CELTICS 96 BLAZERS 76
These west coast games are killing me. The games aren’t getting over until 1 AM at the earliest, after which I quickly jump on the computer to type up the recap. (Give me a little sympathy here..) Anyways, the Celtics got the job done tonight on the 2nd game of a back to back. If you looked at this part of the schedule, you would likely say, “It would be good to grab one of those games, either against LA or Portland.” Well, the C’s got greedy and decided to take both.
Boston jumped out early and had a 7 point lead at the end of 1. This proved to be very important as they silenced the always rowdy Rose Garden crowd. Boston was led by the effort of Rajon Rondo in the first, who had 6 assists with 2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter. He was doing what he does best, which is always a good sign for what to expect throughout the remainder of the game. Rondo finished with 10 points, 11 assists, and 3 steals.
Ray Allen was the man of the night, though. He is really starting to come around and looks extremely comfortable on the court. (Again… “Ray Allen – You Aren’t Going Anywhere“) His three point game started off a little slow, but he didn’t just keep jacking them up. No, instead, he went inside-out. He shot some mid range shots, and nailed a bunch of those, then stretched it out and hit 3 after 3 in the 4th. Ray finished with 21 points on 9-14 FG, and 3-7 from deep.
What this did, was it pushed to lead to a very comfortable margin for Doc to deal with. Now, key players could get some rest. There was no need to drag players like KG, Rondo, or Pierce back into a game in which the team was up by 20+ points. With that being said, Rondo only played 31 minutes, KG 22, and Pierce 26. Those are great minutes for these guys to have, especially going into the last game of the road trip. The last thing the C’s needed was for them to have back to back grind it out games where they had to spend a lot of energy.
All night the Celtics held the tempo. They played with a passion and focus that we expect them to night possess in, night out. By watching the team, you can tell they are ready to make a run. As Ray said in a clip on ESPN, (paraphrased) every possession is becoming critical now. The Celtics will be focusing so much on detail of every trip up and down the floor to be as perfect as possible with everything they do. As a fan who watches every single game, it is noticeable. Boston has the chance to finish off the road trip at 4-0, but to do so they will have to play at a very tough building, against a very tough team, in the Denver Nuggets on Sunday at 3:30 PM ET.
(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)