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News » Fast start for Celts

Fast start for Celts

Fast start for CeltsA night earlier they had someone else's home opener to worry about.

The Cavaliers went giddy Tuesday in Cleveland, throwing a 13-2 haymaker at the Celtics over the first three minutes before losing when they discovered all of that early energy burns off.

The Celtics drew the same early power from the TD Garden crowd last night against Charlotte, especially after Paul Pierce, during a pregame address, glanced up at the ceiling.

``There are 17 banners up there. I think we need another,'' the Celtics captain said, with a predictably thunderous response.

Marquis Daniels received a hearty welcome when he checked in, but what followed with Rasheed Wallace couldn't have been scripted.

The new Celtics center checked in for Kendrick Perkins at a comical moment - just as a whistle was blown for a technical foul, albeit for Pierce instead of the NBA's annual `T' leader.

The house melted seconds later when Wallace spotted up for his first shot in his new home and buried an up-top 3-pointer in the midst of a 7-0 run.

Bigger yet, Wallace buried another trey on his second shot for a 22-11 lead.

And so that opening night energy flowed.

The Celtics , once again putting their best defensive foot forward, carried a 22-13 lead into the second quarter.

The Bobcats had just shot 3-for-15 (20 percent) for the first 12 minutes, precisely the kind of number the Celtics love.

The trey theme continued, too, a night after the C's used the downtown weapon to great advantage against the Cavaliers.

Ray Allen hit a pair of treys over the first two minutes of the second quarter for a 28-15 lead, before the Bobcats finally found their range.

Nazr Mohammed's inside work was primarily responsible for a 10-1 Charlotte run that included a pair of Raymond Felton jumpers.

Pierce stepped in the way with a 3-pointer, but hoops from Gerald Wallace and Boris Diaw pushed the Charlotte run to 14-4 and cut the Celtics lead to 32-29.

But Allen, who was strictly in a 3-point mood, hit his third trey of the quarter for a 35-29 Celtics lead.

Perkins then posted, hit a baby hook, and the Celtics' lead stood at 37-29 with 3:53 left in the half.

Allen made his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter with 1:36 left for a 42-31 lead, and the Celtics carried that edge into halftime.

Like the Cavs the night before, the Celtics lost much of their early verve, but there's no disputing what they were able to maintain in the defensive end. Charlotte shot 33.3 for the first half, making the Celtics' 40 percent number from the floor a lot more palatable.

Allen, whose 13 points consisted of a free throw and four treys - all of it in the second quarter - was the only player on either side to reach double figures.

Tuesday night's doubleheader featuring the Celtics and fellow title contenders Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers produced Turner's most-watched opening night in its 26 years of airing the NBA.

TNT drew nearly 3.7 million viewers for the Celtics' win over the Cavaliers, followed by the Lakers' 99-92 win over the Clippers. That was a 43 percent increase over the 2.6 million that watched last year's opening-night doubleheader.


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Added: October 30, 2009


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