Suns beat surly Celtics behind Gortat's 19Jan 29, 2011 - 8:10 AM Phoenix Suns to an 88-71 victory Friday over the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 points for Boston before he was ejected late in the fourth quarter following an altercation with Suns forward Channing Frye.
Surging forward to contest a shot, Garnett reached his right hand out and tapped Frye in the groin area -- a move that appeared deliberate in replays.
Frye airballed the shot, zeroed in on Garnett and the players came together and bumped heads.
It touched off a benign scrum between the teams, but no punches were thrown and there was very little shoving. Garnett was issued a double-technical foul and thrown out of the game, while Frye was issued a technical.
Boston reserves Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins were also issued technicals.
The Celtics were trailing by 11 points with 4:07 remaining when the incident occurred and Phoenix had no trouble hanging on after Steve Nash made two of his three technical free throws and Frye buried both of his foul shots.
Vince Carter scored 17 points and Nash finished with 13 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Robin Lopez and Mickael Pietrus added 11 points apiece in the win.
"Obviously it was a much needed win for us," said Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. "I thought we did a good job of competing and playing hard. I thought our defense was really good."
Paul Pierce was the only Boston scorer besides Garnett to finish in double- digits, adding 14 points as the Celtics had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Celtics head coach Doc Rivers was also ejected from the game after receiving back-to-back technical fouls in the second quarter. Rivers was given an initial technical for arguing, and referee Steve Javie whistled him for a second after Rivers applauded sarcastically.
Boston trailed 30-16 after the first quarter and were by 15 points when Rivers was ejected with 4:33 remaining in the second.
It failed to spark the Celtics, who quickly fell behind by as many as 18 points when Nash's three-pointer made it 49-31. It was the largest deficit Boston faced all season.
The Suns had a 49-35 lead at halftime and were ahead 75-58 after the third quarter. They didn't allow the lead to dip into single digits until midway through the fourth.
Boston shot just 34.2 percent for the game -- its lowest shooting percentage since a February 26, 2007, game against Houston. It was also a season-low for a Suns opponent.
"We were sloppy," Rivers said. "I thought the Suns played hard. We didn't play well. We kind of got away from our game plan."
Phoenix owns a league-best three-game winning streak against the Celtics...Boston's Glen Davis (strained right hamstring) missed the second half...The Celtics are 1-1 on a four-game western road that will also take them to LA to play the Lakers and to Sacramento...Phoenix is 1-1 on a current five-game homestand that will conclude with visits from New Orleans, Milwaukee and Oklahoma City.
- BOSTON: 71
Jan 29 1:11 AM
- BOSTON: 58
End of 3rd
Jan 29 12:28 AM
- BOSTON: 35
Jan 28 11:40 PM
- BOSTON: 16
End of 1st
Jan 28 11:06 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 28 10:37 PM
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