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Updates from Celtics-Warriors

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  December 28, 2009 10:44 PM

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OAKLAND,Calif. -- The Celtics gave their fans delusions of dominance with their win Friday at Orlando without Paul Pierce. Their stellar defensive effort dimmed their offensive shortcomings without their All-Star forward.

The past two nights the Celtics have been inept in the fourth quarter offensively and once again they dropped another game with porous execution, losing 103-99 to the Golden State Warriors on Monday Oracle Arena.

Rajon Rondo led Boston with 30 points with 15 assists, but he was the lone offensive force as the Celtics committed turnovers, missed easy shots or were forced into one-on-one plays. Pierce has been sorely missed since undergoing a knee procedure on Dec. 23.

Monta Ellis scored 37 points for Golden State, which forced 26 Boston turnovers.

It was obvious the Celtics sorely missed Pierce because they lacked offensive firepower after the first quarter. Ray Allen scored 13 points in the first period, but 11 the rest of the way. Kevin Garnett wasn’t his usual aggressive self offensively and Tony Allen had nearly as many turnovers (5) as points (6).

Ironically, it was Rondo who carried the Celtics at times offensively. And when the Celtics needed a 3-pointer in the final five seconds, the Warriors fouled Ray Allen, who hit the first free throw and then threw the ball off the backboard on the second as he tried to miss it. The Warriors were award the ball with 4.4 seconds left, sealing the Celtics’ second straight road loss following Sunday’s heartbreaker against the Los Angeles Clippers.

After converting 15 field goals in a 35-point first quarter, the Celtics made just 25 in the final three.

"It's more the 25 turnovers is what turned the game," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "That's the easy was to look (missing Pierce). Obviously he's our go-to guy down the stretch of games."

Rondo also added 15 assists, the first Celtics with a 30-15 games since Larry Bird in 1987. He was playing despite a strained left hamstring.

"I thought he played terrific all night," Rivers said. "We almost took him out and he just wanted to keep playing and he played great."<

Final, Warriors, 103-99

Ray Allen tries to miss the second of two free throws and hits only the backboard, which is illegal. Monta Ellis finished a masterful night with two free throws and a Golden State win.

Fourth quarter, 6.9, Warriors 101-98

The Celtics are 5 for 19 from the 3-point line but they will need one to tie the game. Rajon Rondo has 30 points, two short of his career high. Ray Allen and Eddie House are a combined 2 for 11 from the 3-point line.

Fourth quarter, 2:00, Warriors 99-96

The Celtics trailed 93-86 but are on an 10-6 run and have the ball. Rajon Rondo has 30 points.

Fourth quarter, 8:13, Warriors 90-84

The two teams are exchanging 3-pointers but the Warriors have responded with two in a row for a six-point lead. Monta Ellis has 29 points.

End of third quarter, Warriors 80-76

In a really bizarre 12 minutes, both teams were ice cold and then spent the rest of the period trading baskets. Finally after Monta Ellis canned a 3-pointer for a seven-point Warriors' lead, Rajon Rondo hits his third 3-pointer of the season to end the period and the Celtics are within striking distance.

Third quarter, 4:05, Warriors 71-66

After being benched for the entire second quarter, Anthony Randolph has scored eight points in the period and the Warriors have their biggest lead of the game. The Celtics are just flat, shooting just 3-for-9 in the quarter. It could be a long night.

Third quarter, 6:15, Celtics 64-63

Both teams are cold in the second half but the Celtics are definitely playing better defense. The question is whether they can score enough to prevail.

Halftime, Celtics 58-57

The Warriors have led twice in the period after trailing by 18 in the first period. Boston's offensive flow has stopped and the Warriors are causing turnovers and running the ball. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics' legs get tired in the second half. The Warriors shot 70 percent in the second period compared with 28 in the first. Monta Ellis already has 20 points while Ray Allen has 18 for Celtics. Rajon Rondo has 15 points, 11 assists and four turnovers.

Second quarter, 4:08, Celtics 49-46

Rajon Rondo made two straight telegraphed passed to C.J. Watson who turned them into layups. Monta Ellis has 17 points and Golden State is 11 for 15 from the field in the quarter. The Celtics have been held to just 14 points after a 35-point first period.

Second quarter, 6:25, Celtics 44-40

Golden State is on a 23-9 run as the Celtics' offense has stopped executing and the Warriors have hit seven of their first nine shots of the period. Monte Ellis has 18 points.

Second quarter, 8:48, Celtics 41-32

The Warriors have scored 10 points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the period and the Celtics' second team are trying to hold on to the sizeable lead. Monta Ellis has 13 points after a quiet first quarter.

End of first quarter, Celtics 35-22

Rajon Rondo fouled Monta Ellis with 2.5 seconds left because the Celtics were below the foul limit, however, Ellis smartly fired up a 3-pointer and officials awarded him with three free throws. But the Celtics played a near flawless quarter.

First quarter, 2.5, Celtics 35-19

The Celtics are shooting 63 percent to 24 for the Warriors and Boston looks as if it is ready atone for Sunday's loss. Rajon Rondo already has 12 points and seven assists.

First quarter, 3:40, Celtics 19-11

The Warriors have come out flat and the Celtics are playing crisply as they race to an eight-point lead. Ray Allen has six points and Rajon Rondo five. Monta Ellis has attempted one shot in eight minutes.

First quarter, 6:20, Celtics 11-9

Golden State is remaining close despite missing 14 of its first 17 shots, which isn't good news for the Celtics, who have only attempted nine shots. Rajon Rondo has already missed a free throw. Ray Allen leads Boston with four points.

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