– The Bobcats’ 59 points, in addition to being a franchise low, is tied for the third fewest points scored by a Celtics opponent in the shot clock era.
– Charlotte was 0-for-10 from 3-point range and 13-for-25 (52 percent) from the line.
– Bobcats starters were 11-for-43 (25.6 percent) from the floor and had just five assists against 14 turnovers.
The first question Doc Rivers was asked in his post-game press conference was predictably about his defense, prompting the ever-jovial Rivers to laugh before responding:
“I thought it was great. I thought obviously we were very active early, tons of deflections. We keep that number and it was extremely high at halftime, and I thought we carried it over.”
The one bit of worry after the game was on the condition of Kevin Garnett, who took an awkward tumble before leaving the game in the third quarter. Garnett dashed any concerns by joking after the game that he had slid into second base and was safe.
“My first intention was to get back and run and I saw Paul and Rondo on the break and I thought, you know what, they’ve got that,” Garnett said.
Rivers said he was planning on taking Garnett out at that time anyway with the Celtics leading by 30.
I’ll have a little more on the Celtics’ defense in a feature piece coming up. Check back on Friday when the Celtics host Chicago in a rematch of their memorable playoff meeting last spring. Game time is 8:00 p.m. and we’ll have everything for you here.
Final, Celtics 92-59: All the talk after this one will be on the Celtics defensive effort, which held the Bobcats to a franchise-low 59 points (previous low was 62) and has made quite a statement through the first two games.
Ray Allen led a balanced attack with 18 points for the Celtics. Rajon Rondo had 10 points, 11 assists and just one turnover in 30 sparkling minutes.
Charlotte was “led” by Gerald Wallace with just 10 points.
Keep it here for post-game reaction and more on a defensive showcase at TD Garden.
Fourth quarter, 2:23, Celtics 86-56: “Gino” just appeared on the big screen, and a brand new Celtic seemed a bit thrown off by the reaction.
As he stepped to the line, Shelden Williams heard the roar of the crowd when the traditional victory dance was displayed on the big screen, and then did a double-take as he looked above.
Williams then missed a free throw.
Fourth quarter, 2:51, Celtics 86-56: Eddie House finally got into the act for the Celtics by making a shot from just inside the arc. He is the ninth Celtic to score, and just followed up his first basket with a 3-pointer, the club’s 11th.
Charlotte remains 0-for-9 from long range.
Fourth quarter, 5:43, Celtics 76-50: We’re firmly into garbage time as Lester Hudson and J.R. Giddens have made their way into the game for the Celtics.
The Bobcats finally reached the 50-point mark on a basket by Gerald Henderson. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that they could fall short of matching the Patriots’ total against Tennessee two Sundays ago.
Something to look for down the stretch.
Fourth quarter, 8:40, Celtics 71-45: With a 26-point advantage on the scoreboard, it’s interesting to note that the Celts have hit nine 3-pointers to the Bobcats’ zero, a difference of 27 points.
Not that the math is that easy, but it’s worth noting.
Fourth quarter, 9:24, Celtics 69-45: The Celtics’ bench, so instrumental in the operner, has almost not been needed against Charlotte.
Thus far the C’s reserves have combined for just seven points – six by Rasheed Wallace – and have provided only one free throw since the first quarter.
Not that it matters much now.
End of third quarter, Celtics 67-41: It’s just a formality now, but barring a miracle the Celtics will cruise to their second win in as many nights and they’re doing so on the strength of one of the best defensive efforts in quite some time, at least statistically.
The Bobcats are shooting 28 percent from the floor, have 19 turnovers and just six assists and have yet to get a player into double digits.
Boston has four such players, led Ray Allen’s 16.
Third quarter, 1:05, Celtics 66-38: After shooting just 3-for-15 from the floor in the first quarter, the Bobcats apparently weren’t pleased.
They’re doing their best to top it, posting a 2-for-15 showing thus far in the third.
Third quarter, 1:54, Celtics 65-38: Kendrick Perkins, who is battling with Tyson Chandler up and down the floor (and winning the battles against a listless Chandler) just picked up his first technical of the season.
Perkins was second in the league last season in technicals. The Celts already have three on the season.
