Kedrick Who?


Kedrick Who?

Six years ago in February, Kedrick Brown took the Staples Center floor as a starter for the Celtics against the Lakers. He guarded Kobe Bryant tightly and stuck a trey in his face at the other end of the floor in the C's win.


Big Three Sit, C's Still Win

Big Three Sit, C's Still Win


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With Kevin Garnett watching from the locker room, Ray Allen watching from the bench (while wearing a suit), and proud papa Paul Pierce back in Boston, the Celtics still were able to finalize their postseason plans last night.


Posey Thinking Playoffs


Posey Thinking Playoffs

There's a point in a conversation with Celtics forward James Posey when he stops looking at you and starts looking at the next two months.


Increased PT for Cassell and Brown

Increased PT for Cassell and Brown


The Celtics have been playing the "narrow focus" broken record for a while, and when they won No. 60 Wednesday night, they had no idea they'd achieved the milestone.

Of course it sounds silly, and Sam Cassell thought the same thing.

Then he got into the locker room.


Celtics Beat Bird for Win #60


Celtics Beat Bird for Win #60

Glen Davis ran his right hand, palm side down, along the line of his freshly cut Mohawk to illustrate just where, exactly, the historical significance of 60 wins ranks - not only in Celtics history, of which he knows little, but also in the context of his young life.

``Over my head, man,'' said the big Celtics rookie. ``I have no idea.''

The Celtics won their 60th game of the season last night, and to find the last time they won that many, turn back to their most recent NBA championship in 1986. That team won 67 - a total this team can match if it wins the final seven games. ``Now, of course I know who played back then,'' said Davis, warming to the trivia challenge. ``Larry Bird was on that team.''

``Yeah, and John Havlicek,'' interjected Rajon Rondo, winking when Davis wasn't looking to let on that he was only trying to fool Big Baby, and that he actually knew that Havlicek played even further back in the Dark Ages.

Win Number 59


Win Number 59

CHICAGO - With the Pistons more or less throwing in the regular-season towel, the Celtics got one step closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Celtics defeated the Bulls, 106-92, at the United Center last night as their All-Star trio combined for 59 points. Ray Allen scored a team-high 22, Kevin Garnett had 20, and Paul Pierce added 17.


C's Destroy Heat


C's Destroy Heat

With little-known NBA Development League products named Blake Ahearn, Joel Anthony, Stephane Lasme, and Kasib Powell now starring for Miami, a Celtic nicknamed "The Truth" strongly spoke his mind on how his team handled business last night.

Rondo Proves His Point


Rondo Proves His Point

Another night, another elite team featuring players with MVP credentials - and another third-quarter smackdown.

Seriously, now. Who can beat the Boston Celtics when they play like this?


C's Add Hornets to List of Vanquished


C's Add Hornets to List of Vanquished

The entire league has now succumbed to the Celtics.

With last night's 112-92 win over the New Orleans Hornets at TD Banknorth Garden, the Celtics have beaten every team in the NBA.

Paul Pierce Playing Some Defense


Paul Pierce always used to bristle when it was suggested that defense wasn't his forte. Or, perhaps, if it was suggested, in a jest, of course, that it wasn't part of his repertoire.

That no longer is the case.

Two coaches who passed through Boston recently offered unsolicited tributes to Pierce for his defense.


Perkins Value Measured Against D.Howard


Celtics coach Doc Rivers is constantly employing the oldest of sports cliches to keep Kendrick Perkins in line.

``When he stays in his role he's fine,'' Rivers said after yesterday's practice. ``When he doesn't stay within himself is when he gets in trouble. He stops setting picks and starts thinking about his offense.''


Boogie Fever


Celtics notes One benefit from games like Friday's rout of the Bulls: Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all get to rest and cheer on Boogie Fever Gino.

Garden fans have actually been spotted wearing replica T-shirts of the one worn by the bearded, disco-era dancer shown on the videoboard in the fourth quarter - and the players want in on the action. Pierce and Allen both said yesterday that they are attempting to find and purchase shirts. Garnett has gone further, as evidenced by what he did after Friday night's game.

``I was on the Web last night trying to find out who was selling them,'' Garnett said.

The name of the Garden character may not be Gino. It is suspected that the shirt actually refers to Gino Vanelli, a 1970s Canadian pop artist.


