The Celtics had no problem with the Bucks in this game. There was no let up as there had been in their previous matchup when the Bucks overcame a big deficit to force over time. The Celtics came out strong in this one and never looked back. The starters once again sat out the 4th quarter but this time the bench kept the lead and coasted to victory with the reserves on the court.
KG received the Red Auerbach award before the game. Two years ago, Red himself presented the first Auerbach award to Paul Pierce. Last season it went to Al Jefferson. KG finished with 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists in just 22 minutes. My favorite play of the game was when KG wrapped his arms around Bogut to tie up the ball and picked him off the floor along with the ball. KG wanted the jump ball, but they called him for a foul. I guess carrying Bogut around while asking for the jump ball was a bit much.
Rondo got off to a great start and showed no ill effects from the illness that took him out of the Wizards game. He finished with 16 points, 10 assists, and 1 steal in 23 minutes. Ray Allen shot the ball well as he went 4-7 and finished with 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists in 25 minutes. Perk played some good defense with 3 blocks and also had 4 points and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes. Pierce continued his hot shooting and finished with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 22 minutes.
James Posey once again brought leadership to the second unit, finishing with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Sam Cassell returned from the back injury that kept him out of the last two games and played well with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in 17 minutes. We also got to see Gabe Pruitt who I think is going to be a great back up for Rondo. Gabe finished with 2 points and 2 assists in 7+ minutes.
The Celtics shot 51% from the field while holding the Bucks to 38%. The fouls were very one sided as the Celtics shot only 5 free throws and the Bucks shot 30. Cousey mentioned that the Bucks didn't seem to be getting fouls called on them and Tommy mentioned that they weren't playing hard enough to get close to the Celtics to foul them. The Celtics pulled down 46 rebounds and the Bucks had 45. The turnovers were much better in this game for the Celtics as they kept them down to 13.
Next up are the Hawks who are still playing to stay in the playoffs and should give the Celtics a tough game. Because the Hawks are the likely first round matchup for the Celtics, they need to play to win this one so as not to give the Hawks any hope at all that they can beat the Celtics in the playoffs.