Boston Celtics fans have grown accustomed to the triple-double on the team’s stats sheet, but those consistent numbers usually come from All-star point guard Rajon Rondo who has been lost for the season. In his absence, it is Celtic Captain Paul Pierce who is posting triple-doubles. On Sunday night Pierce recorded 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists as the Boston Celtics fought their way to their 7th straight victory over the equally hot Denver Nuggets.
The 118-114 triple overtime victory has the surprising Celtics undefeated since the loss of Rondo. The toughness and togetherness that the team exhibited during Sunday night’s game was the type of basketball the team needs in order to overcome the void left by Rondo.
Paul Pierce’s heroic efforts, despite struggling throughout the night from the field, caught the attention of Kevin Garnett who added 20 points and 18 rebounds in a grueling 47 minutes.
“The NBA’s finest at its best,” said Garnett. “This was a tough game.”
It was the kind of game the Celtics would’ve eventually lost earlier in the season. But behind Pierce and Garnett, who scored 6 of his 20 points in the final overtime, these Celtics are finding ways to win games. Most importantly, the team has received inspired play from players such as Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jeff Green.
Pierce who drained a big three pointer at the end of the first overtime and recorded his second triple-double in seven games spoke of his teams new found resilience. Pierce told the Boston Globe:
“Roles Expand. I know what I’m capable of, but when you have a guy like Rondo, not as much is needed from you because you have another guy who can do so many things also. So, I think with him out, the roles are going to change. I’m going to be more of a facilitator for this ball club, and you know it’s got to come from not only me, it’s going to come from a number of guys.”
The teams has associated itself with balance during this win streak as every player who gets minutes has the opportunity and has been contributing.
This renewed energy and excitement has been a treat to fans and last night’s thrilling triple overtime victory was another treat for the fans after enduring a blizzard.
Those who showed up at TD Garden were definitely rewarded with inspired basketball and another victory. Not to mention fifteen extra minutes of NBA basketball.