for this game

'Big Three' dominate early, then rest in Celtics' rout

Mar 13, 2008 - 4:03 AM By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- Kevin Durant and the Seattle Supersonics were defenseless against the red-hot Boston Celtics, who continue to evoke memories of their glory years.

Ray Allen scored 18 points against his former team and Kevin Garnett matched that total as the Celtics breezed to a 111-82 victory over the SuperSonics on Wednesday night at TD Banknorth Garden.

Paul Pierce scored all 14 of his points in the first quarter, for the Celtics (51-12), who have won 10 straight for the first time since a 14-game run from March 11-April 4, 1986. That season culminated with the last of the 16 titles for Boston, which hopes history repeats itself.

"We'll just keep doing what we're doing," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We talked about it. The only thing we really talked about before the game was we are our opponents. And it's important that we remember that. It doesn't matter who you're playing, either. We have to just do what we do every night."

Meanwhile, Durant, the rookie many Celtics' fans were longing for last spring, scored 16 points to lead Seattle. The Sonics have lost six straight and finished a season-high, seven-game road trip with just one win.

"They are a great team, great guys," Durant said. "I mean everybody knows about KG, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. But they got other role players on that team like Eddie House, James Posey, that come in and give them a spark."

For the second time in as many home games, the Celtics were able to rest most of their starters in the fourth quarter as they led, 90-62, after three periods. That allowed them to give newcomers P.J. Brown and Sam Cassell more time off the bench.

"I could see that they were searching," Allen said. "They were trying to find something with the lineup rotations, to see if anybody had anything going. We have all been on the other side of the spectrum where you are trying to find your way through a loss where you are playing against a team who has everything working."

For Cassell, it was his first home game since signing with the Celtics last week. He finished with six points and one assist in seven minutes.

"I think we are playing well at both ends of the court," Pierce said.

Earl Watson hit the game's first basket with 10:48 remaining in the first, putting Boston in an unusual position. The 2-0 deficit broke a string of 215 minutes, 44 seconds in which the Celtics hadn't trailed.

Watson also converted a three-point play with a jumper and free throw with 5:30 remaining in the first, which put Seattle up, 19-17 - their last lead of the game.

The Celtics swept the season series, having also defeated Seattle, 104-96, on December 27.

"I think the first time we played them the intensity level was just about the same but tonight I guess it wasn't there at all," Durant said. "They came out way more aggressive than we did, we just gotta learn from it."

Seattle, which was playing consecutive games for the 13th time this season, had 19 turnovers through three quarters to Boston's eight.

"Guys still have to learn from plays," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Kevin Durant was doubled, a lot of deflections, a lot of turnovers, we didn't get good shots."