The Boston Celtics escaped another very close game once again, as they defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-93 after overcoming a double-digit deficit midway thought the fourth quarter. The Celtics have now won two straight games heading into Wednesday's clash against the Western Conference leading San Antonio Spurs.
The Celtics showed throughout the game how much they miss Kevin Garnett. With Glen Davis starting at power forward, this allowed Timberwolves forward Kevin Love to dominate the boards. Love finished with a total of 24 rebounds, an unheard of amount. Love flat out dominated the C's on the boards.
The Celtics trailed nearly the entire game until midway through the fourth when the offense began clicking, and the Timberwolves fell apart defensively. The Celtics proved once again that they are one of the best teams in the NBA in the fourth quarter, and that they never except defeat.
Paul Pierce turned in another great performance as he scored a game-high 23 points for the Celtics in 37 minutes of play. Pierce helped the Celtics cut the Minnesota lead to 73-70 entering the fourth quarter thanks to 11 straight Boston points at the end of the third quarter.
Ray Allen also turned in a solid performance with 20 points including being 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Allen turned in his second straight 20+ point performance, which has been very key for Boston with the absence of Kevin Garnett.
Monday marked Rajon Rondo's second game back after missing time with an ankle sprain. Although he only turned in a mere six points Monday night, he returned to his old self as a distributor; dishing out 16 assists. Four of Rondo's six points came with under two minutes to go in the forth quarter, two of which put the Celtics in the lead late in the game.
Even though Glen Davis was clearly outmatched on the boards by Kevin Love, he turned in another solid performance offensively in place of the injured Garnett. Davis scored 17 points, on 7 of 15 shooting. Davis only played 29 minutes, allowing rookie Luke Harangody a season-high 16 minutes off the bench.
Shaquille O'Neal had a solid performance as he turned in a nine point performance. Shaq did not fall into foul trouble as he did against the Raptors on Sunday night, but once again split time with Jermaine O'Neal, turning in 30 minutes of play.
Off the bench for the Celtics, Von Wafer had a rare outburst as he turned in 10 points off the bench, including six rebounds, which was good enough for best on the team Monday night. Wafer had yet to have a double-digit performance this year with Boston, and likely won't see those numbers with Delonte West on the trail back to the bench.
The Celtics, the Eastern Conference's best team sqaures off with the Western Conference's best team, the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night at the TD Garden. Tip-off is expected to be at 7:30 p.m. EST.