12.17.2017

Reserves Mop Up after Starters Build 70-30 Lead

12/8/2007

The Celtics' starting five had to work as hard in the fourth quarter as the fans sitting across from them in courtside seats.

With their starters on the bench, the Celtics finished off a 112-84 blowout of the Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden last night. Boston improved to an NBA-best 16-2 and has won five straight.

Win Lifts C's Record to 17-2

12/9/2007

CHICAGO - The Celtics' "Big Three" took a back seat to the "Big D" last night.

The Celtics pushed their NBA-best record to 17-2 with a 92-81 victory over the Bulls at the United Center. Boston has won six straight and three in a row on the road. The Celtics also snapped an eight-game losing streak to Chicago dating back to the 2004-05 season.

12.15.2017

Sluggish C's Win Matinee

12/3/2007

The clock oddly struck at 12:30 p.m. for tip-off. Cavaliers star LeBron James was sitting on the bench in street clothes. And the weary Celtics and the sold-out TD Banknorth Garden crowd seemed in need of some strong coffee and maybe some brunch, too.

12.14.2017

Conjuring Up Pervis

12/13/2007

Kendrick Perkins is now, unequivocally, unambiguously, officially part of Celtics lore. He joins Pervis Ellison on the short list entitled "Celtics centers who missed games because of injury involving a toe and a piece of furniture." Poor Pervis, who was almost always hurt (resulting in Danny Ainge nicknaming him "Out of Service Pervis"), missed most of a season when a coffee table fell on his foot. (That was the story, anyway, which Pervis and the Celtics resolutely stuck to. It may even be true. We'll have to wait for the Ellison Memoirs.)

Poor Perk missed his first game of the season last night - a 90-78 Celtics' win over the Kings - a couple of days after his bed collapsed on his toe. Perkins was in good spirits after the game, took a number of jokes well, and said he hoped to be able to play tomorrow. "I think he should be able to play [tomorrow] night," Ainge said.

Perkins missed practice Tuesday and coach Doc Rivers said it was because of a sore toe. There was no mention of how Perkins was hurt; players get sore toes all the time. Only a couple of reporters thought to buttonhole Perkins to get to the bottom of the matter and, soon thereafter, his story was sent 'round the world, courtesy of the Associated Press. And it was a doozy.

"I guess whoever put my bed together didn't put it together right when I moved, so one side of my bed fell," he said. "My bed was tilted, so I got out of my bed to go push down on the other side. And when I was about getting ready to push down on the other side, the headboard started coming in. So I tried to push the headboard back so it wouldn't fall over. My foot was under the bed and the other side of the bed fell on my foot."

12.13.2017

Baby Plays Big in W

12/3/07

The Celtics used a "Big Baby" to get some much-needed energy yesterday.

Rookie forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis scored 9 points and made 4 of 5 shots, grabbed seven rebounds, had one block and one steal to spark the weary Celtics during an 80-70 victory over the Cavaliers yesterday at TD Banknorth Garden.

KG Not a Big Fan of Afternoon Tilts

12/3/2007

Athletes may be the ultimate creatures of habit. Everything must be just so, whether it's the day-of-game routine or the pregame ritual. Thus, when a wrench is introduced into the equation, well, you get games like we got yesterday. Nature abhors a vacuum. Players abhor afternoon games.

12.12.2017

Defense Key to Celtics' Fast Start

12/4/2007

Well, if we didn't know by now - with 14 wins in 16 games, many of them wire-to-wire routs - we can point to Celtics boss Danny Ainge's remarks yesterday as to why he thinks his team is overpowering its opponents. In a word, defense.

12.11.2017

Doc Rivers Named Coach of the Month

12/5/2007

WALTHAM - Doc Rivers led his first practice yesterday since being named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for November. Even he had to marvel at how much better he's coaching this season than last season, when the only difference has been an overhaul in personnel featuring two additional All-Stars, one of them a first-ballot lock for Springfield.

"We haven't changed much," Rivers said. "It's different personnel."

