The Celtics entered Thursday night's game against the new-look Nuggets very short-handed following the trading of Kendrick Perkins and four other players earlier in the day. That very short-handedness cost them dearly, especially late, as the C's let Denver run them off the floor with a 16-0, game-ending run en route to an 89-75 win. It was the Nuggets second straight win since trading franchise face Carmelo Anthony to the Knicks on Monday night, but just their third of the season when scoring fewer than 100 points.
Paul Pierce led the Celts with 17 points and Kevin Garnett added 14 and 13 rebounds, but the Green shot just 39 percent from the floor and less than 26 percent in the fourth quarter. Pierce's 3-pointer with 6:30 to play would be the the Celts last bucket of the game.
Boston played with just nine available players just hours after the trades of Perkins, Nate Robinson, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody. Marquis Daniels, who is out with a spinal cord injury, was also sent packing. The lack of depth forced the Celts to call up a player from the D-league, big man Chris Johnson, who wore Erden's No. 86 and contributed six points and three blocks in 17 minutes.
The Nuggets were led by Kenyon Martin's 18 points as well as newcomer Wilson Chandler's 16. Chandler, one of the key components of the Anthony deal, shot 3-of-4 from long distance in 25 minutes. Denver's other newcomers, Danilo Galinari and Raymond Felton, fared less successfully, combining for just six points on 3-of-14 shooting.
The Celts should have Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic in uniform for Saturday night's game at the L.A. Clippers at 10:30 p.m. EST, on Comcast Sports Net New England.