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Final: Suns 88, Celtics 71

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  January 28, 2011 10:42 PM

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Final, Suns 88-71 An emotionally charged game that the Celtics never appeared ready for. Just a bad all-around night that also ends with a strained hamstring for Glen Davis and ejections for Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett. Should be interesting postgame media session.

Fourth quarter, 4:07, Suns 80-69 Kevin Garnett gets involved in near fisticuffs again when Channing Frye believes he was undercut by KG on a 3-pointer. Replays showed Garnett did not move his foot to get under Frye and had his head turned, so he didn't appear to intentionally interfere. He was called for a foul and Frye began barking at him. The Celtics can't wait to get to LA.

Fourth quarter, 6:12, Suns 78-67 Celtics are on a 7-0 run after a flagrant foul on Mickael Pietrus against Kevin Garnett, where he basically shoved Garnett's face after a screen. The Celtics need some stops to make this interesting.

Fourth quarter, 9:14, Suns 75-60 The Celtics have a slight shot at a rally, but it is worth it to burn out Pierce, Rondo and Garnett to make a run? Acting head coach Lawrence Frank is going with the bench hoping for a spark and maybe he will go back to the starters if they cut the lead to 7 or 8.

End of third quarter, Suns 75-58 Celtics may be done tonight. They don't appear to have any more fight coming off a rugged win last night in Portland and Phoenix players are hitting shots they don't usually make. That's the sign that it's your night. Vince Carter has 16 points and Marcin Gortat is stuck on 15, but that early spurt may have been enough.

Third quarter, 2:18, Suns 70-54 Celtics had a chance to cut the lead to single digits but Ray Allen missed a 3-pointer off the fastbreak and Vince Carter has responded with 5 straight points, including his second 3-pointer of the game and the Celtics need an injection of energy. They have been a step slow all night.

Third quarter, 5:14, Suns 60-50 The Celtics are trying to make a comeback but when Robin Lopez is canning jumpers off pick-and-rolls and Steve Nash is hitting those one-legged runners, it makes it difficult. Kevin Garnett is beginning to heat up. He leads the Celtics with 14 points.

Halftime, Suns 49-35 Celtics play the Suns even in the second quarter but that's not good enough. They need to make up some ground after a terrible first period. Doc Rivers was ejected with 4:33 left in the period for arguing a series of non-calls and what he thought was over calls on the Celtics. Lawrence Frank is taking over the head coaching role.

Second quarter, 4:33, Suns 40-25 The Celtics are desperately trying to cut into the Suns' lead but right now they are playing a step slow. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are a combined 2-for-12 and the Celtics are shooting 32 percent. Marcin Gortat has been unstoppable with 15 points.

Second quarter, 7:51, Suns 34-21 Doc Rivers has gone to the bench to provide a spark and while they are playing hard, they have produced 5 points in the first four minutes of the period. Phoenix is responding with bad shots, so the Celtics have a chance to rally. But somebody needs to make some shots.

End of first quarter, Suns 30-16 Phoenix is playing flawlessly and Marcin Gortat ends the quarter with a 3-pointer and raises his hands in the air as if he just won a gold medal. It's been that type of quarter for the Celtics, who collected eight fouls and was 7 for 18 from the field. Gortat has 11 points in just over five minutes.

First quarter, 5:22, Suns 15-10 Phoenix is going into Robin Lopez who has already drawn two fouls apiece on Kendrick Perkins and Shaquille O'Neal and leads Phoenix with 7 points. The Celtics are a step slow, playing as if they are on the second game of a back-to-back.

First quarter, 8:30, Suns 5-4 Celtics are off to a sluggish start, missing open jumpers and free throws. Luckily, Robin Lopez has already missed three free throws.

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