It was a bad game, an ugly game, and made me want to gouge out my eyes for 42 minutes. But those last six minutes were a waterfall of sweet nectar.
With the Celtics down 13 points and only six minutes remaining, Doc Rivers must have been thinking to himself, “Damn, I wish Gilbert Arenas had been more law-abiding.”
Then, Al Thornton probably wouldn’t be with the Wizards, and Andray Blatche would have been only a role player instead of the leading man. With the way Blatche and Thornton were tearing up the C’s, Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison would have been much-needed diversions from the young, talented duo that led the way to the C’s seemingly insurmountable fourth-quarter deficit. It appeared that no comeback would be in the offing.
Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen had different plans. Rondo came out of his first-half cocoon to blossom in the second half, scoring 13 post-halftime points and energizing the C’s with a late shot of adrenaline. He brought the C’s within striking distance, but Allen delivered the knockout blow. A three-pointer with 17 seconds left was Allen’s second long bomb of the final minutes, a dagger that left the young Wizards gasping for breath and wondering what the hell went wrong.
So what did go wrong? For one, the Celtics decided to finally show up to the fight. For the first three quarters and change, they were like Eminem in his first freestyle battle in 8 Mile. You know, when he showed up to rap and instead didn’t say a single word, seizing up in front of the crowd before finally getting booed off stage. The last six minutes, though, the Celtics put together a symphony of stops, scores, and boards. The two-headed dog that had led Washington to the lead disappeared down the stretch, and youth was served a big dose of ass-whipping by a suddenly hungry Boston squad.
Another problem for Washington? Allen proved Arenas isn’t the only NBA player with a little firepower. He finished with 25 points, including 18 in the second half, two huge threes, and another game-winning shot to add to his growing collection.
After a win like tonight’s, it’s tough to decide what to feel. Elation, for such a surprising and stellar comeback? Or hesitancy, for another 42 minutes of spiritless play?
I’ll take somewhere in the middle.
Actually, I’ll take both. Watching Ray drill both those threes brought a roar of approval from my spot on the couch, but two minutes later, the roars were gone and the questions surrounding the Celtics remained.
All unanswered questions aside, the Celtics’ winning streak stands at four.
And that certainly beats a one-game losing streak.
- Kevin Garnett hit as many field goals as I did. 0-7 from the floor. He still finished with 10 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo had only 2 points and 1 assist at halftime, but ended with 15 and 7.
- Kendrick Perkins had a solid 12 points and 7 rebounds, including 10 in the first half.
- The Celtics ended the game on a 20-4 run.
- Michael Finley did not play. He will likely make his C’s debut Tuesday in Milwaukee.
- Nate Robinson was very silent, finishing with a doughnut.
- JeVale McGee had 5 blocked shots to lead a disruptively long Washington defense. Glen Davis could barely see over the long arms of Washington’s trees: He finished 1-7 from the floor and was blocked three times, negating a lot of the effects of his energetic play.