33-5 Run Propels C's to Victory


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - So this is how the West will have to be won.

When Kevin Garnett launches a crosscourt pass over Eddie House's fingertips and out of bounds, and Paul Pierce has trouble getting off a shot - when the best team in the NBA punts a 24-point lead and turns the ball over 18 times - you know the time zone has changed.


West Coast, Schmest Coast


C's Post Another W on West Coast Road Trip

SEATTLE - Ray Allen's spotlight during his sold-out return to KeyArena last night was stolen by the other two Celtics stars with whom he shares the spotlight.

In his first game against the Sonics since being traded last June, Allen had a lackluster offensive night with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting in the Celtics' 104-96 victory before a national television audience.

Doc Learns Something about KG


SEATTLE - He is unapologetic about wearing his game on his sleeve, about allowing the heat to push his internal thermometer so high that the mercury explodes.

That's Kevin Garnett, and the proposition isn't a matter of better or worse, because where the Celtics forward is concerned, there generally isn't the latter.

Passion has driven him to the level of annual All-Star.


Pierce Drops 37 in Win over Wally, Delonte, and Durant


SEATTLE - Too many players to mention were out for blood last night.

Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak played as if Danny Ainge's face was on the backboard, and Kevin Durant alternated between big shots and staring down hecklers on the Celtics bench.


Price of Success: Target Now on C's Back


SALT LAKE CITY - They're stepping up in all forms.

Some talk trash and others hack, without second thoughts about the cheap shots.

And all of them, faced with a chance to take down the team with the best record in the NBA, are playing inspired basketball.


C's Now Have as Many Wins as All Last Season


SALT LAKE CITY - The number 24 has become a figure that is simply too bizarre for most Celtics to digest.

Or to wrap their minds around.

At 24-3, they have as many wins as they did all of last season.


Celtics' Bench Coming into its Own


LOS ANGELES - At the start of this four-game road trip, Doc Rivers was clear about what would make it successful for his team.

``We need our bench on this trip - it's going to be vital,'' said the Celtics coach, whose club was looking to defeat the Lakers in the finale last night to go 4-0.

Never was the solidity of the Celtics bench more apparent than during Saturday night's comeback win at Utah.


How the West was Won


LOS ANGELES - It was all about fashion last night, from the tight throwback shorts that the Lakers mercifully scrapped at halftime for something less restrictive to the broad bandage over Kevin Garnett's right eye.


The West was Chippy


LOS ANGELES - Rajon Rondo took two hard hits while driving to the basket in Sacramento last Wednesday. A hit to the head left Kevin Garnett motionless on the floor at Sacramento and an elbow to his face against the Lakers Sunday left him with four stitches above his eye. And Ray Allen was literally tackled by the Lakers' Lamar Odom.


Odom Mugging Still Sore Subject with Jesus


WALTHAM - It's been a few days since Lamar Odom went Terry Tate on Ray Allen in the Lakers' 110-91 loss to the Celtics, and after looking at it again on tape, the shoulder tackle still makes absolutely no sense to Allen, who found himself in the laps of the Staples Center's best ticket-holders because of it.

Anyone Want Al Jefferson Back?


Five players, two draft picks and enough cash to fill an armored car. That is what it cost the Celtics to bring Kevin Garnett to Boston. Yet today, still, you cannot help but wonder if the Celts got him for a song.

Whaddaya think, Boston:

Do you want Al Jefferson back?


The Numbers are Mind-Numbing


In light of the fact the Celtics won just 24 games last season, the current numbers are rather numbing. Twenty-seven wins in 30 games. Seven straight victories and 16 in the last 17 games.

Historically, the most striking stat thus far is 13.5 - the per-game scoring differential. Consider that the 72-win Bulls of 1995-96 officially had a 12.2 differential and you begin to see the significance. Whether the Celtics can maintain that pace over the long haul is open to question, but for the moment it's a number that has people in the league talking.

In terms of starts, the Celts are now tied for the fourth-best record before a fourth loss. The 1969-70 Knicks and 1990-91 Trail Blazers also won 27 before loss No. 4, while Philadelphia won 37 in 1966-67 and the Lakers won 39 in 1971-72 before snapping their 33-game streak and losing to Milwaukee. And that aforementioned Chicago outfit won 41 games before it lost its fourth.