12.10.2017

Clifford Ray's Project Showing Promise

12/5/07

WALTHAM - Assistant coach Clifford Ray has a job on his hands. The task: Turn Glen "Big Baby" Davis into an NBA player. The observation to date: So far, so good, but much work needs to be done.

12.09.2017

What Ever Happened to the Fire Doc Websites?

12/19/07

At the nadir of the Doc Rivers Era, frustration came in an unflattering and unfiltered form. The Celtics were in the midst of a 101-77 loss to the New York Knicks early last season when a large group of fans at the TD Banknorth Garden began calling for the firing of the Celtics coach.

At the end of the Boston bench, where Celtics players heard the clamor, the chorus was even crueler.

Laughter.

12.08.2017

The Closer

Image result for kyrie duke

--

As you may have noticed, I've been compiling and posting articles about the 2007-08 championship season (the only championship in the last 30 years). One thing I will say is that the gaudy record this year feels a little more sustainable (as great as the 2007-08 team was, you kept wondering if they could keep it up). Brad Stevens has kind of reduced the games down to a science. Of course, that makes things a little more predictable. So we shall see. I'm sticking with my 58 win prediction. Can you imagine how many games this team would have won with GH?

Embracing Posey

12/2/2007

In terms of surprises to the coach, the clear-cut winner for the Celtics thus far has been James Posey. Doc Rivers pretty much knew what he was getting from the ultra-intense Kevin Garnett and the smooth Ray Allen. He had no real read on Posey, other than hearing that Posey was a good guy to have in the locker room.

12.07.2017

Reggie Miller has No Regrets

11/29/2007

As hard as it was for him to do, ex-NBA star Reggie Miller picked up his telephone and called his neighbor, workout partner, and friend, Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, to tell him he planned on staying an ex-NBA star.

12.06.2017

Cavs Conquer C's in OT

11/28/2007

CLEVELAND - The Celtics put an end to one streak last night - they weren't the third straight team to be abused by LeBron James to the point of a triple-double. But James still put together a rather impressive line - 38 points, 13 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks - and nearly outscored the Celtics all by himself in overtime, as the Cavaliers pinned the second loss of the season on the Celtics, taking a 109-104 decision before a sellout crowd of 20,652 at Quicken Loans Arena.

12.05.2017

Ray's Trey Moves C's to 11-1

11/25/2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Imagine that. A Celtics game with no double-digit leads - by either team. A Celtics game with more than 20 lead changes. A Celtics game where - gulp - the Celtics actually trailed in the fourth quarter and went down to the last shot.

12.04.2017

Perkins a Beast in C's Win over L's

11/24/2007

Kendrick Perkins made it seem as if there were a Big Four for the Celtics in last night's 107-94 win over the Lakers at TD Banknorth Garden.

Perkins scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The 6-foot-10-inch, 264-pound center made 8 of 10 shots in 34 minutes. Perkins is now shooting a team-best 64.7 percent from the field.

"I've just got to be consistent," he said. "It can't be up and down, up and down. It has to be consistent all the way through and a steady level. But it was a great game tonight."

Perkins knew the main reason he was getting dunks and layups was the attention paid to teammates Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

"A lot of easy baskets," said Perkins. "I've just got to keep finishing, setting picks, and getting guys open and it will come."

Said Garnett: "He had a huge game for us. I'm happy for him."

12.03.2017

Title Deprivation Accelerating Chemistry

11/24/2007

Eleven games in, are we spoiled already?

The home games mostly look the same. The Celtics grab an early lead, pad it with an impressive second quarter, and then it's pretty much Patriots-like the rest of the way. People get edgy when the second-half lead drops to, oh, say, 12.

12.02.2017

The Buzz is Back

11/24/2007

We have officially gone back to the future.

For the last 10 years or so, you could walk into The Four's, the landmark sports bar located a Ray Allen 3-pointer from the New Garden, two hours before game time and sit yourself down, no problema. Now, two hours before game time means an hour wait for a table. Perhaps Larry, Kevin, and Robert aren't walking through that door any time soon, but in the meantime, thank you, KG. The Buzz around North Station and its environs is back.

