Boston 92, Indiana 80
Well, the past three games certainly are a sequence of extremes. First, the Celtics just absolutely dominate a possible playoff team in the Milwaukee Bucks. Then, they lose to a near-lock lotto team and bottom dweller in the Nets, and tonight, they took another probable playoff team to task tonight.
And while tonight was a pretty decent game all around, the starters included (led by Paul Pierce's 20 points on 6-12 shooting and a solid 7 FT attempts), the story was the bench. Solid, solid play from the second unit in Delonte West's triumphant return, in a game where not one starter played 30 minutes, and two of them played less than 25.
The attack from the reserves came first and foremost from Jeff Green, who followed up a poor performance in New Jersey with a effective, efficient, high energy game tonight (Green finished with 19 pts, 3 rebs, 3 blocks, and shot a great 6-9 from the field, plus got to the line for a game leading 8 free-throws). Green's play, along with others, kept the second unit not only ahead, but also kept them adding to the lead, rather than just maintaining it.
The rest of the bench though was also pretty integral in tonight's win. Glen Davis and Delonte West both played good games (although Delonte's box score won't wow anyone), and even Troy 'Cement Shoes' Murphy looked spry at times. Troy wasn't really too solid on defense, but he hit the two shots he took, including one pretty memorable dunk through traffic.
For Indiana, after a hot first quarter everything just went to pot. Their two best scorers of recent, Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Granger, both shot well below 50% from the field, and the team as a whole only managed to shoot 37.5% from the field. They also managed to out-foul the Celtics 24-17 which, because of the aggressive way the Celtics play defense, is no easy feat.
Nice bounce back game from the C's against a possible playoff opponent, and an overall good way to get the taste out of our mouths from the Nets game.