Friday, January 27th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  35 responses

Post Up: Celtic Pride

Boston mounts the comeback of the year against Orlando, and the Clippers beat the Grizz.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

With only two games last night, and the first off to a blowout-ish start, it looked like we might be in for a double-snoozer. Au contraire, mon frere. Plenty to dig into from last night, from the Magic’s epic collapse to the wacky jerseys in the late game. Let’s hit it.

Celtics 91, Magic 83

Early on, it looked like Orlando was ready to get revenge for an embarrassing loss to Boston earlier in the week, taking a commanding 27-point lead that had most of us channel surfing by halftime. Instead, the Celtics found a second, more unbelievable way to beat the Magic. Paul Pierce had 24 points and 10 assists, Kevin Garnett had 12 and 10, and rookie E’Twaun Moore scored 16 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to lead Boston back to their biggest halftime deficit-turned win since 1996. The Celtics ended the game on a staggering 44-15 run, including with a 15-1 run to open the fourth period, and beat the Magic in stunning fashion, even without Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen or Jermaine O’Neal. Orlando scored 58 points in the first half, then just 25 in the entire second half (8 whole points in the fourth quarter), and finished shooting 38 percent from the field despite a red-hot start.

Dwight Howard battled foul trouble to 16 points and 16 boards, while Ryan Anderson scored 12 points before freaking out on an official down the stretch. This game leaves you wondering a lot of things, like what in the world the Magic did at halftime—did they go Ron-Ron and sip a little somethin’ with the game seemingly in the bag? Did Dwight Howard realize he should be tanking, not winning, in Orlando to save some face? Is that the most angry Ryan Anderson has ever been in his life? Thankfully, we can finally answer one question: No, Doc Rivers is not a real doctor.

Clippers 98, Grizzlies 91

First things first—those “retro” jerseys. I know I’ve sorta been a jersey hater so far this year, but you know what, I take back every bad thing I ever said about previous uniforms, from the Miami pinks to anything else. The worst ones I’ve ever seen were on display last night at Staples Center, courtesy of the Memphis “Tams” or Grizzlies or whatever we’re calling those mismatched abominations. I’m not off-base here, right? I mean, individually, the pieces look cool, and I could see them as a fan item, but on my TV screen, it was a hideous aesthetic combination, especially when paired with the Clips’ unis. I thought I was watching the Jamaican Olympic team, minus the cool. The game itself wasn’t as ugly—in fact, it featured a playoff feel (hasn’t every big Clippers game felt that way this year?) for a pair of teams that split their season series 2-2 a year ago. Lob Angeles took home the W, as Blake Griffin racked up 20 points, 9 rebounds and even had 8 assists, while Mo Williams came in off the bench to score 18, and Chris Paul scored 18 with 7 dimes. Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies/Tams with 24 points, including 3 on a buzzer-beating halfcourt heave, and Marc Gasol dug out an 18-11-6 line. But after Memphis got to within two with less than two minutes to play, a Caron Butler driving layup and a pair of CP3 free throws widened the margin to 6 with 45 seconds, and that was enough to get past the Grizz, who shot just 36 percent for the game.

Line of the Night: Take your pick: Paul Pierce 24/6/10 or Blake Griffin 20/9/8.

Moment of the Night: Kevin Garnett was mildly excited about the big win. “You ever been in a bar fight?”

Dunk of the Night: For anyone else, it’d be sick. For Blake, it’s just okay.

Tonight: Another week in the books for me. I’m taking the weekend to celebrate a birthday (let’s just say I’m entering my Jordan year) and hopefully another Wizards win. Pete’s with you for the next couple nights, starting with 13 Friday games, including Heat-Knicks, Wolves-Spurs, Pacers-Celtics, Jazz-Mavs and Thunder-Warriors. See you back here on Monday morning. Until then, be easy.

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  • Vilmar

    To my beloved Celtics. On monday u beat the orlando magic down, by 31points, u beat them silly. Spanked em like unruly kids.Today it was time for the rematch, the magic no doubt wanted to deliver a equal beatdown and at one point it looked like they would. Down 27points u once again showed ur true nature, by refusing to go quitly into the grave u fought back (although having 2 of ur 4 best players out) like the furious bloodthirsty never say die animal u are, u came back from the depths of defeat to claw ur way to triumph. Thus i ll always take the heart of a warrior in a broken body then a broken heart in a warrior s body!

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Those Memphis jersey’s look so bad..

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    I actually thought the Clippers jerseys were kinda nice, but the Memphis uniforms were so bad that they dragged everything around them down.

  • Riggs

    haha i freaking love Doc.

  • Riggs

    No Romo.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    all you need to know about the boston-orlando game is that the celtics came back from down 27 on the road with 3 starters missing. unreal. oh, and when Rondo’s not playing, Pierce is a constant triple double threat.

