Once again the Celtics kept it close throughout the game: leading by 1 at the end of one, leading by 3 at the half, and leading by 5 at the end of 3 but couldn't come up with stops or scores when they needed to in the end. Once again, there were some bright spots in the loss.
Delonte West returned to action after missing 4 games with back spasms. He started at Point Guard and had a very solid game shooting 10-16 and finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal in 39 minutes split between playing the 1 and the 2. He made some big plays especially a running 3 pointer to beat the 3rd quarter buzzer. Rondo got the most minutes (20) at back up PG and finished with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Telfair played only 11 minutes and finished with 3 points and 2 assists.
Al had another great game and another double double with 23 points on 10-16 shooting to go with 11 rebounds 2 assists and 1 block. He is learning to deal with double teams better and was able to pass out of the double team or get around it for the most part. Again, we are seeing progress in our young players in spite of the loss. Perk was more active tonight than he has been and finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal in 23 minutes but he he is still having problems with his shot and with lateral movement.
Kandi was the first player off the bench and played 12 solid minutes at back up center and didn't score but did pull down 7 rebounds to go with 1 block and 1 steal. Once again, Leon Powe played great in limited minutes. He finished with 5 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in 8 minutes. He also played great defense in the paint, drawing a charge and changing several shots. I just don't understand why he doesn't get more minutes.
Gomes had his best game since injuring his calf finishing with a double double. He shot 7-16 for 17 points to go with 10 rebounds and 3 assists. Allen Ray got into the game for only 3 minutes and finished with 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist.
We shot better than we have in previous losses, shooting 48% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. We out rebounded the Kings 41-35. We cut back on our turnovers a little but we still had 15 which was still too many. As with previous losses, we were unable to get stops down the stretch when we needed to and couldn't hit the big shots at the end of the game. And it doesn't get any easier as we face Gilbert Arenas in Washington tomorrow night.
Wow Pierce! You are certainly a dedicated fan to get up at 2:30 am to watch the game. It was a good one to watch because the young Celtics showed heart and fought back from a big hole, but the end was the same. a close loss.