Result was split decision
Pierce and Allen take turns chasing Bryant
LOS ANGELES — In order to slow down Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen had to work split shifts.
On a day when Bryant scored his 27,000th point, passing Wilt Chamberlain as the youngest player in NBA history to reach the milestone, Pierce (32 points) nearly went bucket for bucket with him.
But down the stretch, Allen chased Bryant around with a fire extinguisher while at the same time knocking down clutch shots to help the Celtics seal a 109-96 win.
Bryant scored 6 straight points midway through the fourth quarter, cutting the Celtics’ lead to 91-87, and Boston called a timeout.
In the huddle, Allen told Pierce, “I’ve got Kobe.’’
From that point, Bryant made just two shots. He scored 11 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter, but spent most of his time as a one-man act, missing 6 of his 11 shots.
Allen scored 8 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that put the Celtics up, 101-89, with 3:11 left, and then drilling an 18-foot fadeaway that more or less decided it. He had no trouble pulling double duty.
“Once you cross halfcourt, you’ve got to lock in the other way,’’ Allen said. “You’ve got to make your cuts sharp and get to your spots early, then you’ve got to get back on defense early. You’ve got to make sure you keep him from doing what he wants to do. It can be exhausting, but when you have a scorer and you have to score on the other end, you have to make sure you conserve your energy.’’
Slap on the wrist Doc Rivers’s heated exchange with referee Steve Javie in Friday night’s loss to the Suns cost him $15,000. The league fined Rivers yesterday for failing to leave the court in a timely manner after being ejected with 4:33 remaining in the second quarter.
With the punishment being relatively light, Rivers laughed it off
“I just told my last son he’s going to have to get a scholarship,’’ he said. “The other three [children] do, so Spencer has to get to work.’’
Rivers and Javie got into it, Rivers said, when Javie walked into the Celtics’ huddle and told Rivers his team was complaining too much. Rivers told Javie that the crew of officials needed to make better calls. Javie issued Rivers a technical. Rivers then clapped sarcastically, earning another technical and an ejection, From there, Rivers yelled at Javie, “You’re terrible. It’s all about you. It’s not about you, it’s about the game.’’
Rivers said, “My proposal is give us a 30-second clock. When a coach gets thrown out of a game they start the clock and give you 30 seconds to vent. I think the crowd would get into that.’’
The fine, Rivers said, was expected.
“I have no problems with it,’’ he said. “I think, obviously, the low number tells you that [the league] didn’t think it was anything awful.’’
No action taken Concern over how the league might address Kevin Garnett’s late-game incident in Phoenix was minimal. Garnett was ejected after appearing to hit Suns forward Channing Frye in the groin as Frye was taking a jump shot.
“I had no concern at all,’’ Rivers said.
Garnett was never worried that the league would come down hard on him.
“I didn’t think I did anything above or over the edge to miss this game,’’ he said.
Healthy output After straining his right hamstring against Phoenix, Glen Davis played 23 minutes, scoring 13 points (7 in the fourth quarter) and grabbing four rebounds . . . Garnett needed five stitches in the head after an elbow from Pau Gasol, and went on to score 18 points and grab 13 rebounds. “It didn’t change anything,’’ Garnett said. “If anything, it woke me up.’’ . . . Unlike last season, Rivers said he didn’t hide any money in the visiting locker room of the Staples Center. A year ago, he rounded up $100 from everyone and said the only way they’d get it back was if they returned to Los Angeles for the Finals. “I don’t trust the security anymore,’’ Rivers said. Asked if he’d do it at the AT&T Center when the Celtics visit the Spurs in March, Rivers said, “The Spurs? We’ll see.’’
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.