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The shorthanded Celtics pulled away late to beat a Bobcats team coached by Celtics legend Paul Silas, 99-94.

Without his frontcourt mates Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O'Neal, and Kendrick Perkins, Shaquille O'Neal scored a season-high 23 points on 10-12 shooting. The Big Shamrock also pulled down five boards and rejected five Charlotte shot attempts while playing a season-high 35 minutes.

Rajon Rondo filled up the stat sheet as well, dropping  18 points, 13 assists, and a team-high six rebounds, while recording only two turnovers. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen each added 19 and converted on a combined 7-8 shots from deep.

The Bobcats posted up a weak offensive effort, shooting just 42.1% from the field. Gerald Wallace and D.J. Augustin netted 20 and 19 points respectively in a losing effort. The streaky shooting Stephen Jackson had a rough night from the field, connecting on only 5-17 attempts.

Boston jumped out to an early 22-16 lead as Pierce netted seven early points and Rondo dished out five assists. However, the Bobcats answered with an 8-0 run, and the two teams eventually finished the first 12 minutes of the game knotted at 24-24.

Charlotte continued to hang with the C's holding a small advantage for the first half of the second frame. Boston was able to hit a couple baskets and even up the score at 42-42 before the two teams headed into the locker room for halftime. Shaq led the Celtics with 10 points at the break on 5-6 shooting. Interestingly enough, Doc Rivers' starting five scored all 42 of Boston's points on 18-32 shooting, while his bench players went scoreless, missing all eight shots they took in the half. The reserves also had more fouls (5) than rebounds (4) in the 1st half.

Pierce scored the first five points on the 2nd half as Boston opened up the game with a 9-4 run. Rondo recorded a double-double just four minutes into the 3rd quarter, laying in a lefty finger-roll to put Boston ahead 53-48. Unfortunately for Boston, Pierce picked up his 4th foul soon after was was sent to the bench for the remainder of the frame. Semih Erden also picked up his 4th, and then 5th foul with less than a minute to go in the quarter. The rookie from Turkey played only eight minutes before picking up #5. Despite Boston's 19 personal fouls in the first three quarters, the Celtics led by three entering the 4th.

The Celtics held their lead for the first five minutes of the frame and extended it to 84-76 halfway through the 4th as Allen hit a pair of his trademark shots from downtown. Then, Rondo knocked down a three of his own to raise Boston's advantage to 11.

A few quick game notes: Glen Davis set a career-high scoring in double-digits for the eight straight game. Ray Allen shot over 50% from the field for the 11th straight game. Shaq sunk all three of his free throws tonight to make it seven straight from the charity stripe.   

With the win Boston improved to 30-9 and 18-3 at home, while the Bobcats fall to 15-22. The Celtics return to action Monday night against the Magic. Hopefully KG will be on the court for 8:00 PM ET tipoff.

Stephen Bailey 1/14/2011 10:10:00 PM Edit
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5 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Flawless game from Rondo- did everything you could ask of him. Great games by Ray, Shaq and Paul. I like seeing the Glen Davis jumper not the focal point of the offense.

    Perkins and West can't get back soon enough as the bench is just awful when it's out there collectively. Nate Robinson shouldn't see the floor and Harangody should be on the inactive list for the rest of the year. He should go play in Europe.

  2. Karl says:

    Great title for a recap. Didn't see the full game but Harangody won't see the floor anyway when Perk and Delonte are back. Nate will win us a game in the playoffs but isn't consistent. Good win tonight against a decent Bobcats squad.

  3. tb727 says:

    And btw Boris Diaw has NO left hand moves inside. All of his baskets always are with his right hand. I don't know why they just don't hang on that hand and force him to go to his left...

  4. Anonymous says:

    shaq is the best. he's damn hilarious... he hugged the opponent when they crash on the floor.. LMFAO

  5. Thanks Karl. It was definitely a solid win, but I am strong in my support of Lucky Luke. He will be a good basketball player in the NBA.

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