I do not want to highlight one player in tonight’s win, as this was truly one of the Celtics best team efforts of the year. In direct opposition to what I just said, the only player I do want to highlight is Kevin Garnett, who got his 25,000th point tonight with a fade-away jumper. His response? Thanking all the people who helped him get there and finished with a “it’s not that surprising when you put the work in”. Congrats to KG, another great accomplishment in a hall of fame career. Almost everyone on their roster stepped up to play their role. The team defense was superb, and fed into their offense seamlessly. On to the notes:
- There was a series of possessions early in the third quarter where Kobe Bryant took three very well contested shots, and made all three. All three were well defended by Courtney Lee. Just for comparisons sake the Celtics three possessions over that time span consisted of two short push shots for KG against Metta World Peace and an open Avery Bradley jumper. The Celtics ball movement came naturally; the Lakers stood around and watched Kobe dominate the ball. While Los Angeles was able to play the Celtics evenly in that stretch, it was most definitely a sign of things to come.
- There was an unbelievable stretch in the end of the third quarter to make a 18 point lead a 26 point lead:
- Made Terry three-pointer
- Jamison missed a horrible 7-foot shot
- Jeff Green drove to the hoop for a dunk off a beautiful Pierce assist
- Jamison blocked by Green on a pure effort chase-down block
- Pierce makes three-pointer
- Celtics pushed the ball all night, playing the up-and-down game that some of us (Jordan) have been begging for since some of the offseason acquisitions seemed to support the idea the Celtics would, much like the Spurs of late, push the pace a bit more to better suit their personnel. Not to say the full transition has been made, but tonight was a start.
- Dwight Howard got bullied into playing tonight and it initially paid off for the Lakers as Garnett picked up two quick fouls. That was about as far as it went, as the Laker center finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds, but simply did not play well.
- I still love watching Avery Bradley play defense. Tonight was no exception. I would have a tough time holding the ball for more than five seconds in the presence of Bradley.
Nice to write a recap early with the games result never in doubt after the third quarter. Sixth straight win for the Celtics as they look forward to a couple days off until their match-up against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
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