BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics dropped to 0-2 on the season with Tuesday night’s loss to the Miami Heat, but there are some bright spots to take away from their second straight loss.
Here are some of the Ups and Downs from Tuesday night.
More from Rondo: Rajon Rondo had another strong game, putting in 22 points and 12 assists. Rondo was aggressive once again, shooting 7-for-15 from the field. He wasn’t afraid to take it to the hoop, minus one air-ball floater when he saw Dwayne Wade coming in for the block. His seven turnovers are a concern, but Rondo has helped fill the void without Paul Pierce.
Ray Allen: Allen was the Celtics high point man with 28 off 8-for-12 shooting, including six three-pointers. Without Pierce, the Celtics need a lot from Ray or Rondo, and on Tuesday they got both to contribute. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.
No Quit: The Celtics went down double digits in the first quarter and faced a 15-point deficit at halftime. They trailed by 15 again in the fourth quarter but were able to make it a three-point game in the final minute and a half. They got some solid play off their bench from both Brandon Bass (13 points, 5 rebounds) and Keyon Dooling (18 points, 4 three-pointers) which helped in the comebacks. In the second half they started throwing zone defense at the Heat, which threw Lebron James and Co. out of sync. The zone made the Heat think too much, and allowed Boston to get back in it.
Early Deficit: Once again the Celtics got down early and had to dig themselves out of a hole. After the Celtics made it a seven-point game in the second quarter, Miami went on a 15-5 run to take a 54-40 lead. In all, Miami put up 39 points in the second quarter.
Turnovers: Eight first quarter turnovers did Boston in early, and in the end it was too much to come back from. Boston ended up turning the ball over 24 times with the Heat turning them into 33 points. This number should improve when Pierce returns, but it’s hard to win (especially against a team like Miami) when you turn the ball over 20+ times.
Front court: Kevin Garnett played 33 minutes but only contributed 12 points and five rebounds. Jermaine O’Neal did next to nothing in his 22 minutes on the floor, pulling down one rebound and going 0-for-1 from the field. Chris Wilcox played just nine minutes and had to leave in the second quarter with a left shoulder injury. He will not play Wednesday night against the Hornets.
The Celtics don’t have much time to dwell on the loss, as they take on the New Orleans Hornets Wednesday night. Paul Pierce is expected to miss his third straight game for Boston.