Notebook: Celtics 118, Nuggets 114 (3OT)



Posted Feb 10, 2013 11:26 PM

Brian Robb, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Paul Pierce finished with his second triple-double of the past two weeks, as the Boston Celtics fought their way past the Denver Nuggets with a 118-114 win in a triple overtime thriller. The victory was Boston's seventh straight win overall, and also put an end to Denver's league-high nine-game winning streak in what was a faceoff between the NBA's two hottest teams. Pierce nearly tied a career-high by playing 54 minutes, as he posted 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. Jason Terry had a season-high 26 points off the bench, including the game-winner 3-pointer in triple overtime for the hosts. Ty Lawson had a game-high 29 points for Denver in the setback.

QUOTABLE: "You know, it was a clear case of two teams that have been playing great; one had won nine [in a row], one had won six [in a row], and neither team wanted to lose the game."

-- Boston coach Doc Rivers

THE STAT: The Celtics managed to escape with the win despite shooting just 35.2 percent from the field over the second half and the game's three overtimes combined.

TURNING POINT: Denver had an opportunity to tie the game in the final minute of the third overtime, as Andre Miller posted up with good position against Terry on the right block. Terry, not known for his defense, managed to steal the ball from Denver's reserve guard, helping Boston hold on for the four-point victory.

QUOTABLE II: "This was a great game to be a part of. It was a great win against a quality ball club, not to say the other teams weren't quality teams we played, but you know, this is the type of win that can give us confidence to move forward."

-- Pierce

HOT: Lawson -- The fourth-year guard carried Denver's offense for the majority of the night, scoring 21 of his 29 points in the second half, while also managing to dish nine assists. Over his past five games, Lawson is averaging 19.8 points and 9.2 assists.

NOT: Danilo Gallinari -- Before finding his shooting stroke during the overtime periods, Denver's small forward failed to get his offense going against a stingy Celtics defense. Gallinari was just 3-for-11 during regulation, and shot below 42 percent for the first time in his last 10 games.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Pierce -- Boston's captain posted his eighth triple-double of his career for Boston during the regular season. The Celtics are 8-0 over those eight contests.

QUOTABLE III: "Very few times when you lose do you think it's probably a good thing, and I thought we played as well as we can play with the circumstances. We played with a lot of heart, a lot of guts, we took a lot of punches and fought back every time."

-- Denver coach George Karl

NOTABLE: Andre Iguodala left the game in the third quarter after a right cervical sprain. He did not return. ... Kevin Garnett finished with 20 points and a season-high 18 rebounds over 47 minutes. Those 47 minutes were the most ever for Garnett in a Celtics uniform. ... This was the ninth overtime game for the Celtics this season, which ties a franchise record for most overtime games in a season. ... The Celtics are 13-2 in their last 15 home games against Denver. The two teams match up again in just nine days in each team's first game after the All-Star Break. ... JaVale McGee had a season-high 16 rebounds for Denver.

UP NEXT: For the Nuggets, Tuesday @ Toronto, Wednesday @ Brooklyn, Tuesday vs. Boston. For the Celtics, Monday @ Charlotte, Wednesday vs. Chicago, Tuesday @ Denver.