Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Celtics (19-7) tame wandering Wolves

The Celtics outscored Minnesota 24-15 in the 1st quarter, but Minnesota made things interesting with a few runs down the stretch, only to come up short in Beantown.

Boston was led by Paul Millsap, who jumped to the rim every chance he got, devouring 18 points & 11 rebounds with virtual effortlessness. It might be fair to say intuition or the fitting 'Luck of the Irish' was on Boston's side tonight, as those in green managed to find themselves in perfect position for important rebounds, second chance points and thunderous rejections at the basket.

Returning to the floor after a breather against the troubled 76ers, Rajon Rondo gave the crowd a few chills, and not of the "ooh and aah" variety, bricking up a few more than approved jump shots before finally taking the hint (5 points on yucky 2/14 shooting).

Rondo's divisive reckless nature failed to poison Boston's victory tonight, though Minnesota gave a strong effort, mostly in sophomore sensation Ricky Rubio (30 points) and Luke Ridnour (23 points), as well as AK-47 (16 points) on some corner 3's and shots at the rim. In what became nearly a shot-for-shot festival in the 3rd quarter, the buzzer sounded and somehow Boston had conjured an 11-0 run going into the 4th, leading 85-74.

In doing so, the other Celtics compensated for Rajon's stubborn play as he failed to get the ball to his teammates more effectively (4 assists). Paul Millsap (18 points) and "clutch" Jason Terry (19 points) fueled Boston's defensive brigade at home, but it was a staggering sequence of 3 sunk free throws by Paul Pierce, due to reckless defense by the Wolves, and to make it worse, a game-shifting 3 point shot by Josh Howard (13 points) that cemented Boston's victory. Another 3 by Josh Howard late in the final minute was the icing on the cake.

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