Celtics run away from Suns, 115-103


Celtics run away from Suns, 115-103

By A.Sherrod Blakely

BOSTON The Boston Celtics are a team in transition - literally and figuratively - these days.

They certainly were on Wednesday night as they ran away with a 115-103 win over the Phoenix Suns.

A big part of Boston's success was the C's ability to score in transition, which is surprising when you consider Phoenix is one of the NBA's better teams when it comes to scoring on fast-break opportunities.

On Wednesday, it was the C's getting out and running as they outscored the Suns 24-7 in fast-break points.

"We said if we can get stops, we can run," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We felt that we could really beat them down the floor."

And the key to Boston's transition game is Rajon Rondo, who had his 25th double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 assists.

"One of the things we told Rondo is to think of this as a coast-to-coast game," Rivers said. "Every time you got the ball, think about going from rim to rim until they stop you. And if they stop you, that means someone's open."

For most of the game, that someone was Kevin Garnett who tallied his 22nd double-double of the season with a season-high 28 points and 11 rebounds.

That was just part of a Boston (44-15) team that's still adding pieces to the puzzle - Wednesday was Troy Murphy's first game with the Celtics, and the C's will add another player, Sasha Pavlovic, as early as Thursday - but still good enough to put together a much-improved effort after losing 88-71 at Phoenix on Jan. 28.

In that game, Kevin Garnett was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. It was also a game in which Garnett connected on a below-the-belt-shot on Channing Frye that prompted some reacting to the incident by labeling Garnett as a dirty player.

"I don't really care," Garnett said.

More than anything, Garnett seemed bothered by comments about him that he doesn't believe are true.

"Don't make stuff up, stuff that's not true," Garnett said. "I don't fall from dirty. I play the game really hard. I play with my heart. I'm never going to make any excuses about that, so who cares what they're talking about."

There would be no questionable below-the-waist shots from Garnett on Wednesday.

Every shot Garnett tossed on Wednesday was above and more often than not, through the rim.

Garnett was smacking the Suns around - Frye in particular - most of the game.

He led all scorers with a season-high 28 points, with his play being a big part of the Celtics pulling ahead by as many as 29 points.

But the Suns, about as streaky a team as you'll find in the NBA, got hot at the start of the fourth and had Boston's lead down to just 10 points with more than eight minutes to play.

Just like that, the Celtics' runaway victory was now a game again.

A pair of free throws by Glen Davis with 8:17 to play pushed the C's lead to 93-81. He would later leave the game because of a strained patella tendon in his left knee.

Davis said he was planning to have an MRI done today, and go from there as far as when he would return.

Phoenix eventually cut Boston's lead to single digits following an Aaron Brooks jumper with 7:14 to play.

The Suns had to play a good chunk of the fourth without starters Vince Carter (mouth laceration) and Frye (eye contusion) who collided with one another.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Rozier: Dust-up with Bledsoe 'just part of basketball'

Rozier: Dust-up with Bledsoe 'just part of basketball'

BOSTON -- For most of this first-round series, one of the most intriguing subplots has been the war of words between Boston’s Terry Rozier and Milwaukee’s Eric Bledsoe.

It began with Rozier mistakenly referring to Bledsoe as “Drew” Bledsoe, the former quarterback of the New England Patriots.

After Rozier had 23 points in Boston’s Game 2 win, Bledsoe was asked about Rozier.

“Who? I don’t know who the (bleep) that is,” Bledsoe said at the time.


And ever since then, you got the sense that at some point, tempers would boil over.

Their chippy talk led to some chippy action in the third quarter of Boston’s 92-87 Game 5 win on Tuesday night.

With Boston with the ball and leading 52-39, Rozier and Bledsoe exchanged a pair of shoulder bumps, the last of which, from Bledsoe, knocked Rozier towards the baseline out of bounds. That led to Rozier grabbing Bledsoe and tossing him towards official Pat Fraher.

After reviewing the incident, Rozier was called for a technical foul, and Bledsoe was hit with a flagrant-1 penalty that awarded Rozier and the Celtics two free throws and they maintained possession of the ball.

Al Horford was on the floor at the time of the Rozier-Bledsoe dust-up.

“Yeah, emotions are running high, Game 5, both teams are going for it and for our group the biggest thing is just to focus on basketball,” Horford said. “Keep playing and not getting caught up in all of that side stuff.”

Rozier readily admits that this series has become a bit more testy with each passing game, a byproduct of two highly competitive teams wanting the same thing -- to move on to the next round of play.


“That’s why I never overreact,” Rozier told NBC Sports Boston after the game. “Where I’m from, this is normal. That’s why I say, we’re out there having fun; two teams that just want to win. It’s all fun to me.”

And as far as the third quarter incident involving him and Bledsoe, Rozier shrugged it off as not being that big a deal.

“It’s just him being aggressive,” said Rozier who like Bledsoe, finished with 16 points in Game 5. “It’s all good; it’s part of basketball.”


Bucks none too pleased with non-call late in Game 5

Bucks none too pleased with non-call late in Game 5

BOSTON – We’re getting to that point where every call and non-call on the floor is magnified in this Boston-Milwaukee series because of what’s at stake. 

That’s in part why the Bucks were livid about what they believe was a late-game non-call that factored heavily in their 92-87 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of their best-of-seven series with Boston up 3-2 with a chance to close out the series in Milwaukee on Thursday.

Boston had possession of the ball leading 84-79 with about 90 seconds to play. 

The Bucks, frantically trying to get a defensive stop and the ball back in order to try and make it a one-possession game, kept the Celtics from getting any clean looks. 

And the result of that was a hurried 3-point shot by Al Horford that appeared to have been released after the shot clock expired and thus should have been a 24-second violation. 

However, there was no call made and the missed shot was tipped out by Semi Ojeleye to Terry Rozier who was fouled. 

Bucks interim head coach Joe Prunty said he was given an explanation for the play, but said, “not a good enough one. I was asking for a shot clock violation. I didn’t think he got the ball off, so I said, ‘that’s a shot clock violation.’ That was my discussion.”

Associated Press reporter Kyle Hightower was a pool reporter and asked the lead official Ken Mauer why Horford’s shot was not reviewed. 

“The rule states that under two minutes we are not allowed to review a potential 24-second violation unless the ball goes in the basket,” Mauer said.