With a much tougher opponent on tap for tonight, the Celtics played to the level of their much weaker opponent last night.

The Celtics improved to an NBA-best 28-3 with a 100-96 victory over the lowly Memphis Grizzlies at TD Banknorth Garden. Boston enters tonight's game at Detroit (26-7) with eight straight wins since losing to the Pistons Dec. 19. Kevin Garnett scored 23 points last night and Paul Pierce added a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds.


How did Glen Davis Fall to the 36th Pick?


How did Glen Davis Fall to the 36th Pick?

It's difficult to imagine a player who slides to the 36th pick in the draft having such an intriguing collection of skills, but that is essentially the case with Glen Davis.


And to Think The Celtics' Bench was Considered their Achilles Heel


And to Think The Celtics' Bench was Considered their Achilles Heel

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Against the Pistons Saturday night, it was reserve Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Against the Grizzlies Friday night, it was reserve Tony Allen. And against the Rockets Wednesday night, it was reserve Scot Pollard.


29-3: The Pundits Finally Start to See the Light


29-3: The Pundits Finally Start to See the Light

Doc Rivers has done his best thus far to hold down the hysteria around the Celtics. But with a victory at Detroit on Saturday, a 4-0 road trip out west late last month and a 29-3 overall record, the coach now has no shot.


The January Slide Begins


The January Slide Begins

It's not often that they run into someone with Joe Frazier tendencies - a team that is capable, on a given night, of forcing the Celtics to trade punches.


C's Focus on Rebound


C's Focus on Rebound

If history is any guide, the Celtics have to feel pretty good about their chances at New Jersey tonight as they come off Wednesday's loss to Charlotte.

In their three previous games following defeats, the crew of counterpunchers has won by an average of 31 points - beating Golden State by 23, New York by 45 and Chicago by 25. Yes, all three games were at home, but the Celts also can take heart in the fact that Ray Allen and Glen Davis will be back in the lineup tonight.

``I woke up. How about that?'' coach Doc Rivers said of the aftermath to the Bobcats loss. ``And the building didn't fall down. Wow.''

Speaking of the general feeling around the team after a defeat, Rivers said, ``They respond to about everything right now. They want to be good. When we do lose a game, they don't like losing. It's no fun. I experienced that a lot last year. I could write a whole speech about how that feels.

``It's a good bad feeling, if you know what I mean. You can see them walking out of the locker room (Wednesday night). You can see them this morning quiet. Nobody was goofing around.''

Certainly not Allen or Davis, who sat out Wednesday's loss with a pinched nerve in the neck and a sore right knee, respectively.

``I feel significantly better,'' said Allen, who has experienced numbness in three fingers on his right hand. ``It's hard to say not being in a game situation, but for practice, I feel pretty good. It's a day-to-day thing. I would say (the numbness) is about 80 percent gone. I feel it with certain movements, but I slept better than I have over the last two days.''

Davis was breathing hard after his post-practice workout.

``It's sore,'' the rookie said of his knee, which he injured in a fall against the Pistons Saturday.

``I've got to play through it. You can't play the whole season healthy.''

And the Celtics aren't going to play the whole season without some nasty-looking losses. Their failure to get back and play cohesive defense doomed them against Charlotte, but it made for an easy lesson plan yesterday.

Topic No. 1 was transition defense. ``The first 20 minutes of practice sucked like the game,'' Rivers said. ``It really did. We were awful. Guys weren't communicating. Guys were what we call buddy running - running with their own guy instead of getting back. You know, it's a long season and you fall into habits, you have slippage. Then the second half of practice was terrific. We got back to what we've done. ``I think if we have a chance to play defense we're really good if we can set. Teams know. If they can beat us down the floor, they don't have to face our defense. Charlotte did that.''

The club didn't spend a lot of time going over the Nets, something it will instead do at this morning's shootaround.

``I believe, fix your stuff first and then worry about the other stuff,'' Rivers said.

Celtics notes

Scot Pollard sat out practice to rest his left ankle, the same one he sprained late in the offseason. The big man is expected to play tonight. . . . Forward Kevin Garnett remained the overall leader in the fourth and final All-Star voting update before the starters are announced Jan. 24. With 1,756,251 votes, Garnett is about 200,000 ahead of Cleveland's LeBron James for the Feb. 17 game.


