Posted March 12, 2013 on
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The Boston Celtics have played surprisingly well since losing point guard Rajon Rondo for the season.
They were stunningly awful without Paul Pierce for the first time in 2012-13.
Pierce should be back on Wednesday night when the Celtics try to win their 10th straight at home and 10th in a row overall versus the Toronto Raptors.
After the Celtics' five-game winning streak ended with Sunday's 91-79 loss at Oklahoma City, coach Doc Rivers decided on the flight to Charlotte to rest Pierce on Tuesday instead of Kevin Garnett or Jason Terry as Boston (34-29) finished a stretch of nine of 11 on the road. Without their leading scorer, the Celtics were routed 100-74 by the league-worst Bobcats.
Boston scored 28 second-half points and finished with a season-low 27 field goals.
"What I was thinking was that I wish I would have given Kevin (Garnett) a night off too, in the middle of the game," said Rivers, whose team fell to 14-6 since Rondo suffered a season-ending torn ACL. "That would have been terrific. Then we would have had two guys that had gotten some rest.''
The Celtics can worry about paying back the Bobcats on Saturday, but their focus now is on the Raptors (25-39) as they open a three-game homestand.
The Celtics could have used Pierce in Charlotte, as well as a better effort from Garnett, who finished with a season-low five points, but now both get a chance to move up the all-time scoring list in front of their home fans. Pierce is 10 points shy of passing Charles Barkley for 20th place (23,758), while Garnett needs four to move ahead of Jerry West for 15th with 25,193 points.
Pierce had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Garnett scored a season-high 27 with 10 boards the last time these teams met, a 99-95 Boston road win Feb. 6.
The Celtics have won their last four in Boston versus Toronto by an average of 24.3 points after posting a 107-89 victory on Nov. 17.
Boston hasn't lost at home to the Raptors since Jan. 23, 2008, and it has a chance to win 10 straight at TD Garden for the first time since a 13-0 run from Nov. 18, 2008-Jan. 2, 2009.
"That's a tough place to play," Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry said after Tuesday's practice. "That Garden is special for those guys, but you know, we can go in there and win that game,"
Toronto, though, could find it difficult to leave Boston with a win if Rudy Gay can't play. The forward traveled with the team, but he's listed as questionable after missing Sunday's 100-96 win over Cleveland with a stiff back.
Facing the Celtics for the first time since being acquired from Memphis on Jan. 30, Gay had a team-best 25 with a season-high 12 rebounds on Feb. 6.
Raptors center Andrea Bargnani scored 13 points off the bench in that contest - his first after missing 26 with a torn elbow ligament - but the former No. 1 overall pick didn't make the trip to Boston due to a strained right elbow.
Toronto has won two of three since a five-game skid, but it has lost 19 of 23 in this series.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Hearing Paul pierce may have tonight off for rest
— greg dickerson (@gdickerson_csn) March 12, 2013
Got to hand it to Doc… he’s taking advantage of the schedule to rest guys at times that minimize the impact on the team.
If Pierce sits, Jeff Green will start. I’m also going to bet this means KG sits tomorrow night. He’s due for another day off.
With Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett both advancing to 20th and 15th respectively on the NBA scoring list, we thought it would be cool to get your favorite Pierce and KG moments. So we asked on Twitter and got a few great responses.
#RedsArmy Fav PP moment when he hit game winner in MSG vs Knicks nate tried to jump on his back & fell while doing victory lap! #sawitlive
The Miami Heat are the best team in basketball. Whether you love them (doubtful if you're reading this), hate them (quite likely if you're reading this), respect them, or not - they have proven it. They are the defending champs, have the best winning percentage in basketball, and are in the midst of an 18 game winning streak; the longest such streak in the NBA this season...
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett ham it up for the camera tonight at Paul’s annual charity bowling event, “The Truth Strikes Again”. Our own Scott, aka “Celtkicks” was there covering the event tonight and will have some more pics tomorrow. Check out a few more photos, via Pose, in the gallery below.
It is now official no Paul tonight. Jeff green starts34 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhoneReplyRetweetFavorite@gdickerson_csngreg dickersonPaul Pierce needed a night off against, I’ll just say it, an inferior opponent. He has been nursing a neck injury for quite some time, a rest should be good to keep him as fresh as possible heading into the home-stretch of the season.Last...
As Rajon Rondo has evolved as a player, there has long been an assumption that two Rondo's exist. 'National TV Rondo', the guy who puts up triple doubles and leads the Celtics to big wins over good teams as the whole country watches; and 'Local TV Rondo', the guy who seems to float through games against the Pistons and Bobcats of the world as the C's lose...
8 a.m. ET: OK, so the first part of this back-to-back didn’t go the way the Celtics planned. With Paul Pierce taking the night off, the Celtics “laid an egg” in Charlotte on Tuesday, in coach Doc Rivers’ words, dropping their second straight game and losing a bit more ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Now, after failing to take care of business against the league’s...
BOSTON — Twenty years from now, in a break in the action during a Celtics game at the new TD Garden, some precocious little girl or some meathead from the South Shore will show up on the video screen for one of those fan trivia contests. At stake will be a free Apple iChip, the digital music device that is installed directly into the user’s skull, and the question will hearken...
Pacers reporter Mike Wells of the Indy Star was asked which team the Pacers should avoid in the 1st round of the playoffs?
I still say it’s Boston over any other team the Pacers could face in the first round.
The Celtics are 2-0 against the Pacers this season and you can never shortchange any team that’s coached by Doc Rivers and has Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, both future...
The Celtics took a 9 point lead into the half, but with about two and a half minutes to go in the third, the C’s hit the gas and left the Raptors in the rear view mirror. They crushed the Raps 112-88 for their 10th straight home win. The Celtics bench was a giant part of the blowout, outscoring the Raptors bench 58-29.
Paul Pierce had a nice return from his day...
It was sad to see 4 pages on one game thread and 19 on another. Those game threads used to have over 100 pages every game. The Celtics did get the benefit of some calls last night. I'm amazed at how many fans hate their head coach. Makes me very thankful for Doc. Good game for the Celtics. Not so much for the Raptors. Enjoy today's comments...
Rondo and Bradley form a talented but undersized backcourt.
The title of this post might have you questioning my sanity, which might be justified, but hear me out. Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green all play important positions in today's NBA which does not emphasize post play. They all have the ability to play the type of intense defense (even Rondo) that would make...
Tip: 7PM Court: Time Warner Cable Arena Watch it: CSNNE Hear it: WEEI
Referees: Ed Malloy, Brent Barnaky and David Guthrie
Spread: BOS -11.0
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On road: 12-19
At home: 7-24
Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA's career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors, 112-88, on Wednesday night.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley...
Tonight, the Celtics will finally get to play an easier opponent when they visit the Bobcats. Charlotte currently sits at an NBA-worst 13-50. The C's will probably win this game, but you can't guarantee it. They still have to play hard. Here are tonight's five things:
5. GET GREEN HOT:
Before I start ripping on all these guys for missing shots, I have to say that Sunday...