No Rajon Rondo. No Ray Allen. No Ben Affleck, Brian Scalabrine or Steve Carell either. None of it mattered because The Truth was in rare form for Boston last night, going bonkers in the second half and even getting all biblical on us in the Celtics’ 87-80 win. After hitting two free throws to put the Celtics up seven with just over a minute to go, Pierce backpedaled to midcourt and then bent down and started Tebowing. That was a new low for the Truth (who set the tone for the game with Boston’s first nine points), worse than showing up to a press conference with bandages around your face as if you were an extra in Saving Private Ryan, or flashing gang signs in the middle of a game. That was something Terrell Owens would do (On the other hand, Avery Bradley was “Piercing” earlier in the game by faking an injury). Jokes aside, Pierce was dominant, especially in the second half. He finished with 36 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, and probably just saved the Celtics’ season. Between Pierce and Boston’s vaunted defense, Boston won the fourth quarter by a dozen. As for Atlanta, they went 11-for-39 from the floor (4-for-19 in the fourth) in the second half. The Celtics put the lobster clamps on them. By the time Pierce was Tebowing, Hawks fans were lining up to leave. Really? In a playoff game that was still semi-close? Joe Johnson had 22 and Josh Smith went for 16 and 12, but neither came through when it counted. Smith actually left the game in the fourth with a sprained knee. Man, adidas just can’t catch any luck right now can they? … The back and forth between Jeff Teague and Avery Bradley was super fun. Bradley had an incredible block on the break against the ATL PG in the first quarter. Then just a few possessions later, Teague had one of the best blocks we’ve seen this year. As Keyon Dooling was taking a triple from the corner, Teague was racing from the other side of the court off a defensive rotation, and finished off the play with one of the cleanest blocks we’ve seen on a jump shot in a long time … Speaking of Dooling, he hit a three-pointer in the second half that had added value because it was the first triple of the entire series for Boston. Seriously, they went 0-for-19 before that, and didn’t hit a three-pointer during the series’ first 78 minutes … The NBA named Gregg Popovich the Coach of the Year yesterday after leading his ragtag San Antonio team to the best record in the West. This is the second time he’s won the award. The other was in 2003, another Spurs’ championship year … And who caught the debut trailer last night for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? Honestly, it was pretty freaky because we could legit see all of it happening: Technology turning against us. Let’s hope we all hit the bricks before machines start growing brains … Keep reading to hear how Kobe went crazy in Los Angeles …
George Karl spent the last few days saying Denver wouldn’t – or couldn’t – let both Kobe and Andrew Bynum beat them. They went out in Game 1 and doubled the big fella every time he touched it. But by the half last night, Bryant had 21 points and Bynum had 16 himself. The two had combined to miss five shots. And then by the final buzzer, Bryant had 38 and Bynum added 27. We think it’s safe to say whatever plan Denver was using in their 104-100 loss wasn’t really working. In the first half, Kobe had Arron Afflalo tied up in a twister. He was leaning this way and that, jumping here and there, while Corey Brewer was getting bulldozed on every iso. The Mamba was 9-for-12 by that point, almost all of them on jump shots opened up by a slick push off … Denver and Ty Lawson (25 points, seven assists) actually outplayed the Lakers in the second half, but L.A.’s 14-0 third quarter run was their undoing … It wouldn’t be L.A. unless the fans were chanting for free tacos at the end. Too bad it’s the playoffs, and we shouldn’t have to be subjected to this fan idiocy. In a four-point game in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, any fan that starts chanting “We want tacos!” should be removed from the premises. Immediately … Chicago really needs a Derrick Rose hologram right now. In their first game without the fallen star, Philly beat them down Lawrence Phillips-style, 109-92. The Sixers blew it open in the third quarter during a stretch where they had three consecutive fast breaks dunks. Then a few possessions later, Lou Williams went backdoor, caught a lob and nearly put John Lucas on another highlight tape. On the other side, Chicago was in the midst of taking 12 of 22 shots from long two-point range (the worst shot in basketball). They had made three of them. By halfway through the fourth quarter, the Sixers were dominating so drastically that they showed Rose up in his suite – he had been smiling earlier in the night – and his back was turned to the action. The MVP had seen enough … Jrue Holiday was loving life without the MVP (26 points on 15 shots) and Evan Turner had no problems without his former high school rival around to screw things up (19 points, seven rebounds and six dimes), but really how much blame can you place on the Bulls’ guards? C.J. Watson and Lucas combined for 27 and seven. It was the other guys who didn’t show up. Luol Deng was lost (eight points), and Carlos Boozer was… well, he was doing the Chris Bosh again (nine points) … We’re out like Sarah Phillips.
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