The Celtics played their hearts out Tuesday night in Miami, but fell just short by a score of 93-86. After being down eighteen points in the first half, Boston battled back to make a game of it in the second half - and an extremely entertaining final quarter.
Miami was led by LeBron James of course, with 29 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Boston got fantastic efforts from a handful of players - some more unexpected than others. Kris Humpries (14 points/13 boards) and Jared Sullinger (12 points/11 rebounds) both put up double-doubles while Brandon Bass poured in 15 points off the bench. The surprise? Recent D-League call up Chris Johnson scored 11 points in 24 minutes of action and played an inspired game. The Celtics may be on to something with Johnson… he was a team leading +7 in the +/- category.
The reason Johnson was in the game was not quite as inspiring. Avery Bradley left the game in the first half with a right ankle sprain and did not return. It is assumed he will not play tomorrow night in Washington D.C. (and could be out for a while) as it is being reported that the Celtics will be dipping into the D-League again to call up guard Vander Blue.
Rajon Rondo showed flashes of his old self, but for the most part looked like he is going to take a while to work himself back into shape. Rondo proved to still have issues at the free throw line, going 1-4 and missing a huge pair in the final seconds. His final line was 1 point (0-8 FG), five assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes. It is evident from his jump shot and his attacking of the basket that he is lacking his burst that makes him so effective.
The Celtics will be back at it on the road Wednesday night against the Wizards, most likely without Avery Bradley, and perhaps even without Rondo depending on how he feels going in a back to back. However, knowing what we know about Rondo, it seems likely he will give it a go.
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