Shamrock roundup: Celtics end losing streak
The Celtics have been on a losing streak since they played the Hornets back on Jan. 16. Since then, they have had a few rough losses. It was bad enough to make coach Doc Rivers furious with his players. Unfortunately for the Celtics, it had to get worse before it could get better.
On Jan. 25, the Celtics traveled to Atlanta to take on the Hawks. Adding to the losing streak, the Celtics came up short and let the Hawks win 123-111.
While Boston did have the lead by 27 points in the second quarter, the Hawks overcame the biggest halftime deficit for a home win in franchise history.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with a triple-double of 16 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for the second straight night for Boston, and Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach Rivers said he was very upset with his team after their sixth straight loss.
“We play well in stretches, but then we start breaking rules that you shouldn’t break in middle school,” Rivers said after the game. “It was a joke . . . We get a big lead, and we start thinking we’re the 2008 [NBA championship] team. We’re not, and we haven’t earned that right.”
On Jan. 27, the Celtics hosted the Miami Heat, and fortunately for the Celtics, things were about to get better.
Paul Pierce had a triple-double. With the game tied, Pierce hit the last minute jumper, scoring two points with 30 seconds remaining in double overtime. Winning the game was very important for the Celtics, but unfortunately, they lost one of their best players for the rest of the season.
Rondo tore his right ACL. He said he was experiencing some soreness before the game, and apparently had injured it in the previous game against the Hawks.
While it will be hard on the Celtics to get by without Rondo, they did manage to break their losing streak, and Rivers said he is confident this will be a new streak.
“You can write the obituary. I’m not,” Rivers said. “You can go ahead, but I’m not. We won tonight, so, the way I look at is, we’re going to stay in there.”
On Jan. 30, the Celtics remained at home to host the Sacramento Kings. The Celtics shot 63 percent of their points in the first half, which allowed them to pull away early. They won the game, 99-81.
The win put the Celtics at 22-23 for the season. Six players finished in double figures, but the Celtics were mainly led by Pierce, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Celtics did have to adjust to playing without Rondo on the court.
“It’s been an adjustment for me playing in this system, but I’m getting more and more comfortable,” said Jason Terry on playing without Rondo. “And, again, with this style that we’re playing now, I think it’s a little more conducive to my game.”
Rivers said he was happy with the way the Celtics played and was happy to see them winning games again.
“That’s how we have to play, overall. Just simple, good basketball; pass the ball, move the ball. I thought everybody just played their role and played great,” said Rivers.
On Friday, the Celtics will remain at home to host the Orlando Magic at 7:30 p.m. You can catch all the action on CSN-NE or listen live on WEEI 93.7FM.