Celts crush Nuggs at The Can | SummitDaily.com

Celts crush Nuggs at The Can

DENVER ” The Boston Celtics are doing just fine without Kevin Garnett.

They handed the Nuggets one of the worst home losses in their history Monday night, routing Denver 114-76 behind 26 points from Ray Allen and 22 from Paul Pierce. 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.

Rajon Rondo, coming off a career-high 32 points in Boston’s 20-point win at Phoenix on Sunday, added 14 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.

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J.R. Smith had 19 points and Carmelo Anthony 18 for the Nuggets, who lost for the third time in four nights and saw their lead over second-place Portland trimmed to a single game in the suddenly up-for-grabs Northwest Division. Third-place Utah has sliced its six-game deficit in half in five nights.

Reserve Leon Powe added 16 points for Boston, which stretched its lead to 86-58 heading into the fourth quarter. Allen’s four-point play gave Boston a 92-59 lead as fans starting streaming to the exits.

While the Celtics didn’t miss KG, the Nuggets longed for their big man, Nene, who is expected to miss a week with a bruised right knee he injured Sunday night at Milwaukee.

Johan Petro made his first start for Denver and grabbed five quick rebounds in 8 1/2 minutes. Then Petro sat on the sideline as the Nuggets, coming off a three-week, eight-game trip around the All-Star break, quickly fell behind by double digits, their fatigue and frazzled nerves exposed by the hot-shooting Celtics.

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