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Monday, 01 April 2013 23:11

Game #74 Recap: Boston Celtics Fall Short Against Minnesota Timberwolves, 100-110

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Minnesota Timberwolves 110, Boston Celtics 100

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Boston CelticsThe Celtics headed to Minnesota for a match against the Timberwolves following a blowout loss last night against the New York Knicks. Paul Pierce was not available for the team, as announced yesterday, the captain sat out for personal reasons.To start the game, Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee had a difficult time guarding Ricky Rubio, who forced four early turnovers. Shavlik Randolph, who has been performing well for the C's as of late, made an early entrance in place of Chris Wilcox and also had a difficult time stopping the Rubio-Nikola Pekovic duo. Pekovic, a former Celtic, went 4-for-5 on shooting in the beginning minutes of the first quarter for Minnesota.The C's stayed close behind Minnesota for the majority of the first quarter despite Pekovic's 15 first-quarter points. Boston did well guarding the 3-point line, holding the Wolves to 0-for-5 shooting from behind the arc. Though he has been struggling offensively as of late, Avery Bradley lead Boston with 8 points as they entered the second quarter with a 2-point deficit (27-25).Although both teams shot well in the second quarter (over 50%), Boston had hard time guarding the paint, allowing Minnesota to score 34 of their 57 first-half points in the paint. By halftime, Avery Bradley and Nikola Pekovic were the only players in double figures, and both teams' benches accounted for 19 points. Pekovic's 21 first-half points lead to a 5-point advantage for Minnesota by halftime (57-52).Minnesota's Andrei Kirilenko came out of halftime shooting. Dropping 5 straight points, Kirilenko gave the Wolves a 10-point advantage (62-52). Boston attempted to answer but was unable to stop Nikola Pekovic, who scored four early first-quarter points. Kirilenko's fast-break dunk compelled Doc Rivers to call a timeout and regroup his team.Boston cut Minnesota's lead to five with a three-point play from Jason Terry, who had 11 points entering the final quarter. Terrence Williams and Shavlik Randolph also contributed off of the bench, Williams with 10 points and Randolph with 8. Heading into the final quarter, Minnesota still had the edge on the C's in the battle in the paint. The Wolves' 46 points in the paint lead to a six-point advantage (84-78).Minnesota extended their lead to double digits in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, propelled by an off shot by Jordan Crawford. It was clear about halfway through the final quarter that this game was lost; any attempts at a late-game run by Boston would be futile. During the final seconds though, a Terrence Williams layup cut Minnesota's lead to 8-points (108-100). However, after Jordan Crawford committed the foul to give, Pekovic capped off his productive night and shut down any chances for a Boston run with a layup. Courtney Lee ended the game with a missed 3-pointer and the Celtics lost to the Timberwolves with a final score of 100-110, extending their losing streak to 2 games.Nikola Pekovic and Dante Cunningham led the Timberwolves in scoring, Pekovic with 29 points and Cunningham with 19 points while Avery Bradley, Jason Terry, and Terrence Williams led the Celtics, Bradley with 19 points and Terry and Williams each with 14 points.The Celtics will head home to Boston to play the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

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