NBA Analysis: Perkins-less Celtics Fall vs. Nuggets

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Tonight half of the Boston Celtics lost to a Denver/New York squad 89-75. The C's brought in nine healthy, active bodies--including Chris Johnson who signed a 10 day contract today--while half the names on the backs of the Nuggets jerseys still sound like they belong in New York.

It was Boston's first game since trading center Kendrick Perkins and point guard Nate Robinsons. as well as Denver's second game since trading forward Carmelo Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups.

Paul Pierce led the way for the green with 17 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Kevin Garnett added 14 points and grabbed 13 boards.

Kenyon Martin recorded a double-double for Denver with 18 points on 8-13 shooting from the field and 10 rebounds. Wilson Chandler added 16 off the bench for his Melo-less squad.

The Nuggets won the game, as well as the rebounding battle 45-35. Johnson, who served as Boston's 4th big man tonight only pulled down one board in 16:51 of playing time.

The first half was just plain ugly to watch. The Nuggets shot 33%, compared to the Celtics whopping 37%. Boston managed only 13 points in the 2nd quarter and entered the break down 47-42.

Down two, with 4:12 left, Chandler sparked a 16-0 Denver run when he drained a three. Boston went scoreless in the final 6:05. It was a rough first loss post-deadline moves which surely won'y help GM Danny Ainge's publicity level.

With the loss, the Celtics fall to 41-15, while the Nuggets improve to 34-25. Boston returns to action Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. when they visit Blake Griffin and the L.A. Clippers.