Tag:Kevin Garnett
Posted on: February 7, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 11:51 am
 

The league shifts a blind eye to Garnett

League holds responsibility for setting guidelines on behavior as Garnett continues to ratchet up his behavior. 
Posted by Matt Moore




Kevin Garnett is a jerk.  At least, on the floor he is. He's known as a wonderful, sweet man off the floor. But on the court? Total jerk. Jerkface. Short-Euro-fighting, injured-on-the-bench-barking, junk-tapping, Bin-Laden-joking,  ejection-baiting jerk. And he's not at all sorry about it. Don't believe me? Ask CelticsBlog, made up of some of the most dedicated Celtics fans around:

The bottom line conclusion is that he comes across on the court as a really big jerk.  Theres just no way around that.  But that doesnt mean I will stop rooting for him.  It just means that I sometimes have to take him with a large grain of salt.  I dont like or always support everything he does, but I admit I give him more leash than I would if he was on any other team. 
I find myself thinking about my new son.  When he grows up and Lord willing starts to play basketball, KG will long since have retired.  But if he was old enough to play now, would I point to KG and tell him to model himself after him?  Absolutely not.  Rather, I would use him as an example of what it looks like when you allow yourself to be controlled too much by your emotion.  The same passion and competitiveness that drive him are what send him over the top.   It seems like he almost cant control himself after a certain point.  And thats scary. 
So what gives?  Why is he like this?  By all accounts hes a very sweet, funny, caring, and of course loyal guy to those hes close to off the court.  His teammates love him and hes very charismatic when he wants to be.  His story has been told what hes allowed people to see at least and I seem to remember there being someone that betrayed him early on, so now he doesnt trust other people and stays very private.  He also was greatly impacted by losing former teammate Malik Sealy.  I get that, but we all have losses in our lives.   Weve all been hurt or wronged in the past and Im not judging anyone on how they cope.  But just the same, we own our actions and how we react to those hurts and wrongs is on us.  Same goes for Kevin.
via Kevin Garnett Is a Jerk, But Hes Our Jerk - CelticsBlog.

The author, Jeff Clark, goes on to discuss how he'll continue to support Garnett because he's a fan.  And he should! And Garnett will likely continue acting the way he has. And he should! He's gotten away with it. If you can get into your opponent's head, fire yourself up, put more attention on yourself and vent your "intensity" or whatever, why not? 

That's the real issue in this situation. Garnett keeps doing what he does because the league almost never reacts to it out of some weird preferential treatment of Garnett. It's not because he's a superstar. It doesn't help Dwight Howard or Amar'e Stoudemire out of the messes they make. And it's not a matter of it being Boston (though their involvement in the Lakers-Celtics matchup probably steered the league away from suspending Garnett for hitting Channing Fry in the junk).  Plenty of big-market stars get tabbed with suspensions for their behavior. Instead, the league seems to at once feel bad for Garnett having been wasted in Minnesota for so long, and seek to hold him up as some sort of over-dramatic ideal. As we've talked about before, instead of Garnett abandoning Minnesota, it's seen as him escaping an unfair situation that held him down for too long. Even Minnesota fans continue to support Garnett, not just in this issue, but in his behavior, saying how you have to "get him." 

A lot of people feel like the new criticism of Garnett is unfair, that no one had a problem with it when he was in Minnesota, and it's only now that he's on a winning team that people like to throw stones. And maybe that's true. Or maybe it's because the internet wasn't the vast teeming system of displaced criticism it is now, and that having YouTube and message boards and blogs and League Pass Broadband means we see Garnett up close and personal a lot more, and some don't like what they see. He wants to hit himself or smash his head into a stanchion? Go ahead. But undercutting players, tapping them in the junk, and touching officials is stuff that falls far beyond what Dwight Howard and Stephen Jackson are routinely getting assessed fines and technicals for. 

