Brian Scalabrine checked in, and his substitution was supposed to signal the end of the game. The proverbial white flag, Scal represented. But the Sacramento Kings had other plans, though they would still succumb to a better Boston Celtics team, 94-86. The Celtics saw their 20-point halftime lead dwindled to six with three minutes left, but held on for the victory.
Despite the Kings’ comeback, accomplished largely against a Celtics 12th-man unit including both Brian Scalabrine and Shelden Williams, the C’s again took care of business at home. Rajon Rondo, though he scored only six points on 3-10 shooting, was a maestro for the Celtics all night long. His play was a beautiful symphony of drives and dishes, and he broke the immortal Rick Fox’s single-season Celtics steal record on the night. Besides breaking the steals record, he established a personal career high with 18 assists, and inched ever closer to Bob Cousy’s Celtics record for single-season assists.
Kevin Garnett also played one of his better games this season, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The 13 rebounds represented a season high for the Celtics power forward, as he continues to look more healthy by the night.
One of the more interesting aspects of tonight’s game was that Doc Rivers chose to play Tony Allen with the second unit. Marquis Daniels, after weeks of disappearing acts and inconsistent play, was relegated to garbage time, finally being inserted to the game when Doc Rivers waved the white flag and put Shelden and Scal in the game. For Daniels, it was either a wakeup call or a sign of what the rest of the season will entail. Allen performed well in Daniels’ place, putting in six points and four rebounds during his 11 minutes, while staying away from the turnover column.
Besides Allen’s hostile takeover of Daniels’ minutes, the second unit also saw another change: Nate Robinson went down with what was called a sprained ankle. Nate played only seven minutes before injuring himself, leaving the Celtics with a hole off the bench.
- Paul Pierce wasn’t vintage Truth tonight, but still ended with 22 points and 12 trips to the line. He continues to look spryer than he has all season long.
- Carl Landry — brother of Celtic Marcus, who has been assigned to the Maine Red Claws — destroyed the C’s, with 30 points and 8 boards.
- Ray Allen scored 20 points for the C’s, making 3-7 three-pointers.
- Shelden Williams played 23 minutes, and wasn’t great but didn’t make a fool of himself either. He continues to show he can be a solid presence if needed.
- Scal was active because Kendrick Perkins was inactive for the night, down with a sore left knee. For Scal, every time he gets in a game nowadays could be the last time he plays a game in a Celtics uniform.