But he went 0/3 from the field, and scored just one point. He also had two shot attempts in a row blocked, by the same guy, no less.

Tommy Talk:

Don’t hurt Rondo! Or we’ll come and get you!” – Tommy Heinsohn, after Rajon Rondo was fouled and went to the ground with 3:09 left in the 1st half.

Game Notes:

  • Scoring Leaders: Kevin Garnett (BOS 28), Ray Allen (BOS 19), Aaron Brooks (PHO 17)
  • Field Goal Leaders: Kevin Garnett (BOS 12/14), Ray Allen (BOS 7/14), three others with six
  • Three Point Leaders: Ray Allen (BOS 4/6), Vince Carter (PHO 3/5), four others with two
  • Free Throw Leaders: Marcin Gortat (PHO 5/6), Nenad Krstic (BOS 5/8), Jared Dudley (PHO 5/8)
  • Rebound Leaders: Marcin Gortat (PHO 13), Paul Pierce (BOS 13), Kevin Garnett (BOS 11)
  • Assist Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 15), Aaron Brooks (PHO 7), Steve Nash (PHO 7)
  • Steal Leaders: Rajon Rondo (BOS 3), four others with two
  • Block Leaders: Marcin Gortat (PHO 3), Kevin Garnett (BOS 2), four others with one
  • Foul-outs: none
  • Technical Fouls: Grant Hill (PHO, 3:17 left in 1st), Steve Nash (PHO, 21.6 seconds left in 2nd), Paul Pierce (BOS, 7:34 left in 3rd), Kevin Garnett (BOS, 16.2 seconds left in 4th)
  • Turnovers: BOS 13, PHO 12

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One comment for “Celtics Survive Comeback Attempt to Defeat Suns”

  1. That punk deserved it. With 10 pt lead he was dancing around. Everyone knows the difference between a practice shot a real shot, especially when the clock is still running. I love that that player gave him a mild beating. Didn’t mention that the suns backup players were the ones that scored all of those points. Starters didn’t even play second half. And not to mention. Kg is cheapass punk. I hope someone slides their foot under him and he fractures his femur and tears an mcl. Would pay to see that, used to have respect for him. Oh well.

    Posted by robert | March 4, 2011, 2:47 pm

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