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Shorthanded Celtics Overcome Knicks

I suppose that was as entertaining/interesting as an NBA preseason game is going to get. In a somewhat heated game, highlighted by the string of second quarter technical fouls and the subsequent ejection of Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics overcame an aggressive New York Knicks squad, 104-101.

  • Paul Pierce buried the game-winning jumper over an over-matched Anthony Randolph with eight seconds to play. Pierce finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Happy birthday to him. 
  • Kevin Garnett was assessed two technical fouls right around the 4:39 mark of the second quarter and was ejected. This came shortly after Jermaine O'Neal was assessed a technical foul for arguing a call. Garnett's protest to the officials didn't appear to be overly aggressive (neither was O'Neal's), but with the new rules the NBA has implemented regarding technical fouls, I guess his rant qualified. After he earned his first, he smiled, apparently continued to talk, and was given a second. 
  • The technical foul talk might steal the headlines, but there were a number of positives for the Celtics tonight that deserve mention. Such as:
  • Luke Harangody's 16-point, 12-rebound double-double. He scored 11 of the 16 in the third quarter. He really battled for his rebounds tonight, often hauling them in with three or four Knicks right around him. 
  • The Celtics lacked size in this one as Shaquille O'Neal (hips) and Glen Davis (knee) did not play, Garnett earned his ejection, and Semih Erden, Jermaine O'Neal, and Stephane Lasme all battled foul trouble. Down the stretch the C's went with Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Nate Robinson, and Harangody.

  • Ray Allen was impressive tonight, scoring 24 points on 9-14 shooting, while grabbing five rebounds. 
  • Delonte West's back flared up again, so the team sent him back to Boston for treatment. He'll most likely miss Friday's game in Toronto, but could re-join the team Saturday in Hartford for a rematch with New York.
  • Avery Bradley only played two minutes tonight. My guess is his ankle tightened up again, but that's merely speculation on my part. I can't think of any other reason why Doc Rivers wouldn't play him more than that tonight, unless he wanted Rondo and Robinson to have more time.

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