Charlotte Bobcats stun Boston Celtics in overtime 114-106
Thereâ€™s a grease board in the Charlotte Bobcats locker room where assistant coaches scrawl a mini-critique of each opposing starter. Usually itâ€™s technical (â€œdonâ€™t give up pick-and-rollâ€™â€™) but the warning about Boston Celtics All-Star Kevin Garnett was more elemental:
â€œDonâ€™t get punkâ€™d.â€
Turns out the Bobcats punked Garnett Tuesday, holding him to 1-of-3 shooting in overtime while forcing him into two fouls. That was good for a 114-106 victory over the defending champion Celtics at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Satisfying as this would be under any circumstance, it was doubly sweet because the Bobcats shut up the always-jabbering Garnett. There were numerous mini-confrontations, and at the conclusion of one timeout, Garnett even threw an elbow at Adam Morrison, in a less-than-playful manner.
â€œThatâ€™s just what he does to motivate himself,â€™â€™ said Morrison, who scored 13 points off the bench. â€œYouâ€™ve got to let it go in one ear and out the other.â€™â€™
Or in the alternative, do something to shut him up. The Bobcats (13-22) held the Celtics (29-7) scoreless in five straight possessions of overtime, primarily by switching between forwards Boris Diaw and Gerald Wallace ( 2 3 points), when it came to guarding Garnett. That neutralized Bostonâ€™s pick-and-roll, forcing Garnett and teammates to settle for guarded jump shots.
The Celtics were 4-of-10 from the field in overtime and committed four turnovers. The Bobcats were 3-of-4 in overtime, committed one turnover and made all 10 free throws.
â€œIf you make a team take outside shots, with a hand up, without fouling, youâ€™re generally all right,â€™â€™ said Bobcats coach Larry Brown.
The complement to all that defense was rookie point guard D.J. Augustin. He scored 11 of the Bobcatsâ€™ 17 points in overtime and made every shot after regulation (1-of-1 from the field and 8-of-8 from the foul line). And he added an assist and a rebound.
â€œI knew Raymond (Felton) was tired (having played 47 minutes, finishing with 25 points and eight assists), so I needed to do something,â€™â€™ said Augustin.
This was Augustinâ€™s first win against an elite NBA team. He looked nothing like intimidated, finishing with 20 points, five assists and 12-of-12 from the foul line.
â€œThey come in and they try to punk you,â€™â€™ Augustin said of the Celtics.
â€œThey do a lot of talking, especially to the other team. We just didnâ€™t back down from it.â€™â€™
*****from charlotteobserver.com/Rick Bonnell*****