Celtics squeak out win over Warriors, 105-103

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Celtics squeak out win over Warriors, 105-103

OAKLAND, Calif. The Boston Celtics know all too well just how dangerous an undermanned team can be.

On most nights, it's a role that they find themselves.

But with the Golden State Warriors down a few bodies following their five-player trade (none of the players involved with the trade had taken their physicals yet and thus, could not play) with Milwaukee on Tuesday, they were out to prove that sometimes desperation can trump depth.

Golden State put forth a great effort, but the C's managed to squeak out a 105-103 win.

A 21-foot jumper by Kevin Garnett would prove to be the game-winner, with 5.1 seconds to play.

Boston had a strong third quarter, but their strong play gave way to a mini-surge from the Warriors in the fourth, who tied the game at 95 on a free throw by Dorell Wright with 4:21 to play.

Boston countered with baskets from Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass, only to have former Celtic guard Nate Robinson make it a two-point game, 99-97.

However, a pair of free throws followed by a dunk from Bass seemingly put the C's in firm control of the game with about two minutes to play.

Not with the Celtics. Not this season.

A pair of free throws by David Lee, followed by a driving lay-up by Robinson after turnover number 18 for the C's cut Boston's lead to 103-101 with 1:01 to play.

A Paul Pierce miss gave the Warriors a chance to tie the game or take the lead.

They choose door No. 2, as Robinson strolled into the lane for a game-tying lay-up with 30 seconds to play.

Boston called another time-out, well aware that the game was slipping away from them.

In other words, it was anyone's game for the taking.

The down-to-the-wire finish was indicative of how the first two quarter of the game was played.

Both teams went back and fourth throughout most of the first half which featured 10 lead changes and nine ties before the Warriors closed out the second quarter with the final four points and led, 60-55, at the half.

The Celtics seemed to find their way in the third quarter, and leading the charge ... Greg Stiemsma.

Boston closed out the third with a 9-3 spurt, capped off by a put-back dunk by Stiemsma -- his second dunk of the game, and fourth this season -- to give Boston an 81-77 lead going into the decisive fourth quarter.

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

Bennett back at practice, but admits injuries hurting his play

FOXBORO -- Martellus Bennett is willing to admit it. 

"Last week was probably my worst game as a Patriot," he told reporters in the locker room on Thursday. "But, you know, you have a bad game here and there. This week, come back grinding, and get ready."

Never was it more clear than on Sunday that Bennett has been hobbled by the injuries he's dealing with. He's coped with an ankle injury since Week 5 in Cleveland that has earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, but against the Rams it appeared to severely impact his performance. 

He saw four targets and caught two for four yards. As a blocker -- the facet of his game that stood out more than his receiving ability early this season -- he was called for two holds and had difficulty keeping his assignments in check, both in the run game and in pass protection. 

Asked if he may benefit from a week off, Bennett said he planned to continue to play.

"I never thought about that. I just keep going," he said. "I'm like the energizer bunny. I just try to find a way. Sometimes it's [expletive] when you're out there playing with different injuries. You can't do a lot of things that you want to do. You have [expletive] plays. You might have a string of bad plays in a row just because youre dealing with different things . . . 

"But throughout the game you kind of find a way to get the job done. I think that's the biggest point. It may not be pretty all the time, but try to figure some kind of way to get it done. Sometimes it's adjusting as the game goes on."

He added: "The thing about this sport is it's always something. You never go throuigh a season without having some kind of nick or tear, but there's a lot of guys playing with different things. But some guys are able to play through different injuries, and [with] some of the same injuries, you see guys around the league . . . go on IR and things like that. But it just depends on the person and their pain tolerance."

Bennett was back at practice Thursday after he wasn't spotted there on Wednesday. He may be helped by the long week leading up to Monday's game against the Ravens. It could mean an extra day of rest and recovery.

Sometimes, he said, it's difficult not to be out there.

"Sometimes. Sometimes it's like, thank God. I needed that today," he said. "It varies each week. . . I'll fight through whatever and I think that's something that my teammates and coaches know about me that I'm going to try to give them everything I got no matter what."

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

Tim Thomas ranked one of top 40 goalies on very weird list

The NHL Network is terrific. Its programming is the best of any of the four major sports leagues’ channels, its talent is outstanding and it shows a lot of cool games across various leagues.  

Players mess up though. 

In the network’s recently released ranking of the 40 best goaltenders of all time, the Bruins were well-represented, but so too was insanity. We’re talking Jonathan Quick in the top 20 (No. 16!), Marc-Andre Fleury top 25 (No. 21!) and Corey Crawford top 30 (No. 26!). Those are just a few of the head-scratchers. 

Tim Thomas was one of seven Bruins on the list, coming in at No. 27. Other Bruins ranked were Bernie Parent (No. 12), Frank Brimsek (No. 23), Rogie Vachon (No. 25), Tiny Thompson (No. 28), Gerry Cheevers (No. 29), Andy Moog (No. 36). Here's the full list, per Mark Lazerus. 

Statistically, Tuukka Rask deserves a place on this list if Fleury and Crawford are going to be that high, but we’ll save the Rask arguments for literally every other second of my life. 

[OK, real quick: Rask has the highest career save percentage of all time. Quick sits No. 17 and Fleury is 32nd. This doesn’t need to be completely statistics based, but it also shouldn’t be completely how-many-Cup-teams-were-on-based. Honestly, I can’t tell what this list is based on at all. Like Cristobal Huet had a better career save percentage than Fleury has.]

Anyway, everyone else hated the list, too.