Saturday, December 11, 2004
Celtics vs Sonics - 98-84: "Road Wins Come in Unlikely Places"
I'm going to share some of the pre-game talk with Doc, which for those that don't know, has been happening every game (which I get the FSNE feed, that is):
Mike: Do you think that the C's are coming around?
Doc: "I think we're close, I just wish we had more proof. ;-) ....The young Guys are coming around and becoming more dependable"
Encouraging? Sounds like it, until you factor in that he followed it up by saying: "I think the Portland game was one of our better efforts". (Yes, I'm scratching my head at that one too)
Anyways, on to the game.
The pace of the game was nice. Uptempo, but not too much so. The C's jumped out early to a 18-10 lead, forcing a time out at the 7:18 mark. A nice GP to Raef feed for a dunk prompted the TO. PP and Raef started hitting from deep early.
Aside: If Mark Blount gets called for one more 3 sec call, I'm going to blow a gasket.
3:31 - Just when I want to put my foot up Blount's ass, he throws a brilliant no look to a cutting GP for an easy layup and then blocks a shot on the other end on the next possession.
Tony Allen and Al Jefferson got into the fray at the 1:40 mark and immediately paid dividends when the 2 combined for a nice feed and dunk by TA.
At the end of 1: 25 - 23 Boston.
The Sonic's took their first lead at the 10:30 mark 26-25. However, Waltah hit a 3 and retook the lead 28-26 on the next possession.
At the 8:26 mark Tony Allen collected his 3rd foul, contesting a Ray Allen turn around jumper.
At the 8:15 mark, Seattle retook the the lead and scored again to make it 37-34. Paul Pierce hit a deep 3 with 4:50 left to make the score 47-44.
Jiri Welsch continued to struggle with his shooting woes, missing one of several open 3's/shots on the night.
At the half: 56-51 Seattle.
PP opened the half, still hot, with a deep 2 pter. Blount continued his proficiency from inside 15 ft with another jumper that found the bottom of the net. GP collected what, at the time was a season high 18 points at the 7:27 mark.
PP collected his 3rd foul at the 7:06 mark. Blount hit another short jumper to give the C's the lead 65-64. PP collected his 4th foul on an atrocious blocking call and left the floor.
Random stat: Sonics bench was outscoring the Celtics: 26-13.
Blount scored the 6th of his 8 points in the 3rd quarter at the 3:21 mark and then took an offensive charge on the other end.
Jiri Welsch got fouled on a 3pt attempt. He hit his previous try, which obviously served it's purpose: to stretch the Sonics defense. He missed the shot, but made all 3 FT attempts.
Blount took one hell of a charge at the 1:17 mark on Fortson, but then gave it back on a pathetic sell of a call by Fortson on the other end.
Random Stat: With .38 sec left in the 3rd, the C's were outscoring the Sonics in the Paint: 34-20.
At the end of 3: 75-69 Celtics.
The beginning of the 4th brought a nice inside dish from Ricky Davis to Raef LaFrentz for a dunk. At the 11:00 mark, RD made it the largest Celtic lead of the game (at the time) 76-69 with a short jumper.
Tony Allen collected his 4th foul of the game with 10:20 remaining, But Doc stuck with him. He then had a nice rebound and tip in at the 9:40 mark.
Random Stat: The C's had a 23-12 lead in assists at the 8:40 mark.
Since we won, I can say this without appearing like a poor sport: The Referee's were simply badddddd in favor of the Sonics. Danny Fortson was getting away with murder in the post.
Random Stat: C's lead in Points in the Paint - 44-26 (WHAT? REALLY!?) at the 3:20 mark left in the 4th.
Tony Allen had a nice follow-up rebound dunk at the 2:15 mark.
Luckily Former Celtic Danny Fortson fouled out at the 1:58 mark with a 16 pt and 11 rb game.
After that, the game was over. Banks passed a beautiful no-look to Tony Allen with 1:01 left to extend the lead to 95-84. Seattle took a timeout.
Random Stat: The Sonics came into this game the only undefeated team at home in the NBA, a perfect 9-0.
When it was over, the C's had staved off the Sonics for a 98-84 win. As the title reads, Mike Gorman said, "The Road wins come in the most unlikely places". After witnessing the butt-kicking that was the Golden State game, it was hard to argue this obvious reasoning.
Ironically, those in the chat room here at the blog saw me call this one in a similar manner: I said that when the C's are in a funk, they lose the one's they aren't supposed to (GS) and win the one's that on paper, they have no business winning (tonight).
The Celtic Blanket, Pillow, Paul Pierce Bobblehead, My PP jersey(white) and My wife's PP jersey(green) were all part of the karma that must be repeated for next game, as they were our (she actually stayed up for all of this one!) superstitious part of this win. 1-3 on the road trip thus far, tonight being the most unlikely win we could have collected.
Player of the Game: I'm tempted to give Paul Pierce and his 22 pt, 6 rbs performance the nod, mostly because he once again did everything right and it would shut up certain detractors. However, IMO, the night belonged to the homecoming of Gary Payton, who had 21 pts, 5 assts and 4 rbs. While PP and TA (12, 6) both made reasons for being selected, GP's homecoming was indeed all that. Let's hope we continue to see the GP of Seattle days, as we have the last few games.
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