C's Notch 10th Straight Road Win


C's Notch 10th Straight Road Win

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Maybe they sleep better on the road. Maybe the opposing crowd revs them up. Maybe they are just a really good team and the whole road thing means nothing.


C's Undefeated wearing Road Alternate Jerseys


C's Undefeated wearing Road Alternate Jerseys

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Celtics are well aware that clothes don't make the team. But they weren't taking any chances when they took the floor against the Nets last night.

With their 86-77 win at the Izod Center, the Celtics have yet to lose in their alternate green-and-black uniforms this year, so expect equipment man John Connor to have them waiting for the team in Washington tonight.

The club has lost twice in the traditional road uniforms and once each in the throwback greens and regular home whites.

Asked before the game if he was superstitious about the uniforms, Paul Pierce said, ``Sometimes I am. I ain't going to lie to you. I was a little skeptical when we wore the throwback ones against the Lakers (in Los Angeles). We'd lost the last time we wore them (at home against Detroit), but then we beat the Lakers, so I guess that made them OK again.''

As for the alternate threads, the captain said, ``We need to wear them permanently. Those are nice on the road, the black and green ones. I just know they look nice.''

As one who's into the history of the game, Pierce also appreciates the regular uniforms - the same ones Bill Russell wore when he finished up in 1969.

``I like those, too,'' he said. ``We've got the classic uniforms. The Celtics jerseys always sell good because they're classic.''

By league rule, the Celts are required to wear their alternate jerseys for a minimum of six games. The maximum they can use them is 18 times.


America wants the C's


America wants the C's

The Celtics like the fact they're now in demand by national television. ABC announced it was moving the Jan. 27 game at Orlando and the Feb. 10 game against San Antonio to the 1 p.m. national window. In addition, ESPN is jumping on the C's Feb. 22 game at Phoenix.

``It's fun whenever you get a chance to be nationally televised,'' said Pierce. ``For those who don't have the NBA (cable package), they can check out the Celtics now.

``But this is all because we're doing good. That's the way it's always been. You have to be good. With the way we've been, I'm used to them taking games away - not adding them. I think we were supposed to be on one game last year, and they took that thing away so fast.'' For coach Doc Rivers, this will be the first time he's participated in an ABC game since he was the color commentator for Game 5 of the 2004 NBA Finals between Detroit and the Lakers.

``I guess it's good for the organization, and it is a sign you're doing well as a team,'' Rivers said. ``But beyond that I really don't care.''


C's Lose for 2nd Time in Three Games?


C's Lose for 2nd Time in Three Games

WASHINGTON - After a long, successful ride, the Celtics finally hit a roadblock.

Boston's road winning streak was snapped at 10 with an 85-78 loss to the Wizards at the Verizon Center last night. The Celtics (30-5) lost for the second time in three games for the first time this season. Boston is 14-3 on the road after enduring their first road loss since Nov. 27 at Cleveland.

The Celtics' star trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce was held in check as they combined for 42 points on 15-of-40 shooting; they shot only 11 free throws. Boston was outrebounded, 49-30, gave up 26 second-chance points, and allowed 30 points in the paint. The Celtics' road winning streak tied for the second longest in franchise history.

A "Let's go, Celtics" chant rang loud through the arena early in the fourth quarter. But two free throws by Washington's Caron Butler tied the game at 68 with 6:27 remaining and fired up the home fans. A 3-pointer by James Posey gave Boston a 71-68 lead with 5:17 left and the Celtics chant started again. Another 3-pointer by Posey gave Boston a 74-70 lead with 3:56 remaining.

After missing 15 of their first 16 3-pointer attempts, Antonio Daniels nailed a 3-pointer to give Washington a 75-74 lead with 1:51 remaining. After being fouled by Pierce on a 3-pointer attempt, DeShawn Stevenson made all three free throws to give Washington a 78-74 lead with 1:14 left. After two missed Boston 3-pointers, Brendan Haywood made one of two free throws with 34.2 seconds left to make it 79-74.

Garnett made one of two free throws with 27.5 seconds left to slice Boston's deficit to 79-75. Butler nailed two free throws with 22.1 seconds left to give Washington an 81-75 lead. Pierce nailed a 3-pointer with 15.8 seconds left to make it 81-78. But Stevenson helped seal the Wizards win with two free throws with 15 seconds remaining.

