Celtics Steamroll Tired Team China
LAS VEGAS - The Celtics didn't face much opposition from the Chinese National Team Wednesday night at Cox Pavilion. Team China played its fifth game in six nights, and the fatigue was evident.
Their front-loaded schedule had them playing their fifth game in six nights, and it showed. Yi Jianlian (7 points, 5 rebounds, 8 fouls) appeared to be huffing and puffing in the second quarter, and overall the team was a step slow.
The Celtics led 21-17 after the first quarter, but dominated play for the rest of the game, crushing China on the glass 43-28, beating them to loose balls and forcing 26 turnovers while outscoring them 59-35 over the next 30 minutes.
Leon Powe led the C's with 23 points and 12 boards, and Glen Davis was also very active in the paint -- 10 points, 11 rebounds and eight fouls left him just short of a Summer League triple double. Gerald Green (10 points) couldn't buy a bucket to start the game, missing his first seven attempts before throwing down a nasty baseline jam to finally get his first field goal of the night.
"He's been struggling, but he started to attack," said Coach Armond Hill. "He wasn't tentative and that's what I liked from what I saw from him."
Meanwhile, if you've been begging Rajon Rondo to attack the basket, your wish has been granted.
Rondo spent the entire first quarter heading for the rim, and if he even thought about passing, you'd never know it. Rondo scored the Celtics first eight points, mixed in all of his moves, from the tear-drop floater in the lane for his first bucket, to a failed attempt after using his patented one-hand ball fake pivot move.
"It was just a matter of Rondo seeing where his opportunities were," Hill said. "The last two games he was penetrating but he was looking to pass. He's unselfish anyway, but I wanted him to penetrate and then attack and he just took over. He was beating guys off the dribble and finding people. He led our attack."
Rondo finished with 12 points, two assists and three rebounds.