The Red Sox were in the hunt for Eric Gagne earlier in the day, but the Celtics could have used the former Dodgers closer against the Suns Friday night.
In the end, it was too much Steve Nash, too much Shawn Marion, and too much willpower by a veteran Phoenix team that has been there before. This was not their first rodeo, even if much of this game resembled a three-ring circus.
With 41 seconds left in the game, Sebastian Telfair saw his three-point attempt roll around the rim and bounce out. On the other end, the Suns patiently worked the clock and found Marion for a 16-footer that found the back of the net and gave the Suns a six-point lead. The deficit was too much for the Celtics to overcome.
The Celtics were never out of the game against a heavily-favored Suns team. Amare Stoudemire picked up his fifth foul at the 10:01 mark of the third quarter, allowing the Celtics to stay in the game without using a true big man for long periods of time.
Gerald Green is quickly becoming a player for the Celtics. With 8:37 left in a close game tonight, Green took the ball to the basket and earned a chance for a three-point play against Boris Diaw. Moments earlier, Green followed a Rajon Rondo miss on the fast break with a thunderous dunk.
A lineup of Green, Ryan Gomes, Brian Scalabrine, Rondo and Delonte West more than held their own against the Suns midway through the fourth quarter. The second unit pushed the tempo of the game and held the lead before Paul Pierce entered the game for Green.
The Celtics scored 54 points in the first half on just 36 percent shooting by catching a tired Phoenix Suns team coming off a long game the night before. Paul Pierce had 25 points by halftime against a porous Phoenix defense, and the Celtics trailed by just five points at the break.
Back in a bit with commentary from both locker rooms.