February 11, 2013

Celtics outlast Nuggets in three OTs

Paule Pierce has a triple-double as Boston wins its seventh straight and ends Denver's nine-game streak.

The Associated Press

BOSTON - The Boston Celtics relied on their veterans to help them win the matchup of the NBA's two hottest teams.

Paul Pierce
click image to enlarge

Paul Pierce recorded a triple-double with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists Sunday to lead the Celtics to a triple-overtime victory against Denver.

The Associated Press

COMING UP

MONDAY: Celtics at Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m. (CSN)

WEDNESDAY: Chicago Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSN)

Paul Pierce had 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists, and the Celtics extended their winning streak to seven games with a 118-114 triple overtime victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Boston's victory also ended Denver's winning streak at nine games.

Pierce made a tying 3-pointer late in the second overtime to make it 107-107.

"I mean, that's what great players do. I would love to tell you I had something to do with it," Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. "I was sitting just like the fans saying, "Please, Lord, (let) Paul make a shot."

Kevin Garnett had 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, while Jason Terry scored a season-high 26 points off the bench.

"It seems like Garnett has a huge heart and wanted to win the game and he made some big time shots," Nuggets Coach George Karl said. "His range has improved and it's about time he get that respect."

Pierce, Garnett and Terry are the only active Celtics with championship rings since point guard Rajon Rondo's season-ending knee injury. The Celtics remain unbeaten in Rondo's absence.

Terry hit a 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining in the third overtime to put the Celtics ahead 116-113.

Danilo Gallinari, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, made a free throw, but Denver would not get any closer.

"Hard to believe these guys don't have an all-star," Garnett said. "That baffles me ... Gallinari, (Ty) Lawson ... they have deserving guys."

Terry, who had missed five consecutive 3-point shots in the first two overtimes, made the defensive play of the game when he stole the ball from Andre Miller with 35 seconds remaining.

Denver had one last gasp, but Miller missed a 3-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining before Terry dribbled the ball up the court and made a layup at the buzzer to finish the scoring.

"We're not into moral victories, but it was one of those games," Miller said. "It was a fun game and I'm sure everybody was tired."

Lawson had 29 points, nine assists and six rebounds and hit several key shots for the Nuggets, including a running bank shot to send the game into overtime tied at 92-92.

Gallinari struggled from the field, going 7 for 20. Kenneth Faried had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Denver.

Garnett was 3 of 4 from the field in overtime after missing 14 of his previous 20 shots.

Lawson hit a jumper to put the Nuggets up 107-104 with 18.9 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

But Pierce nailed a 3-pointer with Miller in his face with 5 seconds left to tie the game at 107-107.

Gallinari then had an open lane to the basket as he was overplayed by Garnett, but he missed his shot as time ran out.

Jeff Green's 3-pointer tied the game at 99-99 with 23.8 seconds remaining in the first overtime, and Lawson's long 3-pointer fell short at the buzzer.

"Lot of people still doubt us," Green said. Can't come into games thinking we have to impress people."

Denver failed to hit its last shot in all three overtimes, with chances to win the game in the first two and to tie it in the third.

Green's jumper put Boston ahead 92-90 with 47.9 seconds remaining in regulation. Miller then missed consecutive shots on the ensuing Denver possessions, but Faried was fouled with 5.4 seconds remaining.

Faried missed both free throws, but Celtics guard Avery Bradley knocked the ball out of bounds. Lawson then scored with 0.8 seconds remaining.

Gallinari, who averages 20 points per game to lead Denver, was held to three points in the first half on 1-of-6 shooting as the Nuggets trailed 50-46 at the break.

NOTES: Pierce and Lawson each played 54 minutes. ... JaVale McGee had 16 rebounds for Denver. ... Boston is 13-2 in its last 15 home games against Denver, but the teams are 10-10 in the last 20 meetings overall. ... Boston matches up again on the road with Denver on Feb. 19. ... The Nuggets' winning streak was its longest since March 30 to April 15, 2005. ... Andre Iguodala left the game for Denver in the third quarter with a strain and did not return.

 

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