Garnett won't apologize. Nor should he. How is he to know he's done anything wrong if the league continues to act as if he's done right?  As long as the league continues to allow Garnett to act however he wants without consequences for any subsequent games or even a fine, he should continue to press the limits. That's just getting the edge on your opponent, by any means available.
Category: NBA
Posted on: February 4, 2011 7:14 pm
 

Kevin Garnett: no apology for dirty play on Frye

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett writes that he will not apologize for his dirty play against the Phoenix Suns. Posted by Ben Golliver.
kevin-garnett-channing-frye

Last week, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett was ejected from a game against the Phoenix Suns following an argument that began when Garnett slide under Suns big man Channing Frye and contacted him in the genitals during a jump shot attempt. Garnett was not suspended for the incident, and the NBA explained the ejection resulted from multiple technical fouls assessed for arguing and yelling after the play, rather than the dirty play itself.

WEEI.com notes a recent blog post written by Garnett, on the website of his Chinese shoe manufacturer. Garnett writes that he "never apologizes" for his action and explained the incident by saying "I play with passion." 
We ”played a back-to-back in Phoenix. This game was physical as well and super ugly. I never apologize for my actions, as I play with passion. I actually got ejected for (the ref said) ‘talking too much.’  Can you believe that? It was unfortunate, and I hate to leave my team out there without being around to support them. Doc [Rivers] got ejected and then fined $15,000 for not leaving the court in a timely manner. A TIMELY MANNER. WOW. The game ended, and we got worked over. It could’ve been the back-to-back and travel, but they played well.”
We probably shouldn't expect any more or less of Garnett, who has a well established track record of pushing the envelope on the court in the name of obtaining a competitive advantage and then sticking to his guns after the fact. 

Here, given the flagrant violation of NBA etiquette, Garnett is simply thumbing his nose at his critics and daring those who are indifferent to think less of him. A Frank Sinatra-esque "My Way" philosophy is almost always admirable, but not here, where both Garnett's actions and his indifference to his violations of generally regarded conduct norms are regrettable. 

Garnett, a surefire Hall of Famer and an NBA All-Star this year, should be better than this pettiness and stubbornness.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Nuts and bolts




Posted by Matt Moore

In today's Friday 5 with KB: All-Star snubs, the upcoming CBA talks, and the league's policy on, ahem ... man-parts.

1. Interesting note from Donnie Walsh yesterday, mentioning that he's more concerned about the trade deadline, among other things, rather than his contract future. Your Post-Ups today cover Walsh's situation in detail, but it still begs the question: Do you think the Knicks are making a move before the deadline? (Shotout to Antonio on Twitter for the question.)

I think the chances are fairly high -- great than 90 percent -- that the Knicks make some sort of trade before the deadline. Not necessarily a Carmelo trade, although that's still possible, but some kind of trade to either give Amar'e some help in the front court, upgrade backup point guard, or replenish future draft picks that were lost in Walsh's monumental effort to get the Knicks under the cap and with roster and cap flexibility for the next two years. Walsh totally deserved the two-year contract extension Jim Dolan just gave him. Wait, what? Dolan hasn't even decided whether to exercise Walsh's option, which comes due April 30? Oh. Oh, that is really bad. Please refer to Post-Ups later in the day Friday for an explanation of Walsh's limbo and where the 'Bockers stand in trade talks.

2. Well, Ken, the coaches didn't heed your words. They took Tim Duncan over LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. Was that the most egregious selection or was there another that bugged you more?

I felt really good about the rest of the picks -- both mine and the coaches', since other than Duncan they were the same. At the end of the day, it's hard to get too bent out of shape over an immortal player getting a lifetime achievement vote to the All-Star team. So I won't be mad about Love getting snubbed until the commissioner snubs him as Yao's injury replacement. Then I'll be mad at the commissioner. It would've been nice to find a spot for Aldridge, too, as well as Josh Smith. Those were the most deserving guys who didn't make it, in my estimation.

3. So the CBA talk is in two weeks at All-Star weekend. Some are predicting the apocalypse. Some are predicting a peaceful, productive meeting. We had a phalanx of All-Stars blow off the day of service to make a statement at the bargaining table last year. What do you think we're going to get this year?

