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Celtics Crush Nets in Preseason Finale

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While the first half might not have been anything to write home about, the Boston Celtics responded to a 55-48 halftime deficit with a 36-point third quarter, surging past the Nets and cruising to a 107-92 victory. Tonight's win wraps up a successful preseason as the C's posted a nearly flawless 7-1 record. 

  • The Celtics (primarily the starting five of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O'Neal), limited the Nets to 16 third quarter points.
  • Ray Allen scored all 14 of his points in the third quarter, with the majority of them coming after he took a Travis Outlaw elbow to the chin with 8:35 left in the frame. 
  • Kevin Garnett played another solid game, posting 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Once again he moved very well, got up to fight for and haul in rebounds (we're already nearing the point of where we won't even need to say things like, "He was moving well" and "He looked great, physically".), and played a nice inside-outside game, mixing an array of jump hooks and layups (he missed a few bunnies) with his patented mid-range jump shot, which has been falling much, much better than it was during the first two or three preseason games. 
  • Shaquille O'Neal was THISCLOSE to a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. He shot 4-5 from the field, and a surprising 4-5 from the free throw line. As an aside, he and Kevin Garnett really seem to love playing together. There's a noticeable chemistry between the two, whether it's on the court helping each other on defense or passing to each other when double-teams arrive on offense, or off the court where there have been numerous camera shots of them joking together on the bench.
  • Lawrence Frank served as head coach tonight, as Doc took the night off to continue to rest after his throat procedure.
  • Rajon Rondo posted a preseason high 12 assists, with six of those coming in the third quarter alone. Rondo might have a new "thing" as, on a few occasions this preseason, we've seen him jump up for an offensive rebound, only, instead of snaring it and coming down with it, he pokes it out of the air to an open teammate. They're basically touch passes out of the air. We saw it with 5:53 left in the first quarter, when Rondo shot one out of the sky to KG, who drew the foul while converting the basket. 
  • Paul Pierce finished with 17 points on 6-9 shooting (5-5 from the free throw line). With just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter, he stole the ball from New Jersey, dished it to Rondo, sprinted down the court, took a Rondo bounce pass, rose up, and slammed it between Devin Harris and Johan Petro. You'll see it on SportsCenter. 
  • The next time we see this team play, it'll be next Tuesday, on opening night, against the Miami Heat. Bring it on. Can't come soon enough.