Amazingly enough, none have been whistled on Rasheed Wallace.
Third quarter, 3:30, Celtics 63-33: A few commenters asked about the crowd. It is predictably pretty charged up here.
I have to say that people have been as excited for Rasheed Wallace as anyone else. It’s amazing how quickly we forget,eh?
A free throw has just given the Celts a 30-point lead and the Bobcats are getting frustrated. Center Tyson Chandler, who looks miserable in his return from ankle surgery, just picked up a technical.
Chandler is scoreless in 19 minutes.
Third quarter, 5:08, Celtics 62-33: This is suddenly getting a bit ugly, but Bobcats rookie Gerald Henderson just broke a 20-0 Celtics run with his first points as a pro.
Henderson, whose father of the same name was a member of two Celtics championship teams, saw his moment of glory lost amid another 5-0 burst by Boston.
Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer and then had a dunk to account for the run, forcing Bobcats coach Larry Brown to call timeout.
Third quarter, 7:30, Celtics 54-31: I take it all back. As I typed that last post there were a few nice sets run by the C’s, and then a highlight-reel play that saw Kevin Garnett find Rajon Rondo, who scooped it to a wide-open Kendrick Perkins for a reverse jam.
The Celts are on a 17-0 run overall and the Bobcats remain scoreless in the half.
Third quarter, 7:56, Celtics 52-31: This is an odd game as the Celtics don’t appear to be playing their best, showcasing some sloppy possessions.
But Kevin Garnett just converted to give them their largest lead, and then pushed it up to 21 with a jumper on a feed from Paul Pierce.
Halftime, Celtics 42-31: A little behind-the-scenes nugget – there is a lot of talk in the back halls about the Phillies-Yankees World Series matchup.
A few cheers went up when word went around that Chase Utley had given the Phils an early lead.
And on that baseball note, we are underway in the second half.
Halftime, Celtics 42-31: The young season has seen a rough formula thrown together by the Celtics – defense and long-range shooting.
After burying 9-of-19 3-pointer in the win over the Cavaliers, the Celts are 7-for-17 from the arc in this one.
Ray Allen has four of the 3’s and Rasheed Wallace two.
Boston has forced 10 turnovers thus far and has six blocked shots to the Bobcats’ one, but Charlotte holds a 25-17 rebounding edge.
There is a one-man Village People show for halftime entertainment right now. Kind of hard to explain.
We’ll be back shortly for the second half action.
Second quarter, 1:01: Celtics 42-31: Another 3-pointer by Ray Allen, a block by Kendrick Perkins and a 24-second violation has put the Celts back in control.
Second quarter, 3:23: Celtics, 37-29: Sorry folks. Had a computer meltdown here in section 18.
I’m back up and running now.
While we were away the Bobcats got to within three but Ray Allen’s third 3-pointer fueled a mini-run.
Kavin Garnett just preceded a timeout by swatting a shot out of bounds. That’s the Celtics’ fourth blocked shot of the night, the second for Garnett.
Second quarter, 9:19, Celtics 28-17: We’re seeing the Celtics’ second unit again, with Ray Allen the lone starter, a lineup Doc Rivers often uses.
Last night in Cleveland, the reserves dominated the Cavs’ bench. Rivers went so far as to say they “saved” the C’s after the starters looked so flat out of the gate.
Allen, after missing his first four shots, has buried back-to-ck 3-pointers.
The Bobcats are shooting 5-for-18 from the floor.
End of first quarter, Celtics 22-13: A dominating first quarter for the C’s, who limited the Bobcats to just three field goals.
If Charlotte is in this thing late we may be able to point to a few chippies the Celts missed in close, but it’s not likely.
First quarter, 2:40, Celtics 19-10: Before he took his first shot as a Celtic, Rasheed Wallace heard the “Sheeeed” chant, which he turned into a roar by burying a 3-pointer from the top to fuel a quick 7-0 burst by the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo is abusing the Bobcats early, most notably Raymond Felton. He has six points, two rebounds and two steals and just capped the Celts’ run with a layup.
