February 23, 2009 - At this rate, Kevin Garnett can take all the time he needs to get healthy. The Boston Celtics handed the Nuggets one of the worst home losses in their history Monday night, routing Denver 114-76 behind 26 points from Ray Allen. It was Boston's second game since Garnett strained a muscle in his right knee that is expected to sidelined him for at least two weeks. Paul Pierce added 22 points for the Celtics, who raced to a 60-37 halftime lead that rendered the second half a let's-get-it-over-with exercise.
This was Denver's worst home loss since Feb. 2, 1998, when the Nuggets were routed by Chicago 111-72. The 38-point margin of defeat tied for the second-biggest home loss since Denver joined the NBA in 1976. "I think it was a championship team (that) wanted to kick somebody's butt,'' Nuggets coach George Karl said. The Celtics were certainly motivated to avenge their 94-85 loss to the Nuggets at the Garden in November, one of just four losses at home for Boston this season.
"We've been pretty sour about that all year,'' Allen said. "We felt as though we should've won that game, they stole it from us. We remembered
it. ... It's tough to really try to make a connection because from then to now, both teams are playing totally different basketball. We were
focused on what we needed to do because we're a different team now with Kevin out.'' Rajon Rondo (14 points) said coach Doc Rivers "gave a great
motivational speech. He told us they bullied us last time.'' And this night, the bullies got bullied. "We just wanted to play great defense, and
that's what we did,'' Rivers said. "We felt they were far more physical than us when they played us at Boston. Our point of emphasis was to come
out and battle tonight. This was going to be a nasty, battle game and we were going to have to be ready for it.'' - NBA.com