Probably a lot of rhetoric, and a lame/tame bargaining session that will mostly be symbolic. Not a whole lot of actual negotiating and work will get done due to the nature of the weekend. It seems like time is running out, but actually there is still plenty of time left for the lawyers and number-crunchers to figure all of this out. So in terms of developments, I'd like to see a small concession or baby step forward by each side. For example, if David Stern says the owners won't lock the players out immediately on July 1 if there is reasonable expectation of an agreement, and if Billy Hunter says the players are willing to give up the mid-level exception, those would be small but important signs of good faith on both sides. If both sides remain absolutely entrenched in their positions, the All-Star bargaining session and accompanying news conferences will be a waste of time.

4. Tom Thibodeau's defense has been so superb this year. And he hasn't been at full strength outside of more than a few weeks. Are we overlooking Chicago penciling in Miami or Orlando for the Eastern Finals? 

Given Orlando's defensive struggles and identity crisis at the moment, I think it's fair to say that the Bulls shouldn't be overlooked as a candidate to upset Miami and meet the Celtics in the conference finals. Chicago has the two ingredients that could pull that off -- outstanding team defense, as you mentioned, and an outlandish talent in Derrick Rose, who is good enough to win a playoff series by himself. Having said that, I plan to be in Boston next Sunday for the Heat-Celtics, and I fully expect that to be a preview of the conference finals.

5. Kevin Garnett tapped a guy in the man parts. Eddie House intimated that he has sizable man parts. Kevin Garnett was neither fined, nor suspended. Eddie House was fined. Does the NBA need to re-examine its junk policy or am I completely nuts? 

I have not queried Stu Jackson about the, um, nuts and bolts of these decisions. But knowing how the league office views such things, I believe the distinction was that Garnett's actions came during the course of a basketball play -- defending a 3-point shot, however dirty those defensive tactics were. Garnett got ejected, and that punishment fit the crime. (Easy for me to say.) House's actions fell under the category of excessive celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct -- similar to barking at the opposing bench or standing over a fallen opponent and talking about his mama. So that's the difference.

Have a burning NBA question you need answered? Email us at cbssportsnba@gmail.com, or drop Ken a question for the Friday 5 on Twitter at@cbssportsnba . 
Posted on: February 3, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:02 pm
 

NBA All-Star Reserves: West and East rosters

A constantly updated list of the 2011 NBA All-Star reserves. Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

As the NBA All-Star reserves are inevitably leaked in advance of the 7 p.m. ET announcement, we'll have updates for you. The full rosters have now been announced.

Update 7:00 p.m. EST: Yao Ming's Replacement

Finally, Yahoo! Sports also notes that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is the favorite to replace Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is injured. 

Update 6:49 p.m. EST: Western Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Western Conference All-Star team as reserves: 

Update 6:45 p.m. EST: Eastern Conference Reserves

Yahoo! Sports reports the following players have been named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team as reservers: 

Update 6:05 p.m. EST: Kevin Garnett

Like Gasol, we found that Garnett has a page built, along with previously leaked Rajon Rondo. 

Garnett will make it at least two Celtics reserves, with more on the way most likely. Garnett's been playing at a near MVP level with the impact he has on both sides of the floor. He's been his usual dominant, crazy self on defense, and his inside post moves have returned in addition to his mid-range jumper on the pick and pop. He's arguably the biggest reason the Celts have laid waste to the league this season. 

No other prospective reserves have such pages built, as of yet. These definitely don't confirm that they've been selected as All-Stars, but considering the three posted now are locks, they look pretty legit. We'll keep you posted. 

Update 6:01 p.m. EST: Pau Gasol


Someone is either running live screen tests or they jumped the gun. Hoopshype discovered that Pau Gasol has a page built for him as an All-Star. 

Gasol's a no-brainer, as he's arguably the best player on the Lakers, and that's saying something considering, you know, Kobe Bryant. Either way he's the biggest reason for the Lakers' past two championships outside Bryant, and is widely considered to be the best active big man in the game. Odds are good he might wind up replacing Yao Ming as a starter at center, despite his power forward designation.

Rajon Rondo


Yahoo! Sports reports that Rondo will be named an All-Star Reserve. The word you're looking for is ... "duh."  Rondo leads the league in assists per game and Assist Ratio (percentage of possessions ending in an assist). He's the starting point guard for the best team in the Eastern Conference and he does things like this:



Whether the Celtics send three or four , we all agreed, Rondo needs to go. He's the obvious choice. 
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 6:59 pm
 

All-Star Debate: How many Celtics deserve to go?

