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Celtics move into 3rd-place tie, beat injury-racked Raptors; Nellie breaks all-time W’s record

By 04.08.10

Ray Allen (photo. Jordan Brand)


Well, at least the Raptors video production crew is in playoff form. Twenty-four hours after losing Chris Bosh for at least the rest of the regular season, the “Who will step up?” video before last night’s Toronto/Boston game was a dramatic epic that put Jarrett Jack only slightly behind Morgan Freeman as a narrator, and almost had you believing Marco Belinelli and Amir Johnson are really gonna come off the bench like Marlon Wayans in The 6th Man and carry the Raptors to a ‘chip. Then the game started, and reality set in that it’s gonna be tough for them to hang onto their playoff spot, let alone not get swept in the first round without CB4 … Ray Allen (18 pts) and Rajon Rondo (21 pts, 7 asts) lit ‘em up throughout, and Mike Finley scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. According to Toronto’s announcers, three hours before tip-off Ray was the only player on the court working on his game. By the fourth quarter, he was still sprinting past younger defenders for transition buckets; Ray’s and-one layup where he wrapped the ball around his back before dropping it in put Boston up by a dozen. DeMar DeRozan sparked a mini-rally with an acrobatic layup, a backwards dunk on the break, and a vicious tomahawk along the baseline, but Rondo kept beasting Jack off the dribble and kept the Celtics in command … Hedo Turkoglu got booed in the pre-game intros, Andrea Bargnani got the biggest ovation, and after tip-off Sonny Weems was the best player on the court for the home team. Weems (21 pts) was all over the place; one time he went coast-to-coast for a layup as one announcer said, “Two years ago, you would never see that. (Boston) would have put Weems on his back.” The other one deadpanned, “Time. Father Time.” … Late in the first quarter, Hedo was caught by a Tony Allen headbutt in the same right-side orbital area where he’d already broken a bone earlier this season. He didn’t return and was reportedly taken in for a CAT scan … Frustrating couple of days for the Thunder. First they were likely robbed in Utah (“likely” because there’s no guarantee Kevin Durant would have hit the free throws), then they blew a fourth-quarter lead at home against Denver. Durant put up 33 points, 11 boards and 3 blocks and had OKC up 13 with seven minutes to go before the Nuggets stormed back. It was tied with 1:30 remaining after Nene dunked on KD, then Chauncey Billups (31 pts) forced Russell Westbrook into a miss before getting himself to the line for the go-ahead free throws …

Carmelo Anthony, Dime #53


Durant then missed a jumper, and on the biggest defensive possession of the game for the Thunder, Durant swatted a Carmelo jumper. (Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but KD isn’t just a scorer anymore. He had a couple of blocks on Carlos Boozer in crunch time during Tuesday’s shootout with Utah.) Last chance for the Thunder, Durant missed a fadeaway and Westbrook had the offensive board for a second, but lost it and ‘Melo (24 pts, 11 rebs) hit two free throws to end it … Crazy finish to Heat/Sixers. After Udonis Haslem missed his trusty baseline J with 10 ticks left, Lou Williams took it end-to-end with his head down like Clyde Drexler and zero thoughts of passing. Lou threw up a high-arcing scoop shot over two defenders that actually looked like it might go in, but Sam Dalembert (19 pts, 16 rebs, 4 blks) came flying in kamikaze for a follow dunk. Clearly basket interference, but Dalembert still argued with the ref about it before Carlos Arroyo iced it at the line … The win was Miami’s 9th in a row, and just as importantly, showed they can win games where D-Wade (22 pts, 8-18 FG) doesn’t necessarily play well and the team starts slow. It was back-and-forth the entire fourth quarter, with Philly taking the lead with 1:30 to go. Haslem and Wade hit free throws to give Miami the lead back before that final sequence … Other stat lines from Wednesday: Stephen Jackson‘s 29 points led Charlotte past New Orleans and clinched a playoff spot for the Bobcats; Dwight Howard posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in Orlando’s rout of Washington; Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 as Dallas destroyed Memphis; Danny Granger had 33 points to lead Indiana past New York; Steve Nash posted 18 points and 12 assists as Phoenix beat San Antonio; Ben Gordon put up 22 points, 7 dimes and 3 steals off the bench as Detroit beat Atlanta; Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin scored 28 apiece as Houston smacked Utah; John Salmons had 22 points as Milwaukee beat New Jersey; LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 boards in Portland’s win over the Clippers; and Stephen Curry dropped 27 points, 14 dimes, 8 boards and 7 steals in G-State’s win at Minnesota, which gives Don Nelson the NBA’s all-time record for coaching wins, passing Lenny Wilkens … We’re out like Hedo …


TOPICS#CARMELO ANTHONY#DWIGHT HOWARD#KEVIN DURANT
TAGSAaron BrooksBEN GORDONCarlos ArroyoCARLOS BOOZERCHAUNCEY BILLUPSCHRIS BOSHDANNY GRANGERDEMAR DEROZANDIRK NOWITZKIDWYANE WADEHEDO TURKOGLUJARRETT JACKJohn SalmonsKEVIN MARTINLAMARCUS ALDRIDGELou WilliamsMichael FinleyNeneRAJON RONDORAY ALLENRUSSELL WESTBROOKSam DalembertSmackSonny WeemsSTEPHEN CURRYSTEPHEN JACKSONSTEVE NASH

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