Someone forgot to tell Boston they don’t have Rajon Rondo or Jared Sullinger for the rest of this season. The Celtics ran off their fourth straight win after losing their All-Star starter point guard a week ago by devouring the short-handed Clippers, then holding on for dear life at the end, 106-104. One Caron Butler dunk aside (we’ll get to that in a second), the Celtics were clearly the dominant team in the first half and even led by 19. When the the second half started, all of that was turned upside down. DeAndre Jordan (12 points) got to the line a couple times and made shots, Blake Griffin (20 points, 11 boards) jumped a lazy Kevin Garnett (12 points, five boards) pass on the wing for a steal and dunk, and eight points disappeared from Boston’s cushion quickly. Fast forward to the final minute, after Eric Bledsoe got the lead within two, when Avery Bradley took a huge charge from Jamal Crawford, only to have The Truth (22 points, six turnovers) go step-back triple in Matt Barnes’ eye for a 106-101 lead that would hold up. … Bledsoe wasn’t a Chris Paul clone at point (dribbled off his foot, got caught in the air once with one second left on the shot clock) but played probably his best all-around game of the season with 23 points, 10 dimes and seven boards. He’s so freakishly athletic you’d think confidence would just spew from him like a blown water main but he plays with serious ebbs and flows. Hope he plays like that when CP3 returns, too. … Butler raised eyebrows with his bush-league steal off a high-five fake to end the Clips’ loss to Toronto, but his dunk over KG was a better reason for attention Sunday. Getting past Pierce from the corner isn’t all that hard anymore but there’s much respect here for Butler’s hops. Still, it was also kind of awkward, considering The Sporting News reports the Clips and Celtics are talking about a trade for Garnett with Butler and Bledsoe involved. And here all along we thought Ainge would send Pierce back to his L.A. home if anyone was getting dealt … Unless you’re Garnett, you have to like hearing this bit of good news from San Antonio: Spurs forward Tim Duncan doesn’t have any structural damage in his left knee or right ankle after an MRI and is “day to day.” We really didn’t want Timmay’s season to end because of Martell Webster. … Hit the jump to read about the rarest of Steve Nash plays. …
Smack / Feb 4, 2013 / 12:12 am
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