12.01.2017

Celebrities Turn Out to Watch Boston Beat LA

11/24/2007

Many Celtics fans wore shirts that read, "Beat LA." The sellout crowd of 18,624 at TD Banknorth Garden included a long list of celebrities. And it was the first time the Celtics' star trio faced Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

11.30.2017

Purple and Green Set to Renew Rivalry

1/23/07

Depending on where your loyalty lies, you'd either call it the Celtics-Lakers Rivalry or the Lakers-Celtics Rivalry.

11.29.2017

KG Enjoying Gino Time

11/22/07

The Celtics' victory cigar isn't really a cigar. Rather, some slow-dancing bearded dude from American Bandstand with a tight yellow shirt that reads, "Geno."

11.28.2017

C's Get Back on Track with Blowout

11/22/2007

The Celtics got back on the winning track against an uptempo team that sluggishly played like it already ate its Thanksgiving dinner.

The Celtics defeated Golden State, 105-82, last night at TD Banknorth Garden.

11.27.2017

Mullin: Warriors were Close to Landing KG

11/20/07

When public address announcer Eddie Palladino belts out the Celtics' starting lineup prior to tomorrow night's game against Golden State at TD Banknorth Garden, expect a loud cheer for Kevin Garnett. If the Warriors had it their way, Palladino would be announcing Garnett in their starting lineup instead.

11.26.2017

82-0 Comes to an End in Loss to Magic

11/19/2007

ORLANDO, Fla. - Dreams may come true down the road from here at Disney World. But even the biggest Celtics fans couldn't have thought their team would be perfect all season.

"We're not going 82-0," coach Doc Rivers said.

11.25.2017

Last Night's Game was, well, Close

11/17/2007

When Udonis Haslem knocked down a free throw with 33.5 seconds left in last night's Celtics-Miami game, it gave the Heat a 91-90 lead. Haslem then missed the next one and, 33.5 seconds later, after a Paul Pierce layup, the Celtics were walking off the TD Banknorth Garden parquet with yet another win. Eight for eight.

11.24.2017

Pat Riley Regrets Losing Posey

1/17/2007

The Celtics feel the Heat's loss of James Posey has been their gain.

Posey was a key member of the Heat the last two seasons, including the 2005-06 championship team. But because of financial considerations, Miami was unable to re-sign Posey, Jason Kapono, and Eddie Jones during the offseason. Posey faced his former team for the first time last night at the Garden.

11.23.2017

C's Down Heat, Move to 8-0

11/17/2007

Although it was on life support, the Celtics' undefeated start is alive.

On the strength of Paul Pierce's hoop with 25 seconds remaining, they pushed their record to 8-0 with a 92-91 victory over the Miami Heat last night at TD Banknorth Garden. Boston's start is its best since the 1972-73 team opened with 10 straight wins. The franchise record for best start is 14-0 in 1957-58. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 26 points.

11.22.2017

Garnett is Surrounded . . . Finally

11/16/2007


We all knew he was good. The numerous accolades; multiple All-NBA selections, multiple All-Defense selections, Most Valuable Player, gold-medal-winning Olympian. There was a reason Celtics fans went into circuit overload when the team announced the acquisition of Kevin Garnett.

11.21.2017

Kyrie is like Krack (part 3)

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In one sense, the Celtics won this game because their NBA-leading defense put the Mavs in a vise grip for nearly 13 minutes, holding Dallas to 5-for-20 shooting with five turnovers from the 7:47 mark of the fourth quarter on. In another, though, they won it because their point guard was freaking unstoppable at exactly the time they needed him to be.


 Irving made all four of his field goals in the extra session, outscoring the Mavericks by himself in OT, 10-6. He made a pair of freebies with 18 seconds left to finish off his most explosive and efficient offensive game as a Celtic — a season-high 47 points on scorching 16-for-22 shooting, a 5-for-7 mark from downtown, and 10-for-11 at the free-throw line, along with six assists, three rebounds, a steal and just three turnovers in 39 minutes of downright remarkable work.

Irving made his first 10 shots on Monday; he has now scored 77 points on 44 shots over the past two games. I think he’s gotten used to the mask, you guys.

