Big Four put on show in possible finale

Big Four put on show in possible finale
March 10, 2012, 3:01 am
Share This Post

BOSTON The Boston Celtics' Big Four won't be back at the Garden for more than two weeks.

And with the NBA trading deadline on Thursday, there's no guarantee when the C's do return, that the Big Four of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, will all be back.

Well if this was going to be the last game played at the Garden by the Big Four, they certainly gave the fans in attendance something to remember with a 104-86 thumping of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Allen and Pierce led the way with 22 points each. Garnett, who only played 21 minutes, made all five of his field goal attempts and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Rondo, who played just 26 minutes, had eight points and five assists as the C's (21-18) won their fifth straight at home and improve their post all-star break record to 6-1.

Boston began to pull away in the first quarter after a lay-up by Garnett tied the game at 10.

From there, the C's went on an 8-0 run and took a double-digit lead into the second quarter.

Boston has one of the NBA's stingiest defenses.

But to start the second quarter, forget about being in shut-down mode.

The C's were more like in shut-out mode as they opened the third with a 16-0 run which propelled a comfortable win into an all-out crushing of a Blazers (19-21) team that has lost five of its last six games.

Portland got the lead down to 18 points in the fourth, but a jumper by Avery Bradley pushed the C's lead to 94-74, with 4:35 to play.

It was the kind of bounce-back performance that the Celtics certainly needed as they head out on an eight-game road trek that begins in Los Angeles on Sunday.

And while the mood among the players is certainly upbeat and optimistic, there's still the possibility that any member of the team - including the Big Four - won't be with the C's when they return home to face Washington on March 25.

While president of basketball operations Danny Ainge as well as head coach Doc Rivers have repeatedly said that there's no deal imminent, neither would rule out the possibility that a deal could be struck between now and the March 15 deadline.

And while players talked about the importance of chemistry and how difficult it can be to achieve, Rivers told Ainge to not worry about chemistry concerns if he can upgrade the roster, talent-wise.

"I'm not concerned with it, as far as on the floor," Rivers said. "Whoever we bring in, would have had one less practice than probably all of us, really. I told him (Ainge), 'if you think you can get a better talent this year, then the chemistry thing, is off.' Just go out and that's dangerous to tell Danny."