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Celtics (Barely) Outlast Timberwolves

Paul Pierce scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, and the Boston Celtics squeaked by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 96-93.

Trailing 85-77 with 6:54 to play, the Celtics went on a 15-4 run to assume a 92-89 advantage with 1:13 left, capped off by two Glen Davis free throws. Ray Allen hit two threes and Pierce added one of his own during the run. After Michael Beasley hit a jumper from the left wing (92-91, Celtics), Rajon Rondo knocked down a jump shot from the free throw line as Luke Ridnour retreated off of him on the defensive end, putting Boston back up 94-91. Beasley hit again from the left side (94-93, Celtics), and Rondo missed a jumper from the right corner, giving the Wolves 10.3 seconds to try and win the game. Beasley inbounded to Ridnour who had a wide-open lane to the hoop, but he was called for a travel. It didn't matter, as Allen absolutely rejected the shot anyway after rotating over on defense. Nate Robinson hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left (96-93, Celtics), Pierce fouled Beasley wisely (the Celtics had one to waste), and Beasley's three at the buzzer on the ensuing inbounds pass went begging. 

  • I'm actually kind of mad Ridnour traveled, because Ray's block was that good. Although, the Celtics did get the ball back because Ridnour traveled...Meanwhile, Ray finished with 20 points - 10 in the first half and 10 in the second. 
  • Kevin Love came as advertised, as he finished with a 12-point, 24-rebound double-double. At halftime he had 15 rebounds of his own, while the Celtics, as a team, had 14. He scored only one point after halftime, however, and airballed an important shot down the stretch in the fourth.
  • Pierce was dynamite in the third quarter, scoring 15 of his 23 in the frame when the Celtics were in desperate need of some offense. 
  • Rajon Rondo reverted to his old form with 16 assists tonight. One thing I'd like to note about Rondo: He admitted before the game his ankle's still limiting him somewhat, and it looked like he was penetrating less than usual tonight. He was still able to make key plays down the stretch and get other guys involved, though. 
  • Von Wafer played an excellent game tonight, as he scored a season-high 10 points and a season-high six rebounds. He was aggressive going to the basket, he was aggressive on the glass, and he played credible defense once again. He was Boston's leading rebounder at halftime (4).
  • Glen Davis added 17 points, but took 15 shots. He took 8 of the Celtics' 20 shots in the first quarter, with the majority of them being mid-range jump shots. 

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