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  • Oct

    Celtics Raise 17th NBA Championship Banner, Defeat Cavs 90-85

    In a 20-minute ceremony before the Celtics opened up the 2008-9 NBA season against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2007-8 Celtics Championship team was honored as the 17th NBA Championship Banner was raised to the rafters of the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. The emotional ceremony actually brought NBA Championship Series MVP Paul Pierce to tears as he accepted the championship trophy from Celtics’ Hall of Fame legend John Havlicek on behalf of his teammates. Pierce was the captain and longest-tenured member of the team, and helped lead the players in the hoisting of the banner to the rafters.

    After the pre-game spectacle, the two teams got down to business, although it was all Cavs early on. The Cavs rode LeBron James’ team-high 22 points to build a 50-43 halftime lead. During halftime, the Celtics were finally able to forgot about the pre-game ceremony and face the task at-hand. The Celtics outscored the Cavs 24-13 in the 3rd quarter (11 points from Pierce) and then finished off the job with a 1-point advantage in the final quarter to win 90-85. Paul Pierce was the man once again – 27 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Kevin Garnett added 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo added 14 points and 6 assists. Ray Allen played the most minutes of any Celtics player (just under 41 minutes), but he did not have a great game – 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and an uncharacteristic 4 turnovers. Off the bench, Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers got quality minutes from Leonard Powe (13 points and 2 rebounds) and Tony Allen (11 points and 3 rebounds). For the Cavs, Zydrunas Ilgauskas contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds, while newcomer Mo Williams added 12 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in his Cavs debut.

    Next up for the Celtics – another home game against the Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls on Friday October 31st. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 108-95 in their home opener on Tuesday night with strong performances from #1 overall pick Derrick Rose (11 points, 9 assists), Luol Deng (21 points) and Tyrus Thomas (15 points, 10 rebounds).

    As for local celebrities, Red Sox players Mike Lowell and Kevin Youkilis were in attendance to cheer on the Celtics Championship team, as were Red Sox Owner John Henry and Red Sox President Larry Lucchino. Those guys know something about Championships having won World Series titles in 2004 (all but Lowell) and 2007.

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