Theeee Celtics win (FINAL: Celtics 106, Nets 104
Vince Carter and Devin Harris missed shots in the final seconds and the Celtics escaped with a 106-104 win over the New Jersey Nets tonight at TD Banknorth Garden. Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 31 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Plenty of updates from the locker room coming your way. Stay tuned.
Vinsanity (20.3 seconds fourth quarter, Celtics 106-104)
A three-pointer and a layup by Vince Carter (33 points), and it's a one-possession game. Nets ball.
Rondo steals the deal (1:21 fourth quarter, Celtics 106-99)
Rajon Rondo just stole the ball and raced down to the other end for a layup to give the Celtics a seven-point lead. Rondo has 31 points. Timeout, New Jersey.
Down to the wire (2:31 fourth quarter, Celtics 102-96)
No Gino tonight. The Celtics are involved in a tight one here. Rajon Rondo has been all over the court for the C's for 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. But the Nets have been led by 28 points from Vince Carter. Paul Pierce will guard Carter down the stretch. It'll be interesting to see if Pierce takes his defense to another level.
Bench mob (6:22 fourth quarter, Celtics 97-90)
Stephon Marbury has 5 assists in 16 minutes off the bench, while Mikki Moore has 9 points and 8 rebounds in 17 minutes. This is what the Celtics hoped they would get out of these players.
No Bill (10:21 fourth quarter, Celtics 85-81)
Someone asked me in a chat last week if Tony Allen's return would lead to fewer minutes for Bill Walker. Allen has 5 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes so far tonight. Walker hasn't played.
Help me Rondo (END third quarter, Celtics 81-78)
Rajon Rondo is relishing his matchup with Devin Harris. Harris made the Eastern Conference All-Star team ahead of Rondo this season, but Rondo (26 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) has had his number tonight. Rondo is the leading scorer in the game.
Holy Tony (1:57 third quarter, Celtics 79-75)
Tony Allen just caught a reverse lob from Ray Allen and threw it down with both hands. Nice to see Tony do what he does best.
All together now (4:02 third quarter, Celtics 73-71
Rajon Rondo got an offensive rebound and a putback to put the C's up two. The entire Celtics bench is standing and cheering on the their team. The Celtics are the only team that consistently shows that kind of enthusiasm. It's kind of refreshing.
Still a game (5:37 third quarter, Tied at 69)
New Jersey isn't going away. Vince Carter has 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Nets. The crowd is rowdy tonight, but they haven't had much to cheer about.
Foul mood (8:22 third quarter, Celtics 65-61)
Paul Pierce and Vince Carter both have three fouls.
Point taken (END second quarter, Celtics 58-51)
Point guards Rajon Rondo (14 points) and Eddie House (11 points) are carrying the Celtics in the first half. House's effort is particularly impressive because it came in just nine minutes of play.
The Nets made three of their first five shots from beyond the arc, but they haven't made one since. A run-out dunk by Paul Pierce over Vince Carter near the end of the half brought the crowd to its feet and gave the Celtics the momentum heading into halftime. In other words, it's looking more like what you'd expect from a Celtics-Nets game in Boston.
More to come.
House money (4:32 second quarter, Celtics 39-38)
It never gets old. Eddie House has two threes and another long jumper, the last bomb giving the Celtics their first lead since it was 2-0.
Coney Island's finest (7:30 second quarter, Nets 34-30)
Stephon Marbury seems to be getting more comfortable. It only shows up as one assist on the stat sheet, but Marbury just drove the lane and drew three defenders before kicking it out to Eddie House for an open three. It's the kind of solid play the Celtics need from Marbury in that role.
Also notable is the use of Marbury, House, and Tony Allen at the same time. Doc Rivers said before the game he'd like to try that lineup to get Ray Allen and Paul Pierce some rest, but that he was afraid of making the team too small. So far so good, though.
Baby Shaq (9:55 second quarter, Nets 31-25)
Glen Davis dove into the stands to retrieve a loose ball, scaring the heck out of the fans in the first three rows of courtside seats. Davis got to the ball -- but threw it to the Nets.
Net problem (END first quarter, Nets 31-21)
The Nets aren't making this easy for the Celtics. New Jersey is shooting almost 60 percent from the field.
Rajon Rondo is the lone bright spot for the Celtics. He's got 10 points, and almost had two more on an end-to-end drive at the end of the quarter, but his layup spun around the rim and out.
Flashback (2:57 first quarter, Nets 26-17)
Remember when Vince Carter was great? Like slam dunk champion and all that? Well VC can still bring it when he puts in a little focus. He's got 9 points so far and hasn't missed a shot.
Shooting also a problem (4:33 first quarter, Nets 20-10)
The Celtics are stuck at 36-percent shooting, not a bad number for a Big East foe facing Pittsburgh, but pretty terrible for an NBA team.
Three's a problem (7:28 first quarter, Nets 13-8)
The Nets are 3-of-5 shooting the deep ball early and have the quick lead.