  • Heals

    Last was an open audition and Doc just showed the rest of the L (once again) that there aren’t any coaches better at connecting with players (not X’s and O’s). Money to spend, a rich history and Doc; we good…

  • T-Money

    dwight howard has to look in the mirror. i watched the whole 4th quarter of that game. he says that guys were coming down jacking shots… how about, as the leader of the team, agressively getting deep position every time down the floor and YELL for the ball. he can talk about orlando not having the right mentality all he wants, until i see him calling for the ball down low in tight situations – it’s just talk.

  • T-Money

    also, telling media that you would consider playing for your opponent next year is not really the best way to galvanize your troops. if i were a magic player right now, i would have very little respect for my so-called leader.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I know you loved the 2-game-night bday present Abe. Enjoy DC!

  • logues

    crap i stop watching after the 3rd quarter and watched “horrible bosses” instead. i shoulda known when they made that run at the end of the 3rd that orlando would blow the game

  • http://bulls.com airs

    Cosign tmoney.
    Dwight’s offensive game needs major work. Its frustrating to see such a tall and strong big man without a real go to move on the block.

  • T-Money

    airs, it’s not really his offensive game that bothers me at this point but moreso his unwillingness to take over.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Last night, Reggie Miller called Marc Gasol “The 2nd best center in the league”. I personally disagree, but it is debatable. What do you guys think?

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    ^He’s not far from it, for sure one of the better passing centers, though, plays good D, has a good post moves, rebounds well..

  • http://bulls.com airs

    yeah, i got you.
    but at the same time, i dont see how he’d even be able to take over without having any consistent post moves anyway.

  • http://www.coachesclipboard.net/FlexOffense.html nbk

    Meat-Hook he’s playing like a top 5 center right now, that’s for sure.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Abe Schwadron

    Horrible Bosses ain’t a half-bad movie though!

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    NBK, I agree. I’m thinking D12 and Bynum, that’s it. I’d take Gasol over Chandler, D. Jordan, Perkins, Hibbert, Monroe, a healthy Lopez, pretty much anyone else.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Cosign T-Money. I have no defense for the Magic. It I’d seem like referee calls (that went both ways in the first half) loosened up in the second. The refs weren’t biased one way, but they did let a lot more go in the second half. That said (and coming from a true Orlando fan), we’ll be a better team once Dwight is traded (assuming we aren’t fleeced.)

  • http://www.coachesclipboard.net/FlexOffense.html nbk

    I’d only take Dwight, & a healthy Bynum & Bogut over Gasol today

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    the clippers uni’s were decent.. but they just looked so much more horrible with memphis’s smh. Also gasol has gotta be top 5 right now smh

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Skillwise Marc Gasol is better than BOTH Dwight and Bynum. Dwight’s just athletic and Bynum relies on his strenght.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Aside from shot blocking and a slightly better back-to-the-basket game, I don’t see Bogut having much on Gasol. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen a 100% healthy Bogut in a very long time.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeLRym4Q-pg nbk

    Bogut is twice the defender that Gasol is. And he is a better passer (atleast imo). Other then that they are pretty much even, Gasol is a better low-post scorer though. I guess it kinda depends what you want out of your Center.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Bogut’s definitely more of a defensive presence. I dunno, I think I’d give the passing edge to Mark.

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    It’s so unfortunate that Bogut’s so fragile. He’s walking on the Bill Walton road.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeLRym4Q-pg nbk

    it’s definitely an opinion thing differentiating those two. I value the defense from the Center over everything else. That’s really the only reason I think Bogut is better.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    One things for sure, I’m glad I have Marc Gasol on my fantasy team. =)

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I just noticed Marc Gasol is 1 for 4 for three-pointers this year. Anyone know if these are just buzzer heaves or is it actually part of his game?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeLRym4Q-pg nbk

    And I’m sad I have Andrew Bogut. And HAD Al Horford. smmfh

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    He was also 3 for 7 on threes last season… perhaps he has that range but doesn’t use it often?

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    @NiQ…most probably buzzer heaves. Lionel Hollins won’t dare make a play like that to a Gasol unlike Mike Brown. LOL

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Refs did seem to favor celts in the fourth qtr. Ryan anderson had good reason to be heated. That said, that team is not a title contender, dwight needs to go. I still hope he signs with the spurs in the offseason. Pop and dwight would make a real dynasty, 5 in a row dammit! Hey, I’m a dreamer, let me be.
    Marc is a bad man, mem needs to let him operate a bit more, oj was crazy, selby did well. Rudy was nice, he’s got to be even more assertive, he can do it. I liked his defense on blake.
    Grizz have a sick frontcourt when healthy, marc, zach, shady, speights. Wow, lots of talent.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    niQ, He shoots it when he’s really open, or when the shotclock is expiring, But he just doesn’t stand there much.