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Final: Celtics 85, Timberwolves 82

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  March 27, 2011 07:35 PM

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Final, Celtics 85-82: Celtics remain two games behind the Chicago Bulls for the top seed in the Eastern Conference by surviving the final few minutes behind some solid execution down the stretch and a key offensive rebound from Delonte West.

Fourth quarter, 19.2, Celtics 83-78: Perhaps the play of the game was made by Delonte West, who grabs a key offensive rebound of a Kevin Garnett miss and forces the Timberwolves to foul. Paul Pierce hits two free throws and the Celtics are close to avoiding embarrassment.

Fourth quarter, 2:57, Celtics 77-73: Paul Pierce is on a personal 5-0 run and just canned a jumper to give the Celtics a 4-point lead, which is huge considering they have been close to falling behind by two possessions on several occasions. Pierce has 21 points but no other Celtic has more than 11. Pierce and Glen Davis are a combined 10-for-31 shooting.

Fourth quarter, 5:46, Celtics 72-70: Celtics are getting stops but they can't score often enough to build a lead. Paul Pierce and Glen Davis have combined to miss 19 shots while Kevin Garnett has attempted only 7 but has pulled down 12 rebounds.

Fourth quarter, 8:48, Tied at 68: Celtics are now trying to avoid a second straight embarrassing loss after blowing a 25-point lead (38-13). They are 12 of 41 from the field (29 percent) since the first quarter and the Wolves are shooting 50 percent in the same span. Michael Beasley has 25 points for Minnesota.

End of third quarter, Celtics 64-62: The Timberwolves actually wiped out the 25-point lead and tied the game before Carlos Arroyo's free throws to end the period. Celtics have scored 32 points in the past two quarters after a 32-point first quarter. The offense is suffering.

Third quarter, 4:10, Celtics 57-54: Here we go again. The Celtics led by as many as 25 and now the lead is down to 3 after a 13-2 Wolves run. They are simply pounding the ball inside and getting to the free throw line. The Celtics are wasting possessions, missing shots and making turnovers.

Third quarter, 6:58, Celtics 55-46: The Wolves made a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to eight but the Celtics have responded and are trying not to let this game get away like they did against Charlotte. Paul Pierce and Nenad Krstic each has 11 points but the Celtics are already out of fouls.

Halftime, Celtics 47-34: Celtics turn in a clunker of a quarter with 15 points on 4-for-17 shooting. And a game that should be put away is now in question because the Celtics couldn't hit shots. Paul Pierce and Nenad Krstic are a combined 4 of 14 while Glen Davis is 2 of 8 off the bench. Pierce has taken five 3-pointers, hitting just one.

Second quarter, 2:54, Celtics 43-25: The Timberwolves go on an 8-0 run but the Celtics respond with five straight points. Paul Pierce has already taken five 3-pointers and has hit one so far. Pierce and Ray Allen each have nine points.

strong>Second quarter, 8:44, Celtics 38-15: Boston is keeping the pressure on while the Timberwolves are just trying to run a play and hit a shot. Minnesota has missed 22 of 28 shots and the Wolves besides Michael Beasley are 2 of 16 for five points. Delonte West, replacing the injured Rajon Rondo, has four points and four assists.

End of first quarter, Celtics 32-13: The Celtics have come out with a purpose, shooting 59 percent in the first quarter as six different players scored, including Ray Allen with nine points. Michael Beasley has been the whole offense for the Timberwolves, who look shellshocked.

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