KG came out before the game and got a very warm welcome from the fans in Minnesota. Clearly they still love KG and appreciate all he did for their franchise. As is his custom, he then went to the locker room to watch the game from there. The ESPN announcers made a comment that they wouldn't expect to see KG until March. I really hope they are wrong about that. I wasn't expecting him to play until after the All Star break but did expect him to play on the western trip right afterward. Hopefully Perk will be back and ready to go by then as well.
This was a game that was sloppy from beginning to end. The refs were terrible and there were stretches where no one could hit a basket. Neither team shot well in the first quarter as the Celtics shot 38% and Wolves shot 33%. The Wolves led 18-16 at the end of one. The second quarter was a little better with the Celtics raising their shooting to 47% and the Wolves coming up to 42%. At one point, I felt like I was watching ping pong as there were turnovers on both ends of the court on 5 possessions in a row.
The Celtics suffered a big loss when Perk went out with a shoulder injury with 1:36 left in the third quarter. This is the same shoulder that Perk had injured in high school and then dislocated it twice as a Celtic. He last injured it on February 8, 2006 and had surgery on it, which was supposed to make it as strong as if it had never been injured. Hopefully it isn't serious, but it is very worrisome to see him go out. He was in considerable pain after the injury and will be evaluated tomorrow in Boston. He had 1 point, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks before leaving the game. I am glad we don't have to play this team again. The first game we lost KG and the second we lost Perk. If we had to play them much more, we wouldn't have any bigs left.
The hero of the game was Leon Powe. He had a very strong game, finishing with 16 points on 8-10 shooting, 8 rebounds and 1 block. He came up big on the final play of the game. Rondo had tied the game on a pull up jumper with 28 seconds to go. Jaric missed an open 3 and Smith grabbed the rebound but threw it to Ray Allen who drove to the hoop and was mugged but no foul was called. Powe was there to grab the rebound and put it back in at the buzzer. Powe was mugged by his teammates afterward and you just have to be happy for this kid. In the post game interview, he couldn't stop smiling. If Perk is out for any time, we are going to need Leon to step up even more. Rondo is showing so much confidence and didn't hesitate to take that jumper. He finished with 12 points on 6-12 shooting to go with 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. We are seeing him improve game by game.
Ray Allen once again struggled with his shot going 5-16 from the field but finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Pierce's shot was also off shooting 6-16 from the field and finished with 18 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. He picked up 2 fouls early in the first and that seemed to throw his game off. Scal once again started and finished went scoreless with 3 rebounds and 1 steal in 18 minutes.
Eddie House hit some big shots and finished with 14 points and 4 assists. Tony played only 13 minutes, finishing with 5 points and 1 assist. Big Baby played 6 minutes, finishing with 2 points and 2 rebounds. Posey did a little bit of everything as he finished with 3 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
For the game, the Celtics shot 46% while holding the Wolves to 42% shooting. Big Al was doubled every time he touched the ball and didn't get anything going until the 4th when he hit some big shots. There were 18 lead changes and 20 ties in this very sloppy game on both sides. The Wolves outscored the Celtics in the paint 50-34. The Celtics out rebounded the Wolves 31-29 but the Wolves had 15 offensive rebounds to only 5 for the Celtics. Next up for the Celtics is the Spurs but without KG and with Perk now in question, it isn't looking good. Scal starting against Tim Duncan is the stuff of nightmares.