NBA Game Summary - Boston at Phoenix
(Sunday, February 22nd)
Final Score: Boston 128, Phoenix 108
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Rajon Rondo shined in Kevin Garnett's absence, scoring a career-high 32 points, dishing out 10 assists and grabbing six rebounds in Boston's 128-108 win over Phoenix, as new Suns head coach Alvin Gentry suffered his first loss since taking over for Terry Porter.
Rondo, who turned 23 on Sunday, surpassed his old career-high of 26 points early in the third quarter while also setting career-highs in field goals made (13) and field goals attempted (18). The Celtics didn't miss a beat despite the absence of Garnett, who will miss the next 2-to-3 weeks with a right knee strain suffered in the team's loss to Utah.
Ray Allen added 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting for the Celtics, who have won three of four. Paul Pierce contributed 26 points and six rebounds, and Brian Scalabrine, who started in place of Garnett, scored a season-high 14 points.
Boston shot an amazing 63.0 percent (46-of-73) from the field, while going to the line 40 times -- making 28 -- and outrebounding Phoenix, 40-26.
Steve Nash had 19 points and 11 assists for the Suns, who failed to score 140 points for the first time under Gentry. Jason Richardson tallied 21 points, while Leandro Barbosa had 18 points, as Phoenix's three-game win streak came to an end.
"I think that we've got a lot of work to do," Nash said. "We came out of the All Star break and had one practice day and played four games in six days, so we haven't had a lot of time to really sharpen ourselves in what we want to accomplish."
Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points and six rebounds, and Matt Barnes had 10 points for the Suns.
The Suns raced out to an 11-4 lead, but the Celtics quickly erased that, taking an 18-17 lead on a couple Glen Davis free throws. Boston scored 10 of the final 16 points of the quarter to lead, 38-33, heading to the second.
Leading by five late in the second, the Celtics closed the half on a 12-3 burst. Rondo had five of the points, and Davis contributed four, as the visitors took a 68-54 edge to the locker room.
Boston led by as many as 21 in the third quarter, but an 8-0 run by Phoenix helped the Suns cut their deficit to 96-83 heading to the fourth.
The Suns made it a nine-point game on Richardson's three in the first minute of the quarter, but Boston ran off eight of the next nine points, extending its lead to 104-88 with 9:15 left, and the visitors cruised from there.
"It was a great win for us," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "We played well, played well together...[The Suns are] a great offensive team, but if we could get to the foul line and attack the basket and make shots and not force shots then they would have to take the ball out of bounds and that would take them out of their breaks."
Boston swept the season series, 2-0...It was the first time two Celtics have scored 30 or more in a game since December 18, 2006...Boston moved to 3-1 on its six-game road trip and will face Denver and the Clippers before returning home...Phoenix fell to 16-11 at home, while Boston improved to 21-8 on the road...The Celtics' 128 points is a season-high...Boston improved to 4-0 without Garnett this year and 13-2 without the forward since acquiring him prior to last season.
02/22 21:34:45 ET