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News » Wash. out for Celtics

Wash. out for Celtics

Wash. out for Celtics
Celtics 108, Wizards 83

At least the Wizards understood they had drawn the short straw.

``We're aware they're going to be in a bad mood,'' Washington coach Ed Tapscott said of last night's foregone result - a 108-83 win for the Celtics, who returned to the Garden after a rather humbling 1-3 road trip out west.

Taxes aren't this inevitable.

The C's, in need of some home warmth and a friendly crowd, shot 60 percent from the field through the first three quarters and achieved the equally important goal of finding their road-weary starters some lengthy rest.

The Wizards could see the wave coming and remained tied to their moorings.

``They came off the West Coast trip,'' Wizards forward Caron Butler said. ``They didn't get the results they wanted, but they definitely came home and really handed it to us. They played great on both ends of the floor. Paul Pierce was aggressive early on just getting easy buckets. They just fed off his energy.''

Pierce indeed personified the short work. The Celtics captain scored 26 points in 26 minutes, finally missing on the last shot of what ultimately was a 9-for-10 performance that was one of the most efficient of his career. Much of it came from deep, as evidenced by his 5-for-6 production from downtown.

Rajon Rondo was also surgical, with 10 points and 14 assists in 28 minutes.

The Wizards, wracked by attrition that has kept the injured Gilbert Arenas and Brendan Haywood off the floor, and last night had Butler playing on a sprained ankle, were in no condition to stop a Celtics team that was attempting to pay back the entire West Coast in one brutally effective night.

``We just needed to execute well, and I thought we did,'' coach Doc Rivers said. ``We made extra passes, and I thought defensively we were really active.

``We had lots of deflections. That was more like we've been playing, instead of the way we've played over the last four or five games.''

The only red flag was another bad turnover night, this time with 18. The Celtics are the worst in the league with a 16.7 turnover average - a true oddity for the team that also has the most wins in the NBA.

But even Rivers wasn't in the mood to nitpick - not after his team shot 60 percent (12-of-20) from downtown and limited yet another opponent, this time to 38.3 percent shooting.

By the time Rondo hit only his sixth 3-pointer of the season for the Celtics' first 30-point lead (73-43) with 5:34 left in the third quarter, the Celtics were ready to start working on their bench.

Garnett sat down for good during the next timeout with a modest (for him) 10 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes.

Pierce and Kendrick Perkins followed him to the bench with 48 seconds left in the third, the former with 26 minutes and the latter with 27.

Ray Allen and Rondo finished the quarter but never came back for the fourth - Allen with 32 minutes and Rondo with 28.

Rivers' R & R program for his starters was in full swing.

Garnett's only fourth quarter concern was when the entertainment crew would finally put up the dancing Gino video on the Jumbotron. He received his wish with 5:38 left.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 3, 2009


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