Shamrock roundup: Celtics win 4 in a row
After four-game losing streak, the Boston Celtics did a complete 180 to win four games in a row.
On Jan. 4, the Celtics hosted the Indiana Pacers. After a slow start in the first quarter, the Celtics bounced back to win the game, 94-75. Rajon Rondo scored a team-high 18 points. Kevin Garnett also scored 18 points, but was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for hitting Pacers’ player Tyler Hansbrough in the face while trying to knock the ball away.
Garnett said he saw a change in the team since their four-game losing streak.
“You know, since we’ve been in this funk, Doc’s been saying that through out this tough ordeal that we have to continue to play defense no matter what we’re doing. Offense can not dictate defense. I feel like for the most part we did just that,” Garnett said in his post-game press conference.
On Jan. 5, the Celtics traveled to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. It was a close game but the Celtics came out on top with a final score of 89-81. Paul Pierce had the game high of 26 points, 17 of which were in the third quarter, helping the team come back from their 15-point deficit at half time.
Rondo also had an impressive game, scoring 14 points while recording 11 rebounds and 10 assists, most of which were in the second half.
After a little scuffle in the locker room at halftime, the Celtics realized they had to step up their game and take their anger out on the Hawks.
“We wanted to bring the fight to the Hawks in the second half. We were kind of bickering with each other at halftime about what to do defensively, and I just reminded the guys that the fight isn’t against us, it’s against the other team. I told our guys we have to accept coaching. Doc was telling us what to do, and guys were getting angry with him. I told them the ones we need to be getting angry with is the other team,” explained Pierce.
During the game, Rondo made contact with an official and was suspended for one game as a result.
Going into the next game on Jan. 7, the Celtics faced a huge challenge: The New York Knicks are No. 1 in their division and Rondo was suspended. Despite the Celtics horrible track record of losing games on the road, they stormed into Madison Square Garden searching for a win and got what they wanted. They defeated the Knicks 102-96.
Pierce finished with 23 points and Jeff Green scored 16 points.
After the fourth quarter, Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony followed Garnett to the locker room to continue a screaming match they had started on the court.
After a drama-filled win against the Knicks, the Celtics returned home to take on the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 9.
Jared Sullinger had 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Green scored a team-high 14 points to help the team come out on top.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers was impressed with the team’s performance.
“The whole bench, I just thought their energy in both halves were terrific. It’s nice when your starters are all not playing well, and your bench wins the game for you,” said Rivers.
The Celtics next game will be against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at home.