Do Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce all deserve to represent the Boston Celtics during the 2011 NBA All-Star game? Our NBA crew debates that question. Posted by Ben Golliver.

celtics-four

All-Star reserves will be announced on Thursday, and par for the course, the coaches have some tough decisions. We'll be debating the merits of each choice the coaches will have to make. These debates don't necessarily reflect the actual opinions of the writers. Think of it as opposition research, only if we opposed everyone. Our second debate? Do all four Celtics deserve to make the cut?  

Sugar Ray Isn't Sweet Enough

by Matt Moore

I'll go with three, exempting Ray Allen.

We can all agree Rondo is a lock. I think it's safe to say Kevin Garnett has punched his ticket with his season so far. So if we're not sending four, which isn't a bad idea, it comes down to Paul Pierce vs. Ray Allen.  It's true that Allen's been phenomenal, hitting 45% from the perimeter. I've got no issue with him being in the three point contest... versus himself. He's an incredible weapon for the Celtics, having a stellar year.

But the fact remains that Pierce is the better overall player, even this season. Pierce is actually shooting slightly better than Allen from the field (51.2% for Pierce vs. 50.5% for Allen), slightly, and also shooting above 40% from the perimeter. Additionally,Pierce's role in the offense makes it more difficult to maintain that kind of efficiency. Pierce drives into traffic more often, takes step-back jumpers more often, and creates off the dribble with contested shots more often. 

Pierce's total contribution is higher as well, as he rebounds more efficiently and assists and turns the ball over at a similar rate as Allen. Beyond all this, though, Pierce is more tapped in to the emotional core of the Celtics. Allen is the cooler head to prevail, the friendly statesman. But Pierce is the bridge between Garnett's unbridled intensity and Allen's cool, calm personality. He's the franchise player of the C's and his play and player identity is worthy of All-Star status yet again this season.

The Captain Stays Home

by Royce Young

There's no doubt Rajon Rondo is an All-Star. The only question with him is if you think he should rightly be the starter in this game. 

Garnett? His numbers aren't huge but his value to the Celtics is immeasurable. His defense, his leadership and his ability to take over each game he's in makes him not just an All-Star, but an underrated MVP candidate. 

Ray Allen and Paul Pierce have both been completely fantastic this season but here's where we have to draw a line in the sand. Four Celtics just can't be on this team. Not that it's not deserved but four players from one team is a bit much. (Plus, three from Miami and four from Boston? That's more than half the roster!)

So the question comes to, Pierce or Allen? Who is more deserving? To me, it has to be Ray Allen. 

Allen's 3-point percentage is impressive enough (45 percent) but it's become more than that for him. He's an underrated defender at shooting guard and is a big reason Rondo is an All-Star. Allen doesn't have a lot of years left on his career, but this is no doubt one of his finer campaigns. He's hitting every big shot, playing well within the system and is such a dynamic weapon for one of the league's very best teams. 

It's not about numbers here for Allen, it's about his efficiency. Pierce is absolutely deserving, but since I've decided for some reason that three is enough, the nod just has to go to Allen. 

Send Them All

by Ben Golliver

The Eastern Conference, by and large, is a cyst upon the NBA yet again. 5.5 good teams (The Knicks get half credit for Amar'e Stoudemire) does not make a conference, and in filling out the All-Star roster, I'm all for pretending that the other 9.5 teams don't exist. Yes, I realize this co-signs the superpower movement that the Miami Heat kicked in to high gear, but in a popularity contest like the All-Star game, it's an acceptable lesser of two evils when compared to rewarding players that can't carry their teams above the pile of mediocrity.

The Boston Celtics aren't just above mediocre, either. Despite injuries to key players, they're the best and most feared team in the conference, by far. They play basketball the right way on both ends -- unselfishly on offense, intensely on defense -- and all of the key pieces make it work. (It's a testament to their overall talent level and dedication that they're able to keep chugging along when one of the key four players goes down.) 

