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News » Marked men carry Celtics

Marked men carry Celtics

Marked men carry CelticsCeltics 104, Wizards 102

WASHINGTON - It was a night of milestones in a city full of monuments.

Ray Allen had 18 points to pass the career 20,000 mark by four. Paul Pierce had 12 to pass the 19,000 plateau by two. And - oh, yeah - the Celtics won their ninth straight game, taking a 104-102 measure of the Wizards.

Apparently the crew from the capital didn't like sitting idly by as the Celts gathered their milestones. So they tied an NBA record by getting not a single individual rebound in the second quarter.

Doc Rivers has been chastising his lads about their boardwork, and from the looks of the second period, the message got across. The Celts helped themselves - and hurt the Wizards - by hitting 12-of-16 shots and tracking down their failures. They cleaned the glass at the other end and finished with 11 rebounds.

But Washington managed to overcome its embarrassment and make it a game. The Celts led 64-50 at the half, but the Wizards opened the third quarter with a 22-6 run to take the lead.

``I just thought we came out with the 14-point lead and thought if we showed up in the third quarter that they would go away, and they didn't,'' Rivers said. ``We didn't handle that well. When I say we're not a 48-minute team yet, that's great proof right there. But we're still winning these games. That's what you've got to do and we did it on the road - and I'll take that.''

The Celts finished the third quarter with a 13-2 kick, but the Wizards still didn't fold. With the night even at 94, Pierce made two free throws and Rajon (team-high 21 points) Rondo hit a runner in the lane. But Antawn Jamison replied to each with inside buckets. Rondo then went around a Kevin Garnett pick and dunked. The C's had a chance to press their advantage, but Pierce missed a trey and Rondo's tip try rattled around the rim and out.

Gilbert Arenas was fouled on a drive and could have tied it, but he clanged both his freebies. Pierce made 1-of-2 at the other end with 22.4 left, and Arenas scored on a drive. Allen made two free throws at 14.6, and Arenas and Randy Foye missed treys at the other end. Kendrick Perkins added ice by hitting one from the line at 5.1, making Foye's layup at the buzzer for the accountants.

That brought the Shamrocks to 10-1 on the road, but they didn't feel so lonely when a large portion of the Verizon Center crowd began chanting ``Let's go Celtics' ' with 3:48 to go in the second quarter.

Even the Washington comebacks didn't get Allen concerned his feat would come in a loss.

He reached 20,000 on a trey with 4:44 left in the third quarter.

``It's one of those things that seems inevitable the longer any one of us plays the game, but we're always fortunate to get there because anything can happen,'' said Allen.

He was conscious of the pending mark, jokingly admitting one of his thoughts during the day was, ``Don't get hit by a car.''

Pierce, on the other hand, was unaware of his milestone.

``That's stuff I'll worry about when my career is all over with,'' he said. ``I'm out here to win as many games as I can with this ballclub.''


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Added: December 12, 2009


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