BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics dropped their second straight game Wednesday night to fall to 4-5 on the season.
Boston fell to the Mavericks 90-85 at the TD Garden, a game they could of won if it wasn’t for a slow start and sloppy play.
Here are a few of the Ups and Downs from the C’s loss to the Mavs.
Rondo Takes Over Again: The Celtics needed someone to step up and take over the game, and Rajon Rondo did that. He led all scorers with 24 points and added seven assists. The biggest positive to Rondo’s game was the fact he was not afraid to attack the basket. He made it to the free throw line 12 times Wednesday night, hitting eight of them.
“This is his team right now, until everybody else gets it going,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the game. “We need him to be aggressive. We need to be a scorer. And attack. That’s a change, but that’s what it is right now until everybody else gets it going, because they are not.”
Doc On Rondo:
Pietrus Makes Debut: Although he got into foul trouble quickly, Mickael Pietrus gave the Celtics 17 quality minutes off the bench. He provided a good defensive boost with a pair of steals, and added five points off 2-for-5 shooting. It was his steal in the fourth quarter that led to Rondo’s game-tying basket.
With Pietrus on the floor, the second unit looked like it had some extra energy.
“That’s Mickael Pietrus,” he said after his debut. “I’m going to fight for my teammates, I’m going to fight for my coaches, and I’m going to fight for the Celtics.”
“He was phenominal. I thought he was one of the best players in the game,” said Rivers, adding that Piertus brought “joy” to the game. “He clearly gave our team energy. He played hard, turned the ball; he is exactly what we need and it’s just going to get better.”
Doc On Pietrus:
All That Rest For Nothing: The Celtics had four days off between their loss to the Pacers and Wednesday night’s meeting with the Mavs. They got some quality practices in and should have been well rested, but got off to a poor start. The C’s missed their first seven shots and nine of their first 10 to start the game while falling behind 10-2 less than five minutes in.
Fourth Quarter Technicals: After their Christmas Day loss to the Knicks, Doc Rivers let everyone know how he felt about his players getting technical in the fourth quarter. The Celtics got two of them against the Mavs, one for Rondo for reacting to a call on the bench and a second on Doc for something similar. It meant two extra points for the Mavs in the final frame.
C’s Spot the Mavs: Dallas scored 20 points off 17 Celtics turnovers, and outscored the C’s 17-0 on second chance points.
No Quality Wins: The Celtics are nine games into the season and have yet to beat a playoff-contending team.
The Celtics have a tough stretch coming up, with the Chicago Bulls at home Friday night, the Pacers in Indy on Saturday, and the OK City Thunder coming to Boston on Monday.