Celtics flop against the Bobcats, 94-89

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Celtics flop against the Bobcats, 94-89

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Even before the game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers knew something wasn't right.

His team didn't have nearly as much focus or attention to detail as it displayed just 24 hours earlier.

It really shouldn't have been that big a surprise, when you consider how the Celtics have been all season in back-to-back games.

Great focus the first night, little to no focus the next.

Monday was another example of that as the Celtics suffered a 94-89 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, less than 24 hours removed from an impressive win over Orlando.

"What do we have, 13 losses?" said Rivers. "I know seven of them have come on back-to-backs. It's the same script on five of them, where we win a decent game the day before and come out and just play . . . you could see it in the first half; we came out, kind of goofing around. Then all of a sudden you try to win it in the fourth? You don't have anything left."

When it comes to back-to-back games, the Celtics' play has truly been like night and day.

In the first game of back-to-backs, the C's are 12-1.

On the back end, they're just 6-7 following Monday's loss.

At no point in the Monday's game did the C's exert full control over the situation, which, in a sense, gave Charlotte every reason to believe it could win.

Give the Bobcats credit.

Down the stretch, they made all the big shots, all the big plays, and to a man, they deserved to win.

But the C's can't help but feel this was yet another game that they gave away.

"I can't even look at the other team and say what they did well," said Boston's Ray Allen, who led all scorers with 25 points. "We didn't play up to the standards we need to put out there."

Making it even more surprising was the Bobcats spent the bulk of the game without their leader, Stephen Jackson.

After being called for fouling Kevin Garnett in the second quarter, Jackson voiced his displeasure with the call to an official.

Tech number one.

Jackson wasn't done . . . until his repeated chatter to the same official resulted in a second technical and the automatic ejection that came with it.

His departure did little for either team.

"It don't matter who's on the floor," Garnett said. "At some point, especially when you're home, your best player goes out . . . the team rallies around that, the energy in the building was very solid, very alive. So at some point, you had to anticipate them being energetic about that."

It was a much-needed victory for the Bobcats (22-29), who came into the game having lost four of their previous five games.

"It's probably the biggest win of the season so far," said Bobcats coach and former Celtic Paul Silas. "You're talking about a great team and we needed it. This is just a wonderful victory for us and I think it's something that can compel us to do even better."

For the C's, it should be a wake-up call that their focus has to amped up considerably in back-to-back games for them to have the kind of finish to this season that they want.

"Every year, we have some type of dilemma," Garnett said. "We have different dilemmas each year. I guess this year it's back-to-backs."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Hawks hold decisive edge on the boards

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Hawks hold decisive edge on the boards

BOSTON – The return of Avery Bradley was a good thing for the Boston Celtics, but it wasn’t enough for them to control the action in the first half of Monday’s game against the Hawks who took a 51-47 lead into the half.

Bradley, who had missed previous 18 games and 22 of 23, had six points in the first half on 2-for-4 shooting.

The Celtics opened the game with a 7-2 spurt and led by as many as eight points (15-7) in the first before the Hawks begin to cut into Boston’s lead and eventually take their first lead of the night following a 3-point play by Paul Millsap with 4:20 to play in the quarter which put them ahead 18-15 as part of an 11-0 run.

Boston would regain the lead before both teams went into the second quarter tied at 24.

The second quarter saw Boston hit one of those scoring lulls that they go through from time to time.

But unlike last night’s win at Detroit when they went nearly four minutes without scoring, Atlanta’s offense did a much better job of taking advantage of Boston’s struggles.

Atlanta went on a 9-2 spurt in the second quarter capped off by a Kent Bazemore lay-up that put the Hawks ahead 35-31.

Boston rallied soon after with Bradley leading the charge.

Bradley drained a 3-pointer that cut Atlanta’s lead to 35-34.

A defensive stop by Boston led the way for an Isaiah Thomas lay-up that put the Celtics back on top, leading to the Hawks calling a time-out with 6:18to play in the half.

Atlanta tightened up defensively, doing just enough to go into the half with a four-point lead.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks.

 

STARS

Dennis Schroder

He really came out and set the tone for the Hawks, scoring eight of his 10 first-half points in the first quarter.

Isaiah Thomas

Atlanta did a nice job of blitzing Thomas and forcing him to pass the ball. But Thomas is a professional scorer so you knew it was a matter of time before he got going offensively. He led the Celtics with nine points at the half, in addition to dishing out five assists while also grabbing five rebounds.

Dwight Howard

The Celtics simply could not keep him from dominating play around the rim. He led all scorers at the half with 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds.

 

STUDS

Marcus Smart

When the offense seemed to stall, it was Smart who kept the Celtics within striking distance in the second quarter. He had seven points at the half along with three rebounds and an assist.

Paul Millsap

He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (he missed six of his seven shots), but his presence was felt. He had five points at the half along with nine rebounds.

 

DUDS

Celtics rebounding

It really is an adventure when it comes to the Boston Celtics and rebounding the ball. Tonight, they have not been very good, with the Hawks holding a decisive 32-21 rebounding edge which has allowed them to hold a 28-14 advantage in points in the paint, an 8-2 edge on second-chance points in addition to leading the fast break points game, 7-4.

Report: Celtics still 'very much' in the running for Andrew Bogut

Report: Celtics still 'very much' in the running for Andrew Bogut

Just when it appeared Andrew Bogut was heading to Cleveland, a source has told Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe that the reports are "innacurate."

According to Himmelsbach, the Celtics are "very much" in the running and Bogut is "hoping to speak to a few Celtics players over the phone on Tuesday to get a gauge on how he might fit with their team."

The Dallas Mavericks traded Bogut to the Philadelphia 76ers at the deadline for big man Nerlens Noel.