Celtics rally fizzles in Denver

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Celtics rally fizzles in Denver

DENVER The Boston Celtics finally got the highest scoring team, the Denver Nuggets, to play their brand of slow down, drag-it-out basketball.

But the game's tempo swinging their way was too little too late as the Nuggets hung on for a 98-91 win.

A pair of free throws by Kevin Garnett made it a 94-91 game with about a minute to play.

After a Celtics stop defensively, Ray Allen's potential game-tying 3-pointer was off the mark.

That would be Boston's last gasp at what had been an impressive fourth quarter rally.

The rebound wound up in the familiar hands of Kenneth Faried, who snatched a game-high 16 rebounds to go along with 18 points.

The Celtics (23-21) have now lost their second straight and are now 2-3 during their current West coast road trip that moves back to the East for the next three games (Atlanta, Milwaukee and Philadelphia).

Denver shot a higher percentage and more than doubled the Celtics (28-12) on the boards in the first half.

It was the kind of basketball cocktail that would have the most talented team looking a bit punch-drunk on the floor, as the Celtics fell behind by 13 points at the half.

Denver's control of the game remained as strong as ever in the third, but the C's positioned themselves to get the Nuggets lead down to single digits on several occasions.

But Boston simply could not get over that double-digit hump, and trailed 80-68 going into the fourth.

Boston managed to get it down to an even 10 points, and had a chance to make it a single-digit game but Kevin Garnett threw an errant pass resulting in a turnover.

The C's eventually got the deficit down to single digits, but consistently failed to get the much-needed stop defensively or the clutch basket that we're so used to to them getting in close, down-to-the-wire affairs.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: LeBron in foul trouble

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Halftime stars, studs and duds: LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Game 4 between Boston and Cleveland in which the Celtics have a 57-47 halftime lead.

 

STARS

Avery Bradley

His aggressiveness at both ends of the floor has been key to Boston’s strong first half showing. He has 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

Kyrie Irving

With LeBron James in major foul trouble – he had four personal fouls in the first half – Irving was charged with picking up the slack, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the second quarter.

 

STUDS

Jae Crowder

He had the hot hand at the start of the game, and has been solid at both ends of the floor. He had 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting with four rebounds and three assists.

Kevin Love

He continues to get great looks from 3-point range, but the Celtics did a better job of limiting his long-range scoring opportunities. He had 10 points along with seven rebounds and three assists.

Kelly Olynyk

Making his first-ever playoff start, Olynyk had a solid half with eight points, four rebounds and three assists.

 

DUDS

LeBron James

He was 5-for-9 from the field with 10 points in the first half, but spent a large chunk on the bench after being whistled for his fourth personal foul with 6:46 to play in the half.

Washington anchor gives Markelle Fultz his first piece of Celtics apparel

Washington anchor gives Markelle Fultz his first piece of Celtics apparel

Last week, potential No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz retweeted a t-shirt design featuring him in a No. 20 Celtics jersey.

But now thanks to Carol Maloney of NBC4 in Washington, Fultz has his first piece of Celtics apparel.

Maloney obtained the C’s shirt at Game 7 between the Celtics and Wizards at TD Garden.

When she handed Fultz the shirt, he laughed and said, “I think the internet is going to go crazy when they see this.”