Doc Rivers: ‘It was definitely a team win’
While (Paul) Pierce was the catalyst with 36 points, including a critical 3-pointer (his first of the series after the Celtics missed their first 19), the reserves had one of their better games of the season. Rivers depended on Marquis Daniels for key minutes down the stretch and he helped bottle up (Joe) Johnson, who scored one field goal in the fourth quarter.
“Our reserves played a major role tonight,’’ (Doc) Rivers said. “It was definitely a team win, with so many guys pitching in. I called a timeout in the fourth quarter right after another timeout, simply to give our guys some rest. I didn’t actually have anything to tell them. We’ve won games this year without some of our key players. This is a tough-minded basketball team, and having a lot of players on your team helps with that.’’
The effort was there. Rivers promised that his team would be ready for Game 2 even without (Rajon) Rondo and (Ray) Allen. But what the brass thought it would have for perhaps the final postseason run of the Big Three and what was actually out there Tuesday night were completely different.