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo missed the game with a back injury he suffered Friday night at New Jersey. Tony Allen started in Rondo's place, his fifth start of the season. Rookie point guard Gabe Pruitt was activated. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team was limited in the offensive sets it could run without Rondo.

The Wizards were also without three-time NBA All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas, who has been out indefinitely since having left knee surgery Nov. 21. Washington is now 16-11 without Arenas.

Tony Allen wasn't in the game long in the first quarter as he picked up his second foul with 9:18 remaining and Boston up, 4-3. Allen went to the bench and was replaced by sharpshooting Eddie House. A House jumper sliced Washington's lead to 14-12 with 4:13 left in the first. A 3-pointer by House brought Boston within 19-17 with 54 seconds left. A Darius Songalia 20-footer gave the Wizards a 23-19 lead with three seconds left in the first.

A House 3-pointer tied the game at 27 with 8:08 left in the second quarter. Washington went on an 8-0 run to take a 35-27 lead with 5:26 left in the half. The Celtics responded with a 9-1 run to trim their deficit to 37-36 after two free throws by Tony Allen. Paul Pierce's 18-foot jumper with 1.9 seconds before halftime brought Boston within 41-40. The Celtics outscored the Wizards, 21-18, in the second.

Celtics forward Kevin Garnett had 12 points and his team shot 46.9 percent in the first half. Washington shot 33.3 percent from the field, but scored 15 second-chance points off 13 offensive rebounds. The Wizards outrebounded Boston, 26-12, in the half.

Boston opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run, capped by a Garnett free throw at the 9:17 mark to take a 47-41 lead. Garnett's lean-in dunk on a fast break gave the Celtics a 58-59 lead. Ray Allen's 3-pointer with 3:18 left in the period gave Boston a 61-52 lead. Kendrick Perkins's dunk with 21.3 seconds left gave the Celtics a 65-60 lead. Boston outscored the Wizards, 25-19, in the third quarter as both teams made 7 of 16 shots.

The Celtics, however, nailed two 3-pointers and nine free throws.


Agent -0- Changes his Tune


Agent -0- Changes his Tune

There is praise, with no trash-talking, about the Celtics from the outspoken Gilbert Arenas this time. There is no Jordanesque scorer for Boston to worry about tonight, rather an entire team that had the Celtics' number Saturday night. But even though tonight's rematch against the Wizards at the Garden will be a challenge for the Celtics, it won't be the same without the entertaining, three-time NBA All-Star guard in uniform.


C's Lose at Home to Raptors


C's Lose at Home to Raptors

While the Celtics might have entered the game as the NBA's top team in defending the 3-point shot, you surely wouldn't have guessed it last night.


Big Al Returns to Gahden as Timberpuppie


Big Al Returns to Gahden as Timberpuppie

Former Celtics forward Al Jefferson described his return to TD Banknorth Garden tonight as just another road game for the Timberwolves. Celtics forward Kevin Garnett sees his first regular-season game against his team of the previous 12 years as no big deal, either.


C's Steal Win from Minnesota


C's Steal Win from Minnesota

With former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett lying on the ground with the ball, he saved the game for his Celtics against his old team.


KG Injures Abdomen in Win


KG Injures Abdomen in Win

Kevin Garnett said last night he has been bothered by an abdominal strain, but typical of the Celtics forward, he never bothered to share the information with his coach.


Employee #8 Checks In


Toine checks in

Few were more critical of Danny Ainge through the years than the main player in the director of basketball operations' first major trade - Antoine Walker.

After helping Miami win the NBA title two years ago, Walker even expressed sympathy for the predicament of former teammate Paul Pierce.

But the roles finally shifted last night. Walker, traded to Minnesota by the Heat at the start of the season, is struggling to find a role in a Timberwolves rotation that is committed to youth.

The ultimate irony is that so many of those players were Pierce's teammates when Walker sent his sympathy card.

But regardless of how he may still feel about Ainge, Walker has to admit that the oft-criticized plan finally bore fruit.

``I'm happy for those guys - Kevin (Garnett), Ray (Allen) and Paul,'' Walker said before last night's game. ``After winning a championship, you get excited for guys who are able to get that same feeling.

