Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 105, Bobcats 88

Celtics 105, Bobcats 88
By Marc D'Amico, March 13, 2013

Key Moment

It’s not like Doc Rivers to ride his starting group for long stretches of time. That didn’t prevent him from doing so Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Rivers, whose team played without starting center Kevin Garnett, left his starting group on the court for the first 8:52 of the third period. That quarter opened up with the Celtics leading 50-43. By the time the starting group was broken up with 3:08 remaining in the frame, Boston had blown its lead open to 18 points. Rivers explained after the game why he decided to leave those starters on the floor for so long.

“It was just a gut (feeling),” Rivers said. “I thought we had a run going and I thought we had a chance to stretch the lead to a point where we wouldn’t need them as much. So I took the gamble. It’s a bad gamble most of the time because if you don’t get away with it, now you’ve got five guys in the game at the same time and now you have to try to rest them, and it usually is a disaster, but we got away with it today.”

Great coaches have great gut feelings. Rivers went with his Saturday night, and it paid off with a comfortable 17-point victory.

Key Box Score Line

Paul Pierce didn’t get to play Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, so he just went ahead and stuffed the box score against them on Saturday.

Pierce either led the Celtics outright or tied for the team high in two different statistical categories. His totals in two other categories were nearly team highs as well.

Pierce’s 14 points were one point less than Jason Terry’s 15, and his eight assists were a game high. He tied Courtney Lee for the game high in blocks as well. His six rebounds were also tied for the team high when he headed to the bench at the end of the third period.

Take a look at those numbers, and then realize that they were accrued in only 23 minutes of action. Pierce did not appear in the fourth, but if he had, he may have nailed down the 10th triple-double of his career.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Courtney Lee blocked a career-high three shots.
  • Paul Pierce's eight assists were double the amount of the next-highest total by any player in the game.
  • Both teams scored 22 points in the fourth quarter.
  • Jannero Pargo scored a game-high 18 points.
  • Jason Terry led the Celtics with 15 points.
  • Five Celtics grabbed either five or six rebounds.
  • Shavlik Randolph led the Celtics with eight boards and two steals.
  • Charlotte scored only 30 points in the paint.
  • Pierce played exactly 23 minutes.
  • The Celtics shot better from 3-point range (66.7 percent), which was a season high, than from the free-throw line (65.0 percent).
  • Josh McRoberts grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
  • Charlotte scored 24 points off of Boston's 13 turnovers.
  • The Celtics scored 105 points despite the fact that none of their players made more than five field goals.

Quote of the Night

It was great. It was through dribble penetration, in-out basketball, a couple were in transition. I want us taking those. Those are good.
Doc Rivers on Boston's incredible 3-point shooting Saturday night