FINAL: Celtics 92, Bobcats 59
Somebody has to play the Bobcats on Opening Night.
The Celtics got their marquee matchup Tuesday night in Cleveland, shutting down the Cavaliers in front of a national television audience. For the home fans Wednesday night, the matchup was less inspiring.
But that doesn’t mean the Celtics put less work into it.
Rajon Rondo had 10 points and 11 assists, and four Celtics scored in double figures as Boston defeated Charlotte, 92-59, to move to 2-0 on the season. Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Celtics held the Bobcats to 31-percent shooting on a night when the Yankees-Phillies scoreboard generated more emotion than the product on the floor. The loudest the crowd got all night was to welcome Rasheed Wallace and welcome back Kevin Garnett during pregame introductions.
But the Celtics proved once again that defense will triumph above all, settling with boring and methodical over anything more flashy.
A 20-2 run to start the second half allowed the Celtics to rest their starters — Kevin Garnett played just 26 minutes, Paul Pierce 25. Ray Allen played a seemingly unnecessary 38 minutes, but The Candyman is in the best shape of his career.
The Celtics return home Friday night for a playoff rematch with the Chicago Bulls.
5:43 fourth quarter, Celtics 76, Bobcats 50
Earliest Gino ever? Crowd is leaving in droves.
8:14 fourth quarter, Celtics 74, Bobcats 46
The crowd just started a “Scal-a-brine” chant, and the big redhead obliged, running back into the locker room to the roar of the crowd and the delight of Kevin Garnett, who laughed his head off.
Before the game, Doc Rivers said he actually wishes Scalabrine could have played tonight especially with Charlotte’s smaller lineup. Not that the Celtics really needed him.
9:36 fourth quarter, Celtics 69, Bobcats 45
Lester Hudson just checked into the game. Only good thing about watching blowouts is seeing some of the younger guys in game action. With Hudson in the game, Bria Scalabrine is the only Celtic not to have checked in. And Scalabrine is unavailable to play.
END third quarter, Celtics 67, Bobcats 41
Kevin Garnett has played 25 minutes in this game. It’s a safe bet we won’t see him in the fourth quarter. Ray Allen, however, has logged 36 minutes. Celtics fans must be clamoring for him to get out of there.
1:54, third quarter, Celtics 65, Bobcats 37
Strange play as Kendrick Perkins gets and and-one call on Tyson Chandler, but Perkins ends up picking up the technical foul. Chandler already had one tonight.
5:08, third quarter, Celtics 63, Bobcats 33
It’s now a 20-2 run for the Celtics to start the second half. We’re already at the point in the game where Bodysuit Man becomes more interesting than the action on the court.
The Celtics are going to do this to people this year. Even against Cleveland last night, the Celtics won with defense. Against a lesser opponent like Charlotte, the Celtics are sometimes going to dominate AND make it a boring game at the same time. It is what it is.
5:54, third quarter, Celtics 57, Bobcats 33
Gerald Henderson scores the first points of the second half for Charlotte.
Also, it should be pointed out that there’s a new Lucky here tonight. No beard. No Jumbotron time. No PR plug ahead of time. Good idea?
8:53, third quarter, Celtics 50, Bobcats 31
Celtics are on an 8-0 run to start the second half. This Bobcats team just doesn’t have the fight of the Bobcats teams in years past. I’m being serious.
10:54, third quarter, Celtics 42, Bobcats 31
Better ball movement by the Bobcats leads to a three-second violation. Brian Scalabrine was the only Celtics player standing and cheering from the bench. Scal’s applause seemed louder than the rest of the crowd. Not much energy in the building right now.
HALFTIME, Celtics 42, Bobcats 31
It looks like KG won’t be getting his rest just yet.
The Celtics turned it on late in the second quarter, but they are by no means burying the Bobcats. Some startling stats: The Bobcats have 12 turnovers compared to just six for the Celtics. The turnover difference is made up for by the difference at the foul line — 14 attempts for Charlotte, just three for Boston. Ray Allen leads the Celtics with 13 points.
4:11 second quarter, Celtics 35, Bobcats 29
It’s hard to imagine the Bobcats can have 11 turnovers and still be in this game.
7:34 second quarter, Celtics 29, Bobcats 23
Here come the Bobcats. That last jumper by Raymond Felton caps a 6-1 run. Charlotte’s up to 38.1 percent shooting, while the Celtics are down to 39.3 percent.
9:45 second quarter, Celtics 28, Bobcats 17
The Celtics are really spreading it around — four players (Garnett, Allen, Rondo, Wallace) with six points.
END first quarter, Celtics 22, Bobcats 13
OK so it’s not Celtics-Cavs. But we can’t do that every night. Too stressful.
Shooting has been a major difference so far — the Celtics shot 45 percent for the quarter, while the Bobcats shot 20 percent. Credit the Celtics for making every shot difficult for Charlotte. Teams can get outside shots against the Celtics, and they often take them. That translates to a lot of standing around and chucking.
The crowd is loving this game despite the lack of competition so far. Every new player off the bench brings squeals of delight “Eddie, oooohhh.”
4:06 first quarter, Celtics 12, Bobcats 6
Standing ovation for Rasheed Wallace. In an even bigger tribute, Paul Pierce picked up a technical foul as Rasheed was checking in.
5:16 first quarter, Celtics 12, Bobcats 4
Woman behind me just said, “This isn’t as exciting as last night.” She makes a good point. In related news, the Bobcats are 1 of 8.
7:13 first quarter, Celtics 8, Bobcats 2
First points for the Bobcats scored on a jumper by Boris Diaw, formerly of Phoenix Suns fame.
8:54 first quarter, Celtics 8, Bobcats 0
OK that’s better. The Celtics have 6 points off of 4 very quick Bobcats turnovers. Timeout, Charlotte.
In other news, it’s pretty green in here. Lots of folks wearing the green shirts. In other other news, it will be interesting to see how long KG, PP, and co. play if this game gets out of hand.
11:41 first quarter, Celtics 0, Bobcats 0
Nothing like a defensive three-second violation and a missed free throw by Raymond Felton to start the home opener off right.
They’re introducing each player on the two teams, bench, coaches, and all. Huge ovation for Rasheed Wallace. Awkward silence for Big Baby, who is not here tonight. Kevin Garnett with the loudest ovation.