He’s the first Celtic to score 45 or more on 70-plus percent or better since Larry Bird did it 28 years ago. According to Basketball-Refeference.com’s database, he’s the seventh player in the last 54 years to produce multiple games of 45 or more points on 22 or fewer shot attempts, and man, is it a fun list: Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, peak Gilbert Arenas, Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade, never-forget-how-good-a-scorer-he-was Kevin Martin, and present-day James Harden (who picked up his fourth such game just last week, hot on the heels of Joel Embiid having his first).

After struggling with the consistency on his shot earlier in the season, Irving has now put together back-to-back scorching performances that have lifted his season numbers (22.5 points on 47/38/89 shooting, 5.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals per game) back in line with his career averages, despite playing about 2.5 fewer minutes per game than his career mark (and 3.5 fewer than he saw last year in Cleveland). He kept his frankly unbelievable numbers in tight situations going, too:

Irving has scored 65 points in 38 minutes of “clutch” play — when the game’s within five points, one way or the other, in the final five minutes or OT — this season, far and away the best clutch scoring rate of any player in the league, according to NBA.com’s stats. He’s an obscene 24-for-39 from the field (61.5 percent) in those close-and-late situations, with the bulk of his damage coming inside the paint and directly at the front of the rim, thanks to his ability to sidestep and teleport through defenders tasked with hemming him up at the perimeter. He has drawn 11 fouls leading to 16 free throws (making 13), and has dished 10 assists without a turnover in “clutch” time.

It’s a little too early to start updating those “King in the Fourth” Photoshops, but it’s fair to say the Celtics haven’t yet experienced a late-game drop-off with Irving at the controls. On the contrary: no team’s got a better record in games featuring “clutch” minutes than Boston’s 11-2 mark, and while last year’s Celtics outscored opponents by a very strong 14.9 points per 100 “clutch” possessions, this year’s model has nearly doubled that net rating so far.

While Irving’s overall efficiency hadn’t quite been up to snuff before these past two games, his improved effort level on the defensive end and his killer performance in the clutch have played a big role in the Celtics getting off to such a dynamite start to the season. Then you see performances like the one he turned in on Monday, where it doesn’t seem like there’s a single thing a defender can do to stop him, and you’re reminded why Danny Ainge decided to take the gigantic risk of giving two starters and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected first-round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers so he’d have the chance to get Irving in kelly green.

The early returns on Ainge being right about that deal have been so impressive that it’s got the Celtics president of basketball operations wondering if he might be wrong about something else:



-- Yahoo

A long time ago, in a place far, far away, the Boston Celtics went on a road trip to the West Coast. I believe it was the second half of the 1984-85 season. It was a longish trip, five or six games. And all anyone could talk about was how just about every game finished:

On a Larry Bird buzzer beater.

My brother the Lakers fan called to finally acknowledge what the rest of the world already knew. Larry Bird was the greatest player on the planet. The way Kyrie is playing this year, I feel another call coming from my brother.

:  )

Sports World Turns Green

11/16/2007

When NBA commissioner David Stern stepped into a New York City cab earlier this week, the driver asked, "Do you think the Celtics will win all 82 games this season?" Stern laughed and answered, "I think they will lose a game or two." With the Celtics 7-0, Stern was not surprised by the question; just by the man who asked it.

11.20.2017

Sean Williams Impresses in 29 Minutes

11/15/2007

Last night, Sean Williams, the 17th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, played in his fifth game. It may have been his best yet - not bad for someone who already was ahead of schedule, at least the one the Nets calibrated for him, which may say a lot about the team and the player.

11.19.2017

Down Go the Nets for C's 7th Straight W

11/15/2007

While the Celtics might have won ugly again, their record is still pretty.

Boston pushed its perfect start to 7-0 with a 91-69 victory over the New Jersey Nets last night at TD Banknorth Garden. The NBA's lone unbeaten team matched the franchise's fourth-best start, joining the 1963-64 edition. The best start in franchise history is 14-0 in 1957-58.

