NBA Game Summary - Washington at Boston
(Friday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Boston 103, Washington 83
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Kevin Garnett scored 22 points and pulled down 20 rebounds in his Boston debut to lead the Celtics over Washington, 103-83, in the club's season opener at TD Banknorth Garden.
Boston's executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge rebuilt the Celtics into one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference during the offseason. Two blockbuster moves elevated the team . First, the Celtics acquired 32-year-old shooting guard Ray Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics for guard Delonte West, forwards Wally Szczerbiak and Georgetown's Jeff Green, who was chosen with the No. 5 overall pick.
Then came the big deal that brought the "Big Ticket" to Beantown. Boston dealt Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations and two first-round draft picks to Minnesota for Garnett.
If one game is any indication, the Celtics are going to be very tough.
Garnett added three blocks and five assists for Boston while Allen had 17 points in his debut. The two stars also opened up space for the Celtics returning star, Paul Pierce. The former Kansas stalwart had a game-high 28 points.
"Tonight was rocking," Garnett said. "I couldn't even believe it. This place was rocking."
Gilbert Arenas had 21 points but shot just 5-of-20 from the floor for the Wizards, who have lost two straight on the road to start their season. Caron Butler added 18 points and eight rebounds while Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood each finished with 10 points apiece.
The Celtics took a slim 21-18 lead after the opening 12 minutes but broke things open with a dominating second quarter. Boston scored 37 points in the frame and broke open the game with a 16-0 spurt. Pierce highlighted the run with a three and a pair of jumpers to give the Celtics a 43-26 lead with 5:41 left before intermission.
"I think we were a little anxious, a little nervous coming into game one," Pierce said. "It was a tight game, but we did what we did. We executed, we played great defense and our teammates were able to find me, got into a little rhythm and just got going and we sort of fed off of that and it carried over for the rest of the game."
Boston kept pouring it on from there. Rajon Rondo's driving layup capped the scoring in the quarter with the Celtics holding a more than comfortable 58-36 lead.
"We just didn't execute as well as we should have and they got it going and after that, I think we played them evenly in the second half," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "The second quarter just did us in."
Boston continued to keep the Wizards at arm's length in the third quarter and took a 79-57 cushion to the final frame.
The fourth quarter was nothing more than garbage time for the Celtics. The Wizards managed to close within 15 points, 81-66, on an Arenas three-point play with 9:55 left.
But, Boston had the answer and Brian Scalabrine's driving layup, with 5:32 left, extended the Celtics lead back to 20, 92-72.
The Celtics coasted to the finish line from there.
"It was a good start," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "I thought the first five minutes of the game, there was so much energy in the building, and from both teams, I didn't think anyone was going to score, or run a play. After that, I thought we settled down."
Last season, the Wizards were 3-0 against the Celtics...Haywood had 12 rebounds for Washington while Jamison had 10 boards....The Wizards shot just 35 percent from the floor and were 0-for-16 from the three-point line...Celtics legends were on hand to unveil the newly named Red Auerbach Parquet before the game.
11/03 02:21:00 ET