The Celtics beat the Hornets

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Published: March 29, 2008

What can I say? All teams have those nights. Tonight was a life lesson. Sometimes life lessons come in the form of ass-whippings.

Indeed. The Hornets got paid back for their defeat of the Celtics last week, getting blown out by the C's up in Boston last night. It was all good at halftime, with the Hornets leading 60-56. But then it got ugly and we managed just 32 points in the final 24 minutes, while Boston proceeded to shoot a billion percent from the floor.

Credit the Celtics. They're a damn fine basketball team.

Chris Paul vs. Ray Allen

The lead in above was the final note scribbled down by my buddy Justin last night. He was good enough to jot down his thoughts on the game as I was being distracted by beer and Honeybees and random cool people at the official watch party at Bruno's uptown. The atmosphere there was excellent, but not the best place for me to focus on the nuances of the game. So, please m'escuzi as I proceed with some half-assed bullets…

  • Final score was 112-92. Linkage: recap | box score | standings
  • I said ahead of this one that I'd be satisfied so long as out guys came out and played hard. That seemed to be the case. Our guys fought hard all game, even when we got down big early in the fourth.
  • I thought it could have been a much closer contest if not for some of the questionable calls that went against the Hornets. For example, 3:10 left in the third quarter, and David West gets dragged to the floor by Leon Powe as they battle for position on a rebound. Somehow, West gets called for the foul. I have yet to see a sober replay of that one, but at the time it appeared to be the worst call in the history of the universe.

    Hornets Hype has more on the officiating last night.

  • Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce killed us. How about these numbers between them: 48 points, 19 rebounds, 13 assists and just one turnover. Damn.
  • The Hornets were led by 22 points, 10 assists and 3 steals by Chris Paul. Peja gave us 17 points but had a rough shooting night. David West delivered just 14 points and 4 rebounds, being bothered by that pesky Celtics D and hassled by those even peskier refs all game.
  • From Jim Eichenhofer's fresh observations

    The backups actually were more effective than the first five. After the Hornets fell behind in the first quarter, second-unit guys Bonzi Wells (13 points, 7 rebounds) and Jannero Pargo (8 points) helped the visitors grab a halftime lead. However, in the third quarter, with the starters back on the floor, Boston took control again, holding a 32-15 edge in that game-changing period. The plus-minus stats for every Hornets starter was minus-12 or worse on this night.

  • Rajon Rondo hit some big shots for the Celtics, helping them rip the game open in the second half. Kid finished with 17 points and 4 assists, never once showing a hint of fear as he went back and forth against Paul. You have to respect what Rondo has done this season. There was a lot of pressure on him to run that team and he's doing a damn fine job.
  • Jessica Camerato of HoopsWorld was in the building last night and posted notes throughout. A sampling:

    Michigan State alum Mo Peterson is overly excited for tonight's NCAA Tournament battle against #1-seeded Memphis. Peterson will be traveling when the game is on but he is anxious for his alma mater to get the W. What does he have to say to those who doubt MSU, like UConn alum Hilton Armstrong? "What is a Husky, a sled dog? Everyone knows what a Spartan is."

    FYI, the Spartans lost.

  • I don't think KG should get MVP. The best argument I've heard against him is that he's essentially doing the same thing this season that he's always done. Now he just has a better team around him.

    Then again, I really couldn't give a shit about the MVP race anymore. My worst fear is that Chris Paul will get it and then the Hornets get bounced in the first round, a la Dirk and Dallas last year. I'd rather CP not get any votes for the award and we rip through the Playoffs on a mission for a Chip.

  • From At the Hive

    One word can describe this game: forcing. Pargo forced up ugly shots, West forced his shoulder into his defender's chests (and got called for it even if they weren’t set), and I never thought I would say this, but Chris Paul forced up some bad looks too… On the other hand, Kevin Garnett was a force on the boards, and Paul Pierce was a force from the stripe (13-13). Byron Scott tried to force as much energy out of his team as possible, but the guys looked flat out tired.

  • While Bruno's was great last night and everything, I must note that they kicked a friend of mine out just because he had his hat on backwards. He eventually conceded to turn it around and they let him right back in. I was under the impression that you could wear your pants on your head and still be welcome anywhere in this town. Guess I was wrong.
  • The Hornets are 0-3 this season when there's an official watch party. Hmm.
  • Play of the game (Celtics' fans may disagree): 6:30 left in the third quarter, and West gets the ball above the three-point line, Garnett in front of him. For some reason, KG decides to get down on all fours for a couple seconds, as if to say, "I can guard this fool lying down." Upon Garnett returning to biped status, West takes him right down the lane, and uses a nice hesitation move to create enough room for the right-handed banker.

    And then the Celtics outscored us 43-24 the rest of the way. Oh well.

Let's see, what can make us feel better about this defeat? Hmm, how about the fact that every other team has lost to the Celtics this season, too? Or how about the realization that we're 2-1 on this road trip, when we could be 1-2 except for a 17-footer from David West.

Actually, even better: how about the Lakers dropping a second straight home game to a team with a shitty record? And Derek Fisher is hurt.

It's a nice day today.

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