Without Rajon Rondo, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, the Celtics got a triple-double from Paul Pierce (17 PTS, 13 REB, 10 AST) and an inspired Kevin Garnett (24 PTS, 11 REB, 4 AST, 3 BLK, 2 STL) as they somehow beat Miami in double overtime. This happens in all sports; a team rallies around the absence of a star (or some other misfortune) for an emotional victory in the big game. However, nobody ever won 38 for the Gipper, and that’s how many games Boston has remaining.
The fantasy fallout is complicated. Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee will start in the backcourt, with Jason Terry (13 PTS in 32 minutes) and Leandro Barbosa (9 PTS in 30 minutes) gaining value off the bench. Pierce will handle the ball more; expect a rise in both AST and TO. Unrelated to the Rondo injury, Jared Sullinger (7 PTS, 4 REB, 3 STL in 22 minutes) started ahead of Brandon Bass (6 PTS, 4 REB in 14 minutes) and if Sully stays out of foul trouble, it will be time to cut bait on Bass.
For the Heat, LeBron James (34 PTS, 16 REB, 7 AST, 3 STL) played 52 minutes, Ray Allen (21 PTS, 5 REB) was sharp against his former team and Chris Bosh (16 PTS, 16 REB) continues to crash the boards. It was not the greatest afternoon for Dwyane Wade (17 PTS, 7 AST, 4 REB) who made just six of 20 FG attempts, turned it over six times and missed a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer of the first OT.
Other January 27 Game Recaps
OKC @ LAL: The great ones can reinvent themselves. The ‘new’ Kobe Bryant is more facilitator than volume shooter, and it’s working. Mamba had a near trip-dub (21 PTS, 14 AST, 9 REB) and five other Lakers scored in double digits as they held off the Thunder for their biggest win of a mostly disappointing season. Take a quick look at the Popcorn Machine Game Flow and you’ll see that Pau Gasol (16 PTS, 4 REB, 4 AST) doesn’t start the first and third quarters, but he finishes the second and fourth. Steve Nash (17 PTS, 5 AST) and Metta World Peace (15 PTS, 10 REB) combined to hit five 3-pointers, so a poor game by Dwight Howard — 8 PTS, 10 REB, 3-7 from thr floor and a brutal 2-10 from the line — didn’t matter. Kevin Durant (35 PTS, 4 AST, 2 REB) and Russell Westbrook (17 PTS, 13 AST, 9 REB, 2 STL) needed just a bit more help; Serge Ibaka (10 PTS, 6 REB, 4 BLK) took a hard fall early and may have been shaken up, though he did play 35 minutes.
DET @ ORL: This was a good, old-fashioned shootout between gunslingers. Brandon Knight (31 PTS, 4 REB) had zero assists but hit five 3-pointers, while J.J. Redick (31 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 3 STL) drained 8-of-12 from downtown Kissimmee in the losing cause. Jameer Nelson (18 PTS, 8 AST, 6 REB) was solid for the Magic and both big men double-doubled; Nikola Vucevic (12 PTS, 17 REB, 2 BLK) and Glen Davis (17 PTS, 12 REB, 4 AST) were both strong on the glass. However, Greg Monroe (17 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST) is no slouch, and we told you the Pistons’ bench would be a factor. Will Bynum (9 PTS, 12 AST) and Charlie Villanueva (12 PTS, 5 REB) were crucial to the win, as slumping Rodney Stuckey didn’t even dress, and there’s no injury report.