Celtics clinch 2013 playoff spot
Ray Allen left as a free agent. Rajon Rondo is out for the season. Kevin Garnett is recuperating from an ankle injury.
With the core of the Celtics team that won the franchiseís 17th NBA title in 2008 otherwise occupied, Jeff Green led Boston back into the playoffs.
The Celtics swingman scored 34 points [on 13-of-19 shooting], including a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to snap a two-minute scoring drought, to help Boston beat the Detroit Pistons 98-93 on Wednesday night and clinch the teamís sixth consecutive playoff berth.
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Re: Celtics clinch 2013 playoff spot
The Celtics pointed to this game on the schedule as critical. It was a matchup against an inferior opponent one night after being toasted by the streaking Miami Heat.
Coach Doc Rivers knew if his club played the way it was capable, two things could be accomplished: Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce could get a sharp, injury-free workout, and the Celtics could clinch the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
By midway through the second quarter, it was obvious those goals were easily attainable against the overwhelmed Orlando Magic. Pierce and Garnett combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the Celtics built a double-digit second-quarter lead they never relinquished in a 120-88 win on Saturday night at Amway Center.
The Celtics sealed the No. 7 seed and a likely first-round playoff matchup with the New York Knicks. Now they can spend their final four days of the regular season resting and experimenting with various rotations.
-- Boston Globe
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