First quarter, 4:38, Celtics 12-6: It was interesting to see how many heads turned and people stood up when Kevin Garnett took his first tumble of the game on a rebound.
It’s also of interest how quickly the Celtics fans have taken to Rasheed Wallace, a former villain in this house.
Paul Pierce was just whistled for a technical foul, but for the second time already the Bobcats missed the foul shot.
First quarter, 6:50, Celtics 10-2: Boris Diaw breaks the dry spell for the Bobcats with a jumper but Rajon Rondo answers to keep it an eight-point bulge.
Ray Allen has missed all four of his shots from the floor. The rest of the C’s are 5-for-6.
First quarter, 8:54, Celtics 8-0: In a complete reversal from last night when the Celtics fell behind by 14 early, they are all over the Bobcats.
Kevin Garnett has four points already and on the one possession in which the Celtics did not score, they had multiple chances due to outhustling Charlotte underneath.
The Bobcats have missed three shots, one free throw and turned the ball over four times in the first three-plus minutes. Yikes.
7:43 p.m. Paul Pierce just addressed the crowd at halfcourt, getting a rise when he said it was “time for another” title.
“Crazy Train” is playing and we’re about set to tip.
7:37 p.m.: The tip might come a little late as every player, coach and trainer is being introduced for both teams.
Oh, the lights just went down and highlights of the Celts’ win last night in Cleveland is being shown on the big screen.
Kevin Garnett screams and we’re ready to go.
7:32 p.m.: Plopped along the overflow media row well up in section 18 I have a nice view of the backs of people’s heads but little of the action.
It will get better but bear with me for some of the night.
We’re about to get started and the crowd is certainly pumped, in part because each received a green T-Shirt, courtesy of the C’s.
A nice touch.
We’re about to get starting lineups and then the tip. Stick around.
6:52 p.m.: Celtics coach Doc Rivers just got done addressing the media, commenting on the wide variety of topics that seem to follow the Celts these days.
Forward Brian Scalabrine is still out with a bum ankle and he strolled past drenched in sweat as Rivers said this:
“He’s going to dress tonight but he’s not playing…I think he’s close though.”
On Kevin Garnett and his minutes:
“Last night was pretty good (33 minutes). That’s where we expect to keep him, in that area. It’s not so much the minutes it’s the intensity. Last night was a very intense game. Emotionally. You tend to spend more in those types of games. You’re not going to get that atmosphere that you got last night. Opening night we might get another one tonight, and probably the first three or four are like that. But after that you get to playing.”
Rivers also was asked if Glen Davis had addressed the team yet in the wake of his fight this weekend and forthcoming team suspension:
“No, not yet. He’s got plenty of time. We’re not worried about that, really. We had Cleveland last night and Charlotte tonight.”
No surprises on the Celtics side of things as far as starters go. It’s Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen at guard, with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins rounding it out. For the Bobcats, coach Larry Brown has picked tabbed Raymond Felton and Stephen Graham at the top and Gerald Wallace, Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler down low.
We’re about 30 minutes from tip. Keep it here for the pre-game vibe inside the Garden, and all the in-game analysis.
11:25 a.m.: Following an impressive win at Cleveland to begin the season Tuesday, the Celtics will host Charlotte in their home opener.There won’t be any ring ceremonies or hugs from Hall of Famers like there were this time a year ago, but the C’s have to be feeling good after what they did to the Cavs.
Paul Pierce scored 10 of his 23 points down the stretch and Kevin Garnett had a double-double in his first real action since March as Boston cruised to a 95-89 win.
During their 62-win campaign last season, the Celtics actually had a little trouble with the lowly Bobcats. After taking the first of three meetings, Boston lost the second in overtime and needed two extra sessions to win the final matchup here in Boston on April Fool’s Day.
Charlotte enters the season without guard Raja Bell, out with a torn ligament in his left wrist. Also, newly acquired center Tyson Chandler will be limited as he works his way back from ankle surgery.
Rookie Gerald Henderson Jr. will make his pro debut for the Bobcats in the town where his father won two world championships. Gerald Sr. was a key cog on Celtics teams from 1979 to 1984.
We’ll be courtside bringing you all the buzz inside TD Garden. Be sure to follow along.