Welcome to the TD BankNorth Garden where the Boston Celtics are going for NBA history tonight versus the Philadelphia 76ers. Should the Celtics win tonight, not only will it be a team record 19 in a row, but they will be the first team in league history to start a season 27-2 (they are currently tied with the 69-70 Knicks and 66-67 76ers).
It could be a bumpy start for the C’s. Traffic was so bad on Storrow Drive and 93 that only 5 players had made it to the Garden by the end of our 6 pm newscast! However, everyone is present and accounted for as we get underway. Big Baby is still on the bench in street clothes after his car accident Monday… Sam Cassell is dressed for action.
(5:10 left in the 1st) A back and forth affair so far, highlighted by a monster dunk from Philly’s Andre Iguodala, and some smooth jump shooting from Rajon Rondo. Some aesthetic items of note. The TV team of Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn have been freed from their prison behind the scorer’s table. They are now set up in the space between the courtside seats on the opposite side, where the national crews are usually based. Also, a dancing bottle of grape jelly entertained fans during a TV timeout. The bottle performed various moves, including “the Gino.” It defies explanation.
(1:52 remaining in the 1st) Early exit for Rajon Rondo, who quickly picked up a second foul. We’ll see how that affects the flow of the Celtics offense, which is now being run by Eddie House. 24-23 Celtics.
(9:08 remaining in the 2nd) Full second unit in now, with a backcourt of House and Pruitt, with Allen, Powe, and Scalabrine up front. This should be a good test to see if they can produce points without one of the Big Three in the game. Celeb update – Patriots linebacker Junior Seau, tight end Ben Watson, and HUGE Channel 5 fan Donnie Wahlberg are here.
(8:08 remaining in the 2nd) I believe we just witnessed a vicious double air ball on two free throws by Philly’s Reggie Evans. Ouch. 37-30 Celtics.
(7:01 remaining in the 2nd) Rajon Rondo just checked in for Eddie House. For the record, the Celtics added 4 points to their lead in Rondo’s absence (outscoring Philly 13-9 in about 7 minutes of play).
(3:42 remaining in the 2nd) After Philly tied the game at 37, the starters re-asserted themselves. Ray Allen hit a driving layup, and then Andre Miller got Rondo’d for two, and then Rajon fed Perk for a layup of his own, and all of a sudden it’s 44-37 and the Celtics are back in control.
Rajon Rondo adds another layup, Perk with a 3-point play, and then Miller gets Rondo’d again, for a layup that drives the crowd into a frenzy. Move over DJ and Chief – Rondo and the (Perk Is A) Beast are here. The improvement in both guys this season is remarkable, especially in Perkins’ case, considering he had to have another operation on his shoulder in the offseason. And if Rondo isn’t an All-Star, the voting process is corrupt. I love that he steps up his game against the “elite” guards in the league.
Your numbers at the break:
Rajon Rondo: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Kendrick Perkins: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 4 scowls
HALFTIME Boston 58, 76ers 44
Is there any doubt they are going to win this game?