Found February 08, 2013 on The Nosebleeds:
Celtics 116, Lakers 95 It took all of 49 seconds for the Celtics to dispatch the Lakers at the TD Garden on Thursday night. Sure, they led by approximately ten points for most of the game, but in the final minutes of the third quarter Boston put the game out of reach with a 14-3 run. Jason Terry started the spurt with a triple, Jeff Green provided a thunderous dunk before sprinting back to swat Antawn Jamison’s layup attempt, and then Paul Pierce brought the house down with a transition three to expand the C’s lead to 22.   Eight points in less than 50 seconds. It was an incredible onslaught that left the Lakers (23-27) demoralized and ignited the crowd at the Garden. Boston shot 76 percent in the third quarter, connected on 12 of their last 14 field goal attempts, and led 95-69 going into the final frame. So does this mean the Celtics have turned the corner? After winning their sixth straight in such convincing fashion, can the critics still claim that their new-look spread offense is only a gimmick? After all it was just the dysfunctional Lakers. Well you play who is on the schedule, and the C’s continue to perform admirably in the wake of Rajon Rondo’s season ending injury. They’re now three games above .500 at 26-23, and will look to carry this momentum through the all-star break. It’s hard to criticize a team that is receiving contributions from everyone on the roster. Kevin Garnett picked up two fouls jostling with Dwight Howard in the first two minutes, but Jason Collins and Chris Wilcox were able to pick up the slack. Earlier in the season Boston was incapable of maintaining a steady pace without K.G. on the floor, but this new look team didn’t miss a beat. Six players ended up scoring in double figures and the C’s logged 25 assists as a team while shooting 52 percent from the field. Those kind of numbers are consistent throughout their current six-game streak and definitely indicate that their playing a winning brand of basketball. Most importantly the team’s two veteran leaders, Pierce and Garnett, are acting as anchors on both sides of the ball. Pierce seems to have broken out of his month long shooting slump and scored 12 of his 24 points during the C’s 37-point third quarter. Garnett was immense for the second straight night, and also became the 16th player in NBA history to log 25,000 career points. Despite logging 47,250 minutes (8th all-time) in 18 seasons, K.G. continues to get it done even in the second game of back-to-backs. With these two veterans playing at such a high level, there’s no reason to believe that the Celtics have any intentions of trading either player for some young assets. All this team does is win right now, but they do still have some glaring needs. In order to compete in the postseason, Boston could use a true point guard and an increased rebounding presence. Those who were calling for Danny Ainge to “blow it up” may have to change their tune and ask for the G.M. to reload in an attempt to surround his veterans with the tools necessary to win now. The red-hot Denver Nuggets will come to town on Sunday night and put their eight-game winning streak on the line. If the C’s can get the job done against one of the hottest teams in the NBA, then nobody will be able to claim that this streak isn’t for real.
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