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Recap: Lakers’ bench sucker punches Celts for comeback win

KWAPT February 22, 2014 Gametime, Recaps 11 Comments

Behind Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, the Celtics got off to a great start in L.A. tonight. Green was aggressive, notching 11 first quarter points, Boston was up 28-19 after one. Rajon was dishing & driving himself, with 5 points, 3 assists & 3 rebounds in the first 12 minutes. And then…Rondo went to the bench.

The Celtics’ offense looked like it always does without Rondo-lost and desperate. For the first 6 minutes or so of the 2nd quarter, Boston fired up wild jumpers and looked generally discombobulated. The Lakers outscored Boston 13-8  to start the quarter. Rondo came in and settled things down somewhat, but Boston still struggled to find a rhythm. The C’s mustered just 18 points in the quarter, including going 0 of 6 from downtown, and the lead at halftime was down to two points. It was 46-44 Boston. Pau Gasol was able to exploit the Celts’ lack of length, going for 10 first half points and getting to the FT line often. Jeff Green cooled off, putting up a goose egg in the 2nd after a hot start.

The second half saw the C’s finally start to put together a nice run. After sputtering out of the gate in the 3rd quarter, Brandon Bass went on a rampage of sorts, scoring 10 points and grabbing 5 boards in the quarter. Sully, Wallace & Green followed BBass’ lead, and Boston actually played some very good basketball for most of the quarter. Coupled with some nice defense, the Celts went into the 4th quarter up 74-63. And that’s where everything went down the toilet.

Just as they have most of this season, the C’s collapsed late in this game. They simply could not find the gusto to finish off the Lakers. Boston basically put it into cruise control, mainly on defense, while the LA bench turned things up. As Boston started to slow down, the Lakers did the complete opposite and fought their way back into the game. That got the crowd into it, and Boston could not recover..

Behind former Celtic Marshon Brooks’ 10 fourth quarter points (yep-that guy), LA  outscored the Celts 38-18 and thrashed Boston in the 4th quarter. And it was all done by their bench players. Kent Bazemore, brought in by L.A. at the trade deadline,  had 15 points and really got the home crowd fired-up.  Brooks, who stared down the Boston bench after one big hoop, finished with 14 points. Final in LA tonight is 101-92 Lakers. Say what you want, we’re “tanking”, it’s just a meaningless game during a lost season, but it always hurts to lose to the Lakers. Always. Especially a team that the Celts really should have handled. Boston now heads north to Sacramento for a 10:30pm EST game with the Kings tomorrow.

The Green:

  • Brandon Bass was the main reason that this game was as close as it was going into the 4th. Bass had 20 points and 8 rebounds, and went for 10 & 5 in his big 3rd quarter.
  • Rondo looked very good for most of this game despite shooting poorly (2 of 12). He had 6 pts, 11 asts & 6 rebounds.
  • Battling some foul trouble, Jeff Green led all scorers with 21 points including 3 buckets from downtown

The Gross:

  • Boston shot 4 of 22 from long range (ouch) and turned the ball over 14 times
  • The Celts’ bench was outscored 64 to 21

The Greenlights:

sweet

The Grid: (quick stats)

  • The two teams combined for an atrocious 11 of 44 from downtown

Box score

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  • mev

    Start the discussion…
    I didn’t think Rondo looked all that good – only 2-12 after only 7-22 vs Phoenix (and only 3-15 in the paint). I see the same weakness in Rondo that he always has had – he can’t reliably make shots and therefore can’t win close games for us. He wasn’t able to do anything to stem the tide when he and the starters re-entered the game

    • Kerry

      Rondo looked way too unconfident in his shot in the 4th. I think the skills and abilities are all there, but if the rondo on the court doesn’t think he can outplay a marshon brooks or kent bazemore then I don’t think he’s the long term superstar this franchise needs right now.

    • KWAPT

      His shooting was bad tonight, yes. But he only took 2 shots in the entire 4th, of which he played 6 minutes. And he had 4 assists in those 6 mins. You can’t pin this one on him. The entire squad, particularly on defense, mailed that awful 4th Q in. And as cliche as it sounds, he does not have a hell of a lot of help out there right now and is still very far away from being 100%. He’s not that first option guy the C’s want to rely on to close out games offensively-I agree. But that’s not his role. Right now there are not too many other viable options unfortunately. Here’s hoping Ainge brings in some serious scoring punch this summer…

      • RedsLoveChild

        Rondo was 2-for-12 {.167%}, and .500% at the FT line last night.

        Can we at least wait until this road-trip is over before we construct a statue of Rondo in front of the TD Garden?

  • Kerry

    Watching that fourth quarter defense, it seriously seemed plausible to me that ainge or Stevens purposely told their players to not contest three pointers so the lakers could win the game ^_^ Jusy disappointing – a lack of talent isn’t an excuse for that kind of pick up game defense.

  • LA Flake

    I felt dirty after watching that 4th quarter.

  • swissflix

    MarShon Brooks just helped the Celtics more than he ever did while he was a member of the team….

  • Curt Hays

    Last night reminded me of something I’d forgotten. I don’t like the Heat or the Knicks or the Yankees or the Giants. But I HATE the Los Angeles Lakers. I hate hearing their fans chant happily and being happy.

    I realize losing helps us now, but I wanted to destroy the Lakers.

    • adam

      i was thinking same thing. like 2010 finals all over again.

  • jrleftfoot

    I don`t get the attitude that Rondo has to be the ultimate scoring machine to be part of another championship. If we don`t get several more top players we aren`t winning anyway. There are no one man teams in the NBA.Lebron didn`t win without Wade and Bosh and Jordan didn`t win until Pippin and the Worm came along. Durant hasn`t won yet and Barkley never did. Rondo makes almost any team he plays on significantly better. Why should he be held to a higher standard than that? A lot of you guys sound like the anti -Pierce chorus before Garnett and Allen came along. Can we at least wait until hes`s played a few dozen games before flooding the board with negativity. Is Derrick Rose even playing yet? Rhetorical question.

    • Mike C

      Very well said! Rondo is a future Hall of Fame pointguard. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, we should think about keeping him. Our current problem is who we have surrounding him. Not Much!