Nothin’ like a Paul Pierce 20-foot jumper with .5 seconds left to beat the Hawks.
This game was so intense, it could’ve been Game 8 of last year’s playoff series. The Hawks three-point shooting (13-22) was absolutely a killer tonight. Maurice Evans (who?) and Marvin Williams shot a combined 7-9 from three…and both hit huge shots in the 4th. But the Celtics won because of Paul Pierce (45 min, 34 pts, 6 reb) and Kevin Garnett (25 pts, 12 rebounds).
This game was tied at 88 in the fourth when KG took over. (Here’s my first official Doc Rivers’ criticism of the year: Keeping Garnett on the bench until the 4:56 mark in the final quarter was a mistake). Upon entering the game, KG drained an 18-footer, got the ensuing defensive rebound, kept the ball alive after Pierce missed a jumper, pumped up the crowd and then caught a lob and layed it in. What a freakin’ sequence!!
Can’t take anything away from Superman though. Pierce was huge in the final 90 seconds. He scored on a 3-point play (driving layup and foul), made two free throws, and then hit the game-winner.
The refs were pretty bad tonight. It’s tough to bitch when they call 33 fouls on Atlanta, but Mike Bibby literally kicked Rondo in the nuts as he followed-thru on a jumper….and got the foul call because of the contact. And I won’t mention the whistle that put Joe Johnson on the free throw line with 1 minute to go despite the fact that Pierce blocked his shot clean.
“Get the ball to Paul Pierce, get the hell out the way, Superman is in the booth” – KG