11.18.2017

Bird Happy for "Our" Fans, Watches C's Dump Pacers

11/14/2007

INDIANAPOLIS - Twenty years ago, Larry Bird was the Celtics' star as they started the season 6-0. Last night, Bird was in the stands to see the first Celtics squad since his 20 years ago to start off 6-0.

Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish were the star trio back in 1987. Now led by a star trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, the NBA's only unbeaten squad defeated the Pacers, 101-86, at Conseco Fieldhouse. Pierce scored a game-high 31 points and also had 11 rebounds and 6 assists.

11.17.2017

Can Anyone Say 5-0?

11/11/07

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Every once in a while an NBA team shows what it's made of by overcoming a major challenge.

Maybe it's a character challenge, or a physical challenge. Or maybe its one of those nights when you are challenged mentally.

11.16.2017

Shhhh. The Celtics may have a Bench

11/11/07


We've seen only a handful of games, but, outside of a certain No. 5 and another No. 20, what do we make of the Other Guys? Namely, lads 4-12, who generally were regarded as a shade better than Uruguay?

11.15.2017

C's Make it Four Straight

11/10/2007

New Three Reminding us of Old Three

With their unblemished start, the Celtics brought back memories of the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish last night.

Boston improved to 4-0 with a 106-83 victory over the Hawks at TD Banknorth Garden, becoming the 18th edition in franchise history to begin a season with four wins. It's the best start since the Celtics went 6-0 during the 1987-88 season, when Bird, McHale, and Parish were the star trio.

11.14.2017

New Celtics Passing like Celtics of Yore

11/9/2007

Is it Too Early to Thank Danny?

I'm not concerned right now about what's going to happen in May and June. I just want to thank Danny Ainge for giving us back our winter. Danny Ainge has rescued us from being strictly a two-sport town.

11.13.2017

M-V-P, M-V-P


Celtics Fans Diggin' the New Three

11/8/2007

You think there was buzz surrounding the Celtics before? Clamp on your earmuffs.

The noise this team has made in the infancy of the NBA season was elevated to ear-splitting decibels last night during a raucous Garden gathering in which the Denver Nuggets graciously played the role of party pinata.

11.12.2017

C's Score 77 by Half, Crush Denver

11/8/2007

Denver's George Karl is one of the most animated coaches in the NBA, and usually roams the sideline throughout the game. But with his Nuggets not showing much fight last night against the Celtics, he didn't get off the bench other than during timeouts, to go to the locker room at halftime, and to leave after it was over.

11.11.2017

Clark Kent Steps Out of Booth

11/3/2011

In the nearly six months since, the Celtics have done more than just change their roster. They've completely changed their identity. In less time than it takes Clark Kent to pop in and out of a phone booth, Ainge dispatched a collection of young, promising players for Garnett and Ray Allen. And just like that, the Celtics went from hopefuls to handfuls, a team that many are picking to win the Eastern Conference.

11.10.2017

Celtics have much to Prove

11/3/2007

The Celtics have been on every magazine cover but Foreign Affairs.

The coach is amused.

"I can't control that," says Doc Rivers. "So I'm not really 'OK' with it. But I understand it. I keep telling them that it's not the team on the cover that matters; it's the team on the floor."

11.09.2017

Powe Bloodies Baby Twice in Same Practice

November 4, 2007

The relative serenity of yesterday's Celtics practice was broken when Glen Davis took exception to getting his nose bloodied by Leon Powe. By NBA standards, it was absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, but ``Big Baby'' made his displeasure known.

11.08.2017

Iverson in the House as Visitor

11/7/2007

More than 1,000 members of Reebok's staff were on hand as Nuggets guard Allen Iverson was presented with bronzed sneakers Sept. 19 in the lobby of the company's Canton headquarters in honor of selling the most shoes of any of its athletes. The eight-time NBA All-Star took questions from Reebok employees, including one on whether he could ever see himself in a Celtics uniform. The 2001 NBA MVP responded by saying he had strong respect for the team's history but hoped to finish his career in Denver.