Point guard Rajon Rondo should arguably be an All-Star starter, so he makes the cut without question. Ditto for Kevin Garnett, who has played excellently, if not always with class. And I'm struggling to come up with an argument against Pierce or Allen. Both Pierce -- with 19.2 points, 5 rebounds and 3.2 assists -- and Allen -- 17.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists -- have solid statistical cases. Both have started every game for Boston and have logged more minutes than anyone save Rondo, who is much younger than either of them. 

Whether its team success, past playoff triumphs, raw numbers or star power, the Celtics have every argument covered. All four deserve to go.

Posted on: January 31, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Kevin Garnett harshly tells off Laker ball boy

Posted by Royce Young

Just a couple days from possibly disrupting Channing Frye's ability to make children and a few months removed from alledgedly calling Charlie Villanueva a "cancer patient," Kevin Garnett did something new.

Nothing surprising for Garnett, but something new. After yesterday's Lakers/Celtics game, both Yahoo's Marc Spears and ESPN's J.A. Adande tweeted that when asked for his autograph, Garnett told a Lakers ball boy "you've got a better chance of catching Bin Laden."

If you're desperately trying to take offense to the comment itself, don't. There's nothing wrong with it. It was clever, really.

But this is just another example of what a jerk Garnett is. I know you're thinking, "Well, it's the Lakers and the Celtics hate the Lakers." No, it's every team. Andrew Bogut tweeted about Garnett's comment saying, "Little better than what he told one of our ball boys." And having a couple friends that are ball boys in Oklahoma City, I have heard similar stories about Garnett telling off autograph seekers in a not nice way.

I guess it says something about Garnett not caring about image in any way, shape or form. Obviously, he doesn't care what we think about him. I suppose that's admirable in some weird way. It also says he's a mean person to anyone that's not a teammate, family member or friend.

The tweets were deleted from both writers' accounts, but the reason isn't what you might it is. Both told Deadspin that the overwhelming number of retweets and responses was so big that it made their phones unusable. So they deleted the tweet since the news was already out there.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 30, 2011 8:54 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2011 6:42 am
 

The Game Changer: Celtics roll Lakers in L.A.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in LA while the Miami Heat ruffled Kevin Durant's feathers, pulling out the road win in Oklahoma City. Also, Eddie House did a ridiculous dance, Kevin Garnett was bleeding profusely from the head and the best of an amazing night from Blake Griffin. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: CELTICS TAKE IT SERIOUS, MAKE IT PERSONAL

All the numbers leading up to Sunday's showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics said it should be a nail biter, but the Celtics managed a fairly commanding road win. Simply put, they looked like the more focused, cohesive team on both ends of the floor and their defense turned it up another notch in the second half, after allowing a mini-explosion from Lakers star Kobe Bryant in the second quarter.

To say that Boston is the better team right now is not a stretch at all. Neither is saying they wanted this game more. That starts with Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, of course, who has Boston's all-time record against the Lakers stitched into his shoes, as we noted earlier this week , and who, according to Yahoo! Sports , refused a Lakers' ballboy's autograph request, saying, "You got a better chance of catching Bin Laden."

It's been a chippy road trip for the Celtics, who jawed with the Blazers on Thursday night before nearly fighting with the Suns on Friday. Garnett had his head bloodied in the first half by a Pau Gasol elbow (see picture below), but it didn't matter, as Boston's balanced attack and focused and disciplined team defense was more than enough to overcome the Kobe Bryant show. 

Boston's four All-Stars all showed up (Paul Pierce had 32, Garnett had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Ray Allen had 21 points on just 12 shots and Rajon Rondo scored 10 points and dished out 16 assists) and so did the Celtics bench, outscoring the Lakers', 28-24. That Boston was able to slam the door in crunch time so effectively is what will please coach Doc Rivers the most, as he's still without a fully healthy Kendrick Perkins. As a playoff preview and mid-season litmus test, this is everything Rivers and Celtics fans could have asked for.

