Celtics/Bucks reaches playoff intensity; Baron’s last ride in L.A.?

11.04.10 7 years ago 87 Comments

It barely makes sense to think about the NBA playoffs in November, but try and tell us last night’s Celtics/Bucks game didn’t have the look of a postseason classic in the making. You want clutch? How about Paul Pierce dropping 12 of his 28 points in overtime and making a huge steal in the final 30 seconds to cover for his own critical turnover late in the fourth. You want history? During Pierce’s free-throw parade in OT, he passed the 20,000-point mark for his career. You want a random big-time performance from a random guy? Carlos Delfino morphed into Reggie Miller down the stretch. You want intensity? Kevin Garnett (surprise) nearly sparked a brawl after he crushed a dunk on Andrew Bogut‘s face and — intentional or not depending on who you root for — jabbing an elbow at Bogut in the aftermath … The Celtics were actually up six with about a minute to go before Milwaukee rallied, capped by Brandon Jennings‘ steal on Pierce and breakaway layup. Ray Allen split a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game, then Delfino tied it with his finger roll, and Rajon Rondo (17 pts, 15 asts, 8 rebs, 3 stls) bricked a jumper — pretty sure that wasn’t the first option — at the regulation buzzer … Pierce took over in the extra frame, but with four seconds left, the Bucks still had a chance, down three with the ball. Delfino made the worst pass possible in that situation, going for the home run to half-court that Marquis Daniels intercepted. Even Brett Favre was shaking his head at that one … Chris Webber said Rondo is the MVP of the league right now. Thoughts? … If you missed it, KG is at the center of another trash-talk controversy, this time for allegedly calling Charlie Villanueva a “cancer patient” during Tuesday’s Celtics/Pistons game. Normally a guy would just deny everything outright, but not KG. His response: I didn’t call him a cancer patient, I said he’s a cancer to his team and to the NBA. Wow … Speaking of the Pistons, we had a Tracy McGrady sighting in Atlanta. T-Mac logged actual crunch-time minutes (9 pts, 3 stls), as John Kuester is apparently trying whatever he can to get his team a win, but Detroit still fell to 0-5 while the Hawks remained undefeated. On a crucial possession with three minutes left, T-Mac got past his man and had a lane to the rim, but passed up the shot and turned the ball over trying to make the extra dish to an unsuspecting Greg Monroe. Josh Smith (22 pts, 11 rebs) made a spinning finger roll on the other end. Next possession, Ben Gordon‘s jumper hit all glass, and Joe Johnson answered with a fadeaway J plus-one. Camera cut to Kuester, who looked like he was about to throw up … The Nuggets were down one to the Mavs with eight seconds left, and you knew where they were going. Carmelo got the rock on the right wing, Shawn Marion all over him, and still got to his spot on the elbow for a step-back jumper. The shot looked good, but rimmed out. Carmelo later said he hits that shot 90 percent of the time, and he’s probably right … Monta Ellis is a beast. Forget the 39 points, 9 boards and 8 dimes he hung on the Grizzlies. Forget that he dropped 17 of those points in the fourth quarter in G-State’s win. But don’t forget the play Monta made where he stole a pass around mid-court and raced the other way in a 3-on-1 with Hasheem Thabeet as the only defender back. It never even crossed Monta’s mind to drop it for the trailer or toss it up to Dorell Wright for the easy oop. Instead Monta basically tried to dunk through Thabeet like that’s what you’re supposed to do to 7-foot-3 shot-blockers. He didn’t make the dunk, but the thought itself was pure fearlessness … Other big stat lines from Wednesday: Kobe dropped 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Lakers past Sacramento; Deron Williams had 22 points and 14 dimes as Utah beat Toronto; Elton Brand posted 25 points and 12 rebounds in Philly’s rout of Indiana; Gerald Wallace put up 20 points and 11 rebounds in Charlotte’s win at New Jersey; Dwight Howard had 18 points, 16 boards and 8 blocks as Orlando destroyed Minnesota; Chris Paul put up 25 points, 7 boards, 8 dimes and 4 steals to lead New Orleans past Houston; Tim Duncan‘s 25 points and 17 boards helped San Antonio edge Phoenix; and the Clippers finally got a win behind Eric Gordon‘s 27 points against OKC … Honestly, Baron Davis may never see the floor for the Clippers after last night. Eric Bledsoe was everywhere on the court (including defense) and has turned the Clippers into super up-tempo team. They convincingly beat a good opponent, and the Bledsoe/Gordon backcourt combo looks unstoppable. Baron will probably be sent to Miami for whatever they can get in return as soon as they can get the deal together … We’re out like Boom Dizzle …

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