Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo

Baseline to Baseline recaps: Where the Celtics don’t bother with defense

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What you missed while watching a national championship game that lived up to the hype…

Rockets 108, Celtics 102: There are some fighters — whether boxing or MMA — that you just never look good fighting. It’s clenching and grappling and just no flow, and it takes you out of your game. That is what the Houston Rockets do to you. They are a scrappy team that just makes you work for everything. It’s never pretty. It’s never easy beating them.

Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics are not the same defensive team, as evidenced by giving up 124.1 points per 100 possessions to the Rockets. It was not what you expect of Boston. But credit Houston for spreading the rock around — Aaron Books had 24 but it was about balance as seven Rockets scored in double digits.

Bobcats 96, Grizzlies 82: A snowstorm had pretty much shut down Charlotte (the city), which meant only about 1,000 people showed up to see this one. That smattering of people saw a Bobcats team without Gerald Wallace get 27 out of Stephen Jackson and 18 out of D.J Augustin, who has started to blossom under Paul Silas. Charlotte is 5-2 under Silas (or since Larry Brown got fired) but the schedule is about to get tougher.

Bulls 95, Pistons 82: It’s good to have stars — Carlos Boozer and Derrick Rose were the two best players on the court and they decided this game. Boozer had 27 on 12-17 shooting, Rose had 29 on 10-20 shooting. The Bulls defense held the Pistons to 38 percent shooting.

On a bright note for Detroit, Greg Monroe is showing some of that promise he was drafted for, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Report: Cavs sign Dionte Christmas

Dionte Christmas
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The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:

In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.

Sixers’ Wilbekin hits game-winning three vs. Cavs (VIDEO)

Scottie Wilbekin
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LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:

Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.