How concerned should Los Angeles be? There's reason for consternation, as we've all been to this movie before. Bryant -- who finished with 41 points but zero assists -- doing it all and then attempting to do it all when he doesn't feel like he's getting the support he needs. It's a problem LA has overcome before so it's certainly not insurmountable, but LA's overall intensity, especially in the second half, wasn't fit for the task.

Of course, it's January, but it's hard to keep perspective when there is so much pride on the line. 

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Kobe Bryant: 41 points, three rebounds, zero assists on 16-29 shooting in 38 minutes in a Los Angeles Lakers home loss to the Boston Celtics.

Paul Pierce: 32 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block, one steal in 41 minutes in a Boston Celtics road win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kevin Durant:  33 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, four steals on 7-20 shooting in 40 minutes in an Oklahoma City Thunder home loss to the Miami Heat.

LeBron James:  23 points, four rebounds, 13 assists, four steals, three blocks on 7-14 shooting in 40 minutes in a Miami Heat road win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Dwight Howard:  20 points, 20 rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks on 9-13 shooting in 26 minutes in an Orlando Magic home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

DON'T MISS:


EDDIE HOUSE CANS THREE-POINTER, DOES SILLY DANCE:

There was a very interesting sequence near the end of Sunday's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat. Trailing by one point with roughly 40 seconds to play, Miami Heat guard missed a jumper, but the Heat corralled the offensive rebound. With the game on the line, Heat forward LeBron James considered taking a potential game-winning attempt, but instead passed to Heat guard Eddie House, who was wide open near the right corner. 

House buried the three -- saving James a whole bunch of second-guessing -- and then decided to do a somewhat inappropriate dance meant to reflect the size of his genitalia to celebrate his accomplishment. Have a look at the tape.  



WHIMSY:

During the first half of Sunday's game between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett took an elbow to the head from Lakers big man Pau Gasol, and the blood was streaming all over his face. Pretty intense, even by KG's standards.

kg-blood

HIGHLIGHT REEL:

Here's the best of Blake Griffin from the weekend. Both plays come from Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Charlotte Bobcats, which Griffin's Clippers won, 103-88.

First up is a 50-foot alley-oop from guard Randy Foye to Blake Griffin. Enough said.



Next up: an insanely pretty reverse spin move that led to a lay-up plus one. Not sure how many players in the NBA can pull this off, but it's a very, very short list that doesn't include any other big men. My goodness.


FINAL THOUGHT:

The only thing standing in between the Boston Celtics and the NBA Finals right now is complacency. They are, by far, the team that people least want to face in a seven-game series right now, and they're not even fully healthy. 
Posted on: January 30, 2011 6:18 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 6:22 pm
 

At the buzzer: Celtics 109, Lakers 96

The Boston Celtics ran away from the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of Sunday's game. Posted By Ben Golliver. paul-pierce-celtics-lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers held a halftime lead, but the Boston Celtics ran away with the game in the third quarter, winning the first rematch of the 2010 NBA Finals, 109-96, in Los Angeles.

Paul Pierce netted 14 points in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to pull Boston back into the lead, and a Lakers offense that had been powered by Kobe Bryant simply couldn't keep pace, scoring just 18 points as a team in the third quarter.

Down the stretch, Bryant pulled the Lakers back to within single digits -- 98-89 -- with a jumper with a little under four minutes to play, but the Celtics slammed the door convincingly, going on a 9-2 run over the next three minutes to ice the game. 

The story of the game was Boston's defense. Other than the 33 point explosion from Los Angeles in the second quarter, the Lakers scored 21 points in the first quarter, 18 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the final period. Bryant finished with an impressive 41 points, but his backcourt mates were virtual no-shows, as Steve Blake and Derek Fisher combined for just nine points on nine shots. Ron Artest was also a non-factor, scoring just three points on 1-10 shooting.

Pierce carried most of the offensive load for the Celtics, finishing with 32 points, five rebounds and three assists. Ray Allen finished with 21 points, Kevin Garnett added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo notched a double-double with 10 points and 16 assists.

With the win, Boston improves to 36-11. The Lakers drop to 33-15, losing their second consecutive game.

The Celtics continue their current road trip with a game against the Kings in Sacramento on Tuesday night. The Lakers next play against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com