11.07.2017

Kyrie is Like Crack (part 2)

Image result for kyrie duke
ATLANTA — When Brad Stevens is preparing to coach a game, he usually looks at the most recent box score of the team he is about to face. If that team's star was subdued, Stevens is usually wary of what might come next.
"If they really struggled and they're really good, that's a scary sight," Stevens said, "because you know guys like that don't have quiet nights twice in a row very often."
Kyrie Irving did not play poorly in the Celtics' 104-88 win over the Magic on Sunday, but he was held to 11 points. Last season, he scored fewer than that just twice. So Stevens had a sense Irving might be due for an eruption — except the good news was that he was on his side now.
On a night the Celtics were far from perfect, at the end of a challenging three-game road trip, Irving was there to rescue them when they needed him most. He would not let the winning streak end, not here.
The point guard had his most complete game as a Celtic, pouring in 35 points on 14 of 22 shooting and dishing out seven assists, as the Celtics held off the Hawks and grabbed a 110-107 win, their ninth in a row.
Irving's 14-footer with 20.3 seconds left all but finished off Atlanta.
"It's exciting to be out there and be on his side," Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum said, "watching him do all those incredible things
--DAS GLOBE

When I wrote Part I, the article represented my observations from several games, including the pre-season. Ahh, yes. The pre-season. Let's not forget that. It was so clear how good the Celtics were going to be. Just think how good we are now, and then throw GH into the mix. We are talking 40 blowout wins. No?

Anyway, I digress.

Last night we saw what we might not only expect from our superstar, but also what we might hope for, only this time it came all in one game, a game where he needed to lead and drag his teammates to victory. The Celtics were dragging ass and discombobulated for much of the game. Kyrie? OK, I guess tonight they need me. They need all of me. And that is what we saw. Of course, he still has more. He gave just enough.

I am so impressed at not only how well the supporting cast is playing, but at how quickly the others recognized Kyrie as their "leader" and their "star."

Damn straight.

It will be a fun year. Tatum is in the starting lineup for good. He will benefit so much from the experience. Brown will benefit from the extra minutes not having to share them with GH. So, for the most part, it's all good. Yes, we would be otherworldly with GH, and it is a crime he got injured.

But let's not focus on that now.

Let's appreciate how good this team is, how deep this team is, and how unbelievably great it's leader is.

The Celtics are Good . . . at Defense?

11/6/2007

We've had only one week of NBA basketball in the 2007-08 season, but there already are story lines everywhere. Yes, Kobe is still with the Lakers. Yes, Isiah is still coaching the Knicks. Yes, Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson are still on suspension.

11.06.2017

Sonics Announce Intentions to Move

11/5/2007

SuperSonics chairman Clay Bennett has informed NBA commissioner David Stern that his ownership group intends to relocate the team to Oklahoma City as soon as it can get out of its Key Arena lease. Celtics guard Ray Allen, who played in Seattle from 2003-07, wasn't surprised.

"When the team was bought from the previous ownership they told us and everybody in the city that they sold it to a group that they thought would most likely keep the team in the city," Allen said. "Everybody thought that was some [garbage]. How is someone from Oklahoma City going to buy a team in Seattle who doesn't have any ties [in Seattle] and has big money in Oklahoma? If things don't go right, everybody's craving for the team to move to Oklahoma City.

"It just seemed like they got the higher bid because they made more money selling the team to someone outside of the city. So when they made that announcement [to move], it came as no surprise to me.

"I think the people of that city are so snake-bitten by previous ownership and now the new ownership."

11.05.2017

Allen's OT Trey Gives C's Another W

November 5, 2007

TORONTO - It's a dream of Tom Thibodeau's to be an NBA head coach one day. But if the first-year Celtics assistant never gets the opportunity, he always will have yesterday's victory on an NBA sideline to smile about.

With Celtics coach Doc Rivers having left for his hometown of Chicago after the death of his father, Thibodeau coached Boston to a wild 98-95 overtime win over the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre yesterday. New Celtics guard Ray Allen nailed a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to seal the emotional triumph.

"It's different," said Thibodeau of his NBA coaching debut. "Obviously, when you're an assistant, you're making suggestions and, when you're the head coach, you're making final decisions and when there are a lot of final decisions to be made, some work out well and some don't ... but it's coming at you fast."