``It's good for the organization and the city. Everyone in Boston has been patiently waiting. It's going to be exciting for them.''

The irony of this role reversal isn't lost on Pierce.

``I feel for him in his situation,'' Pierce said, using words similar to those Walker once used to describe him. ``I can relate to what he's going through. After winning a championship and tasting that success, that's definitely not the situation that you want to end up in.''

Walker, who has two years left on his contract, has no idea what his future holds with the Timberwolves. He has started once in 35 games and is averaging 20.1 minutes.

``It's been tough for me,'' said Walker, who scored three points in 14 minutes last night. ``We just have to figure out how I can benefit the team. But right now, the coaches and management are trying to figure everything out. ``The only thing I can do right now is try to play it out. I'm looking forward to getting a chance in my situation.''


January Doldrums Snag C's


January Doldrums Snag C's

Some of the worst, most uninspired basketball in the NBA is played in January.

As the Celtics openly admit, they have been just as prone to trouble over the last 26 days as any other contender.


KGless C's Lose to Magic


KGless C's Lose to Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. - Often during Celtics games forward James Posey yells from the bench, "We got Tickets," in tribute to forward Kevin Garnett after he makes a big play.

Yesterday, for the first time this season, Posey couldn't yell anything about "The Big Ticket," as Garnett missed the game with an abdominal strain. But the Magic still needed a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer by Hedo Turkoglu to defeat the battered Celtics, 96-93, at a sold-out Amway Center.

"We had tickets, but we didn't have 'Tickets,"' Posey said.

Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy: "They didn't have Kevin Garnett and we hit a miracle shot at the end. It was enough to win."

Garnett was hurt in the fourth quarter of a win over Minnesota Friday night but returned for the end of the game. While he still had hopes of suiting up during the bus ride to the arena yesterday, he was told firmly by coach Doc Rivers that he would not play.

"I knew we were going to come out and play hard," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who had a team-high 24 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. "This group has a lot of resiliency regardless of who is on the court. There are no moral victories. But this was a game we could have seen ourselves winning regardless to who was on the court."

The Celtics are dealing with their worst string of injuries this season.

Forward Brian Scalabrine had 1 point and one rebound in 22 minutes in place of Garnett in the starting lineup after missing Friday night's game with the flu. Point guard Rajon Rondo (15 points, 6 steals) went to the locker room for a bit early in the third quarter to have his slightly sprained right ankle taped.

Posey had 16 points, four 3-pointers, and six rebounds in his return after missing three games with a sprained finger on his right hand. Reserve guard Tony Allen (2 points) played with a right eye scratch suffered against Minnesota and left the arena with a Band-Aid over the eye. Center Scot Pollard is out indefinitely with a right ankle sprain.

"We are banged up right now," Rivers said. "When Rajon went down, I grabbed them and said, 'Hey, I got great news for you. No practice Monday because we don't have enough bodies, so you might as well lay it on the line.' They started laughing.

"I figured at that point we might as well break the ice. Everyone was feeling a little bit sorry for themselves."

The Celtics led, 46-43, at halftime after receiving 19 points and six rebounds from Pierce. Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard had 10 of his 18 points, 10 of his 16 rebounds, and 2 of his 5 blocks in the first half.

Orlando shot 60 percent from the field and nailed five 3-pointers in the third quarter to outscore Boston, 32-19, to take a 75-65 lead. Magic reserve forward Brian Cook scored 11 points and hit three treys in the quarter.

Boston opened the fourth with a 16-7 run finalized by two Posey free throws to trim its deficit to 82-81 with 5:49 remaining. The Magic responded with a 9-3 run capped by a 20-foot jumper by Turkoglu (a game-high 27 points) to take a 91-84 lead with 2:41 left.

Ray Allen's lay-in sliced Boston's deficit to 91-88 with 1:13 left but two free throws by Turkoglu gave Orlando a 93-88 advantage with 58.9 seconds remaining. Rondo's lay-in with 43.9 seconds left got the Celtics within 93-90, and after Rondo's athletic steal of a pass from Orlando guard Carlos Arroyo, Ray Allen nailed a 3-pointer in front of the Magic bench to tie the game at 93 with 14.1 seconds remaining.

