Wow. What an ending. What an exciting game, especially down the stretch. After Carlos Delfino knotted things up with 10.5 seconds left on a surprisingly easy finger roll, Rajon Rondo's jumper at the buzzer went begging, leading us to an extra five minutes.
In the overtime, Paul Pierce got the C's rolling with two easy buckets inside (one from Rondo and one from Kevin Garnett), and Jermaine O'Neal broke a 95-95 tie with a tip-in off of a Ray Allen miss with 1:49 left. Pierce put the C's up 99-95 with 1:09 to play, but Bogut brought the Bucks back within two with a bucket on the other end. Delfino passed the ball to Pierce in the right corner with 27.5 seconds left, and the captain buried two free throws, surpassing the 20,000 career-point mark in the process (congratulations, Paul). But the Bucks weren't done. Delfino buried a tough three-pointer from the right corner (101-100, Boston), but Pierce put in two more free throws, putting Boston back up 103-100. After Brandon Jennings hit two free throws of his own (the Celtics chose to foul) Pierce hit two more free throws. Paul was a freebie machine tonight. 11-11 from the stripe. The Celtics won, 105-102.
Um...How about Kevin Garnett's fourth quarter dunk? I mean, that was a dunk. Let's not even mention the aftermath involving Andrew Bogut. Garnett came back 40 seconds later, drove on Ersan Ilyasova, spun, and banked a shot off the glass, drawing a foul in the process. He buried the free throw and gave Boston an 86-84 lead. This 40 second stretch (Pierce hit a layup in-between Garnett's baskets) really turned the tide in Boston's favor as time wound down in regulation.
15 more assists for Rajon Rondo, to go along with 17 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and...err...six turnovers. He set another record for most assists (82) through the first five games of the season, passing Magic Johnson and John Stockton once again.
Ray Allen shouldered the scoring load through the first half (15 points) and finished with 23.
Glen Davis keeps playing very, very well. 14 points tonight to go along with four rebounds. He routinely buried baseline jump shots on the left side off of feeds from Rondo. It was automatic.
Despite fouling out, Jermaine O'Neal had his second straight strong game: Five points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. His tip-in with 1:49 left in overtime put Boston ahead 97-95.
16 turnovers tonight. Only seven in the second half and overtime. If the C's can cut that number down by two or three and stay consistent with it, we'll take it.
Not to end this recap on a down note, but the bench surrendered another lead early in the second quarter. But the bench is thin right now, with Shaq out and Delonte West still suspended. Only five more games to go before Delonte can play.
- I just want to re-iterate that Pierce surpassed the 20,000 career point mark tonight. Again, congratulations to Paul. He joins Larry Bird and John Havlicek as the only all-time Celtics to score 20,000 career points. Anyone else get chills when Pierce stepped to the line with a chance to hit 20,000?