Two free throws from Eddie House gave the Celtics a 95-92 lead with 7.1 seconds left in OT. After the Raptors called a timeout immediately afterward, House walked over to the scorer's table by Boston's bench and said, "I shoot 91 percent from the line. I don't miss."

The Raptors returned with guard T.J. Ford, who had 29 points and two 3-pointers at that time, throwing the ball in with Paul Pierce guarding him. After passing the ball to Andrea Bargnani, Ford got the ball back just across the free throw line. Celtics forward Kevin Garnett stayed with Bargnani instead of switching to Ford, and, wide open, he nailed a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left to tie the game at 95.

"Those guys on the other end know we don't fear nobody," Ford said.

Those guys on the Raptors' end should have feared the sharp-shooting Allen.

Thibodeau drew up a play in which Allen was to run across the baseline and rub off a Garnett pick in hopes of an open shot. There were other options, but Allen was the one Pierce had his eye on when the play began.

It worked to perfection as the 6-foot-11-inch, 220-pound Garnett laid out the Raptors' 6-6, 215-pound Anthony Parker on a baseline screen. Allen kept running to the 3-point line so Pierce could see him clearly. Pierce then tossed the ball in the corner to Allen, who nailed the winning trey. The Raptors didn't get a chance to get a tying 3-pointer off.

"That is exactly how we drew it up," said Allen, who finished with game highs of 33 points and seven 3-pointers. "A lot has been said about this team and what's going to happen at the end of games and who is going to take that shot. It is a joy to be out there offensively and for the coach to be able to draw up a play and there are three options.

"Paul had a shot if he threw it in and stepped back in. He caught me wide open and KG set a great pick. But if I wasn't open, KG was under the basket. It was a great play."

Said Raptors coach Sam Mitchell: "We knew it was coming. [Parker] just got picked off. Ray hit a good shot. They have a good team."

Garnett picked up his fifth foul with Boston ahead, 66-56, with 10:23 left in the fourth quarter and went to the bench. With 5:40 left, Garnett was still on the bench, and he looked up at the scoreboard and saw that Boston was ahead just 70-67. With the score the same, Garnett re-entered with 4:53 remaining.

Toronto's Jason Kapono's jumper tied the game at 72 with 3:23 left. But James Posey (11 points), in his Celtics debut, nailed two straight 3-pointers to give Boston a 78-74 lead with 2:24 remaining. But Ford's driving lay-in tied it at 78 with 27 seconds left in regulation. Pierce, who had 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting, missed a 20-foot jumper with 3.9 seconds left.

"They were making a lot of shots," said Garnett, who had 23 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. "[They're] very good at shooting the ball from the outside."

Rivers has said he would prefer Allen, Pierce, and Garnett to play fewer than 40 minutes. The star trio more than exceeded that on this day.

Allen played in 49 minutes 10 seconds, not far shy of his career-high of 54 minutes. Garnett played 43:38, 20:51 in the first half. Pierce played 45:34.

"I'm not fatigued," Allen said. "I tell people, 'Playing basketball for me, this is my job.' And I do everything I can to keep my body where it needs to be. If I had to play again [today], I'd be ready. This is our job. You just got to take care of your body accordingly, because there are going to be nights like this."

11.04.2017

Doc's Dad Passes

November 5, 2007

TORONTO - Grady Alexander Rivers, the father of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, died peacefully in Chicago yesterday morning, according to team spokesman Jeff Twiss.

Grady Rivers was 76 and had experienced some health concerns in recent months. Funeral arrangements are expected to be finalized today. Doc Rivers flew to his hometown of Chicago from Toronto yesterday to be with his family.

11.03.2017

Kobe-to-Bulls Deal Unlikely

November 4, 2007

John Paxson, general manager of the Chicago Bulls, says there's nothing going on with his team regarding a deal for Kobe Bryant.

"There's not going to be a deal done," Paxson said last week after the Kobe-to-Chicago rumors went on overload. "All the things that were out there were really unfair to all of us who were trying to do our jobs."

In other words, look for the deal to go down in 72 hours. (Just kidding.)

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