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Celtics Knock Off Pistons

The Celtics' starters opened up a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter, only to watch as the bench failed  to maintain it and the Pistons sliced the deficit to 12 midway through the final frame. Boston's starters returned and order was eventually restored, as the Celtics pulled away late for a 109-86 victory. Their record now stands at 3-1 and they will welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to Boston tomorrow night.

  • Hmm...So that's what happens when the Celtics don't turn the ball over 20 times in one game...Boston finished the night with (a very acceptable) eight turnovers. The lack of giveaways was definitely noticeable, just like the continuous turnovers were evident against the New York Knicks last Friday. 
  • Rajon Rondo continued his torrent of assists, as he dished out 17 tonight. He's tallied 67 assists through the first four games of the season, which is a new NBA record for most assists through the first four games of the season. He passed the great John Stockton and Magic Johnson, who were both tied for the former record with 65. 
  • Rondo's assist to turnover ratio tonight was 17 to 0. Think about that. 
  • It would have been nice to see the bench close this thing out early in the fourth quarter. Delonte West's presence will certainly be welcome upon his return. 
  • Kevin Garnett had another fantastic night offensively. He scored 22 points on 9-12 shooting. The Celtics were clearly making a point to feed him the ball on the low block throughout the night, as he was being guarded by the completely over-matched Austin Daye. Garnett scored inside on a slew of low post moves, hit the majority of his jump shots, and even converted an alley-oop from Rondo (and almost an alley-oop slam from Rondo. Daye pushed him. There is video evidence.). Defensively he wasn't too shabby, either. 
  • Jermaine O'Neal had one of his better outings as a Boston Celtic. While his shooting was rocky early, he found a nice groove midway through the third quarter. He definitely benefited from a few crafty passes from Rondo that earned him wide open looks at the hoop. He finished with 12 points on 5-8 shooting. Defensively, he was rotating well. He registered two blocks and tried taking charges on numerous occasions. 
  • One play that I need to mention that involved O'Neal: With 6:03 to play in the third quarter, Tayshaun Prince got the ball on a breakaway and had a wide open lane to the hoop. I mean, it was one of those "guaranteed layup" type of situations. Or so we thought. Jermaine sprinted (and I mean sprinted) after Prince, faster than I have ever seen him run, and contested Prince's shot before he could lay it in. He fouled him and Prince made both free throws, but you have to love the effort O'Neal put forth on that play. 
  • Another strong night for both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Pierce finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Ray had 16 points, four rebounds, and three assists. It was a very balanced effort from the starting five.
  • Semih Erden made a solid debut tonight with two points, three rebounds, an assist, and two blocks in 15 minutes. 
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