The Celtics loss to New Orleans last night is yet another reminder that the season is long and that energy is difficult to maintain, particularly for graybeards Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Celtics came out strong, building a five-point lead after the first. In the second quarter, the assertiveness of point guard Greivis Vasquez, the insistence of Robin Lopez on the offensive glass, and the determination of Al-Farouq Aminu, who has had a very productive January for the Hornets, particularly on the defensive and rebounding end, took their toll. The lead was gone by halftime. Coming out of the half, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett sleep-walked through the beginning of the third, which turned the game.
Pierce and Garnett, play-by-play in quarter three:
- 11:11: Paul Pierce misses 26-foot three point jumper
- 10:53: Paul Pierce bad pass (Al-Farouq Aminu steals)
- 10:07: Kevin Garnett bad pass (Al-Farouq Aminu steals)
- 9:38: Paul Pierce misses technical free throw
- 9:33: Kevin Garnett traveling
- 9:03: Paul Pierce bad pass (Anthony Davis steals).
Mercifully, Rivers called timeout with 8:47 to go. By that time, the Hornets were leading 52-43.
Though the plus/minus category is often misleading, last night's plus/minus was tough to ignore:
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