Despite Kevin Garnett having his best game of this young season, the Celtics gave-up too many second-chance points, were inconsistent on defense and lost their 4th straight; going down to the Pacers 97-83 tonight in Indy.
KG (and Pierce) led the Celtics with 21 and went 10 of 19 from the field in 28 minutes of action. The Celtics tallied 24 points in the 1st quarter and finally came-out with some energy. But Rondo and Ray were non-factors, they turned the ball over 18 times and are now 4-7 with a great Thunder team coming to town on Monday.
John was dead-on in his game preview tonight, guessing the C's would go down 95-78 on the second night of a back-to-back, and also predicting that the C's would need to stop Darren Collison. Unfortunately they didn't, and he scored 17 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. When the C's were at their worst in the 3rd, Collison stepped on their necks and put-in 11 of those 17. Neither Rondo nor Avery Bradley could slow him down. But what really killed the C's were easy dunks, layups and second/third chance hoops. The younger, more-athletic Pacers scored 23 fastbreak points and were easily the more aggressive team tonight.
The C's were out-rebounded 52-45 and the Pacers literally out-muscled the Celtics. On more than one occasion tonight, Pacers players smacked, grabbed or simply took the ball away from the C's for 12 steals. Let me repeat that; 12 steals. Sure, we know it was the tail-end of a back-to-back for the C's, but Indy played last night also. To compound matters, Danny Granger shot the ball better than the two teams' last meeting to lead his team with 21 points.
E'Twaun Moore saw significant time tonight, getting 20 minutes of burn and putting-up respectable numbers: 7 points, 2 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals. Marquis Daniels stayed in Doc's doghouse tonight, and I have absolutely no-idea at this point what Ainge and Rivers plan to do with him. Have they already given-up on Quis? I know he's really struggled after a great preseason, and Pietrus brings alot to the table, but I really thought Doc had more confidence in Quis.
Rondo seemed disinterested tonight. Perhaps he was tired and that explains his sloppy and careless play. Rajon turned the ball over 4 times, forced the issue on offense at-times and did not get to the FT line once. Doc said after the game that "fatigue killed us" and "we didn't take care of the ball.." Before joking "it gets easier now-we have Oklahoma City." Glad he has a sense of humor about things. Mine is slipping-away.