At halftime, I thought the only reason to watch the second half was to see Ray Allen pass 20,000 points for his career. Well that, and seeing whether Washington would register a rebound in the second half. Instead, the Celtics came out of the locker room with their heads up their butts and proceeded to blow their entire 14-point halftime lead, allowing the Wizards to take the lead at 72-70.
Then the world righted itself, as the Celtics went on a quick 11-0 run, highlighted by a Ray Allen three-pointer that gave him 20,000 points for his career, to regain an 81-72 lead. From there, I thought Washington would crumble, put their collective tail between their legs and go away. But it wasn't to be.
They battled back valiantly, eventually pulling even on a couple occasions, but two missed Gilbert Arenas free throws with about 26 seconds remaining spelled doom for the Wizards. Now, I don't want to say Gilbert choked, but Flip Saunders was seen running on the court to perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
His Heimlich maneuver worked, and Gilbert hit a running lay-in to make it a one-point game with about 20 seconds left, but a missed three by Gilbert after two made Ray Allen free throws had Arenas clutching at his throat again. Randy Foye then chucked up an off-balance, fadeaway three with a full nine seconds on the game clock, reminding all Celtics fans of Tony Allen, and Red Auerbach was finally able to light up his cigar.
I'll have more analysis to come tomorrow, but here are a few bullets to keep you happy for the time-being:
- Rondo was dominant. 21 points and 11 assists, despite being limited by foul trouble to 13 first-half minutes.
- Perk with another big game, 16 points and 11 rebounds.
- Brendan Haywood really surprised me. He was very active on the glass, and even hit a number of jumpers.
- Tony Allen was actually pretty good. A couple dumb plays, but overall he played a damn good game. A pleasant surprise, to say the least.
- Paul Pierce didn't impact the game much offensively, but did a great job on Caron Butler.
- Gilbert Arenas was looking like Agent Zero, until the aforementioned choke.