In a game in which KG didn't play and Paul Pierce spent his time on the bench with a bucket in front of him as he was fighting the flu, the Celtics came up just short with a 114-113 loss on the road. Very little defense was played on either side in this game. The Celtics shot 62% in the first half while allowing the Cavs to shoot 56%. They cooled off slightly in the second half with the Celtics shooting 57% for the game while allowing the Cavs to shoot 51%.
The difference in this game was rebounding. The Celtics shot a higher percentage, had just one more turnover, and had 2 more points in the paint, but they were out rebounded 39-29 and many of those rebounds led to second chance points. It was a very close game thoughout with 56 lead changes and 46 ties. The biggest lead by either team was 8 by the Cavs and the Celtics biggest lead was 4.
Paul Pierce had the flu and when he was on the bench, he was seen with a towel on his head and a garbage can in front of him in case he got sick. In spite of being sick, he played 35 minutes and finished with 19 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal but he was a step slow much of the game. Ray Allen picked up the slack and played very aggressively. He finished with 24 points on 8-13 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in 41 minutes. Rondo had a big game with 20 points on 8-13 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. He also had a very uncharacteristic 5 turnovers, with many of those coming as he drove into the lane and had the ball stripped.
Scal started in place of KG once again and finished with 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 2 steals in 17 minutes of play. Perk had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists and played some good defense inside. Powe was the first big man off the bench but seemed to struggle and had just 2 points and 2 rebounds in 7 minutes. Big Baby played 13 minutes in this game and seemed to match up better with Ilgauskas, finished with 9 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist.
James Posey came off the bench to score 6 points to go with 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. His 3 at the buzzer cut the lead from 4 to 3 but it was too little too late. House finished with 2 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist. Tony had another good game with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. He was aggressive taking the ball to the basket and also shot the ball well from outside.
The Celtics failure to play defense was a concern. I can imagine that Tom Thibodeau will give them all an earful before tomorrow night's game against the Clippers. The Celtics let this one slip away by being sloppy with the ball, not being aggressive enough on the boards, and allowing the Cavs to score at will. Hopefully they will figure it out and play better tomorrow night.