Celtics leave Milan in style with 105-75 victory

906437.jpg

Celtics leave Milan in style with 105-75 victory

MILAN - Rajon Rondo making shots - jumpers actually. A bench that scores more than 20 points in the first half. Jared Sullinger going into full-blown rebounding mode.

The Boston Celtics are tough to compete with, let alone defeat when that happens.

EA7 Emporio Armani found this out the hard way as the C's defense limited them to just 11 second-quarter points and the Celtics pulled away for a 105-75 win.

Leading the Celtics from the game's outset was Rajon Rondo.

Every season, Rondo tries to bring a little something more to the floor.

There were signs last season that his jumper - clearly the weakest part of his game - had improved.

On Sunday, Rondo delivered a near-flawless first half, making all seven of his field goal attempts along with dishing out two assists. He finished with 17 points and six assists.

To see Rondo knock down shots was not that big a surprise, but the starting lineup Celtics head coach Doc Rivers went with was a bit unexpected.

Joining Boston's new Big Three - Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce - in the starting lineup was rookie Jared Sullinger and Jason Terry in for Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee, respectively.

The lineup change seemed to work for all involved.

Sullinger got a chance to work with the starters, something C's coach Doc Rivers identified as something he wanted to do following Boston's loss on Friday.

Lee, who struggled in his first game for the Celtics, bounced back with nine points in the first half, the first two being on a powerful, one-handed dunk. Bass (4 points on 2-for-2 shooting, 5 rebounds) also had a strong start as the Celtics head back home with a split during its two-game European tour.

Terry had a solid game with 11 points. Even more impressive was the C's being 29 when he was on the floor. Boston also got a nice performance from Darko Milicic who had two points, nine rebounds and a game-high four blocked shots.

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.  

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics play the Raptors in Toronto. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: C's need to start defending top-four spot in East

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

- Live Extra FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Celtics: All of the most recent news and notes

- Talk about the game via social media on CSN's Pulse, presented by Ford