Boston coach Doc Rivers set the scene after his Celtics’ dramatic double-OT win over Miami. It’s Sunday afternoon, the NBA’s first national matinee game of the season, and the Celtics are prepping to play Miami when the team doctor pulls him aside right before the game. Everyone’s already gone through the walkthrough and looked fine but Rivers gets the word: Rajon Rondo‘s out. No, the doc says to Doc: Rondo’s OUT. As in the rest of the season with an ACL tear from an injury suffered Friday in Atlanta. It’s an injury that surely will cripple Boston’s season and possibly result in a playoffs without either Boston or the Lakers, and an injury so sudden Paul Pierce didn’t find out about it until his post-game interview with ESPN. But before any more endgame scenarios, the Celtics had a game to play, and their 100-98 win over the Heat was an instant classic. In the final minute of regulation not only did Ray Allen (21 points) hit a fall-away triple in the corner to get within one in his first game back in Boston, but LeBron (34 points, 16 boards) hit a three to tie with just seconds left. In OT Dwyane Wade (17 points) was gifted another possession at the end by another huge Chris Bosh (16 and 16) rebound (he kept one alive for ‘Bron’s triple, too) but the refs weren’t buying his hero-ball attempt and he had to miss a fading three. Finally in double OT, KG hit a couple jumpers and the C’s took the lead, one protected by a HUGE charge taken by Pierce (17 points, 13 boards, 10 dimes) on Wade — which reminded us of Jeff Green‘s huge charge he took on Allen in the final minute of OT with the game tied at 93. While LBJ was the constant in the equation, Wade didn’t score after 6:39 left in the game while Pierce came up huge with a jumper to win it with 22 seconds … We can’t mention this game without linking to Green’s facial on Bosh. … Still, it all comes back to this even after a nice win: How in the world do the Celtics move forward without Rondo? Is this a situation that they blow up or try to hold on until next January? Is Kyle Lowry available? … Across the country, Kobe Bryant is picking up the slack in L.A. He dished 14 assists for the second game in a row while getting nine boards and 21 points in a 105-96 win over Oklahoma City. His assists were more deadly than his scoring touch late, when he found Earl Clark (11 points) and Dwight Howard for buckets as they cut into the lane while Bryant was up in the air under the basket. … We also have to note Bean got bodychecked by Kendrick Perkins and fell directly on his back and yet got up and made free throws at one point. … Russell Westbrook‘s (17 points, 13 assists) most indelible aspect of his game isn’t his athleticism but his swagger. When he’s playing poorly and can’t make a field goal until almost halftime, like Sunday, he turns into Bad Russ even more (he was 6-of-22 shooting). We liked his unnecessary jump into Kobe’s grill on a steal attempt that actually got the Thunder a free throw on a bogus Kobe technical. Russ also glared into his hometown crowd after every made shot in the second half. … Hit the jump to read about ‘Melo’s big game. …
Smack / Jan 28, 2013 / 12:36 am
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