"I kept telling them to hang in there, hang in there, cut the lead, and when it got closer and you're on the road the home team gets tight, not the road team," Rivers said. "I just kept telling them, 'One basket at a time."'

Howard and Rashard Lewis (15 points) are viewed as the Magic's stars. But with 24 points at that point, the Magic turned to Turkoglu. He responded by nailing a deep 3-pointer over Pierce's outstretched hand.

"I didn't want to settle on a jumper," Turkoglu said. "I just tried to go to the hole and take a foul. But they had good defense and forced me to take a tough shot.

"It was a tough shot to take over Pierce and it was from long range. I'm glad it was right there today and I was able to make it."

Rivers, the Eastern Conference All-Star coach, joked that he was going to call the NBA to take back his All-Star vote for Turkoglu.

"We played well enough to win," Rivers said. "A guy makes a fadeaway from 4 feet behind the [3-point line] on the last play. I was really proud. I thought we took them out of what they were trying to run. Turk turned around and made a tough shot. I can live with that."


The Alien Rumors Begin


The Alien Rumors Begin

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Celtics appear to be taking their time on Damon Stoudamire. At their current rate, the Celts may run out of time.

Having been bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies, the veteran point guard will clear waivers on Wednesday, which is a formality, as he has no contract to pick up.

According to league sources, the Celts are checking out other possibilities and it's believed they may have interest in another player, thought to be Sam Cassell of the Los Angeles Clippers. That matter would require time to work out, but the C's will have to move quickly on Stoudamire if they want him.

Aaron Goodwin, Stoudamire's representative, plans to have his client make a quick transition to his new club. Goodwin acknowledged his client has interest in the Celtics, as well as San Antonio, Phoenix, Toronto and Denver, but time is of the essence.

``We want to have him to be able to join his new team and be ready to go the following day,'' Goodwin said. ``This isn't about money or anything. Damon knows he's going to be getting the veteran minimum. He just wants a chance to play and an opportunity to go for a championship. That's all that's important to him at this point. The clubs we're talking about all afford him that opportunity, so we're confident he'll be in a good situation by Thursday.''

Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge had no comment, other than to say he likes his roster. But others insist the Celts are looking at the marketplace and would like some help or insurance at the point.


Pat Riley: Give Danny Some Credit


Pat Riley: Give Danny Some Credit

MIAMI - Pat Riley understands how a franchise can step on the gas pedal and pull into the fast lane. He was the one who got Shaquille O'Neal from the Lakers to the Heat. That move was key in getting Miami from 42 to 59 wins in the first season and to an NBA championship in the second.


C's Crush Heat without KG or Jesus


MIAMI - Maybe Paul Pierce should have taken the night off, too, just for kicks.

Without Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, the Celtics blew out the Heat, 117-87, last night at American Airlines Arena. While the Celtics are known for having the "Big Three," on this night they had a surprising big scoring foursome in Rajon Rondo (23), Tony Allen (20), Leon Powe (25), and Eddie House (20), who combined for 88 points.


Leon Who?


Leon Who?

After seeing only mop-up duty over the first 2 1/2 months of the season, Leon Powe has become one of the rocks in the Celtics rotation.

And Kendrick Perkins has a theory.


C's Down Dallas without KG


C's Down Dallas without KG

The Celtics had a ready-made excuse for not getting it done when they took the court against Dallas last night. Without Kevin Garnett to provide his usual set of skills - and to deal with Dirk Nowitzki - the C's were at a clear disadvantage.

But Doc Rivers wasn't giving his club the easy way out.


Posey Comes Up Big


Posey Comes Up Big

Forward James Posey wasn't a member of the Celtics when they were dependable cannon fodder for the powerful Dallas Mavericks.


Cavs Down C's in Cleveland


Cavs Down C's in Cleveland

CLEVELAND - The Celtics came into last night's game against the Cavaliers leading the league in defense. They left it shaking their heads.

On a night when most everything was going right for them - at one end of the floor - the Shamrocks couldn't find a way to make 113 points and 57 percent shooting add up to a victory.


Rondo Guides C's to Win over Clippers


Rondo Guides C's to Win over Clippers

With the starters, for the most part, sitting calmly on the bench, the Celtics' reserves did most of the dirty work during the final 12 minutes last night.

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