But Saturday night in Game 1 of their NBA playoff series, theyturned back the clock to keep pace with a quick and youthfulPhiladelphia 76ers squad, winning, 92-91, at Boston Garden. In nearly a duplicate of his last game of the first round againstthe Atlanta Hawks, Kevin Garnett played inspired basketball,scoring 29 points (a season high), and added eleven defensive rebounds. He also scored the Celtics'first six field goals. Boston also received an extraordinary performance from guard RajonRondo, who achieved his eighth career triple-double (13 points, 12rebounds and 17 assists). |
RELATED: NBA 2012 postseason news and notes In giving Garnett and some of the other "bigs" time torest at key intervals in the game, Boston coach Doc Rivers' lineupchanges kept the 76ers perpetually off balance - keeping theirmomentum going even as they rotated in a smaller lineup with threeguards. In fact, Boston proved the more nimble and opportunistic team intransition - scoring 14 points to Philadelphia's 13. Rondo andfellow guard Avery Bradley were instrumental here. Bradley's defense was also a big factor, with timely takeaways andblocks late in the game holding back a potentially surging 76ersteam. Another area where the Celtics excelled was in points in thepaint, where they scored 38 to Philadelphia's 40.
They must besteady here to win this series. Arguably, the difference-maker in the game was in the Celticsperformance on the free-throw line. They made 18 of 19 shots for aremarkable 95% from the charity stripe. For anyone who doubts thatfundamentals can make a difference in the outcome of a game, theyshould make this contest an object lesson.
After being down by as many as thirteen points, the Celtics cameout on successive scoring runs at the beginning of the second halfand in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, when it countedmost. One reason the 76ers did not close out the game when it counted wasthe mediocre scoring performance of guard Jrue Holiday, who hadbeen the 76ers leading scorer during the Chicago Bulls series. Hemissed 10 of 13 shots and was pestered on the perimeter all nightlong. Though Philadelphia's versatile and offensively reliable big manAndre Iguodala scored 19 points - Holiday was conspicuous by hisabsence on the scoreboard.
He's emblematic of thisplayoff-inexperienced team's inconsistency. If the 76ers have anyhope to win, Holiday has to make his presence known the remainderof the series. Kevin Garnett, following Game 1, took a measured, if notphilosophical approach to the Celtics fortunes for the series:"I feel we have better basketball in us. I'm sure as theseries goes on we will have no other choice but to get better.Whatever is asked of me is what I am going to do." Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals is Monday night inBoston. The game will be televised on TNT, beginning at 7 p.m.
ET. RELATED: NBA 2012 postseason news and notes.
The e-commerce company in China offers quality products such as China Padded Mailing Envelopes , Kraft Bubble Mailers Manufacturer, and more. For more , please visit Mailing Bubble Envelopes today!
Related Articles -
China Padded Mailing Envelopes, Kraft Bubble Mailers Manufacturer,