- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Paul Pierce works against Kevin Durant during the 2012 All-Star GameCeltics-themed reaction after Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo represented the Eastern Conference during a 152-149 loss to the Western Conference at the 2012 All-Star Game at the Amway Center in Orlando.
Not even the All-Star Game's lack of defensive intensity could shake Pierce from his season-long shooting slump. He missed seven of the eight shots he put up, connecting on a first-half 3-pointer for his only points to go along with two turnovers, two rebounds and a block over 11:07. Rondo chipped in eight assists (highlighted by a nice midcourt alley-oop feed to LeBron James) while adding two points on 1-of-3 shooting with four turnovers over 15:34. Celtics coach Doc Rivers must have successfully lobbied old friend Tom Thibodeau because Boston guys got a light run overall.
THE REST OF THE GAME
Rivers told the story last week about Thibodeau whispering in his ear about wanting to win for the payday bonus for the prevailing squad when the two were on the same staff at the All-Star Game in New Orleans a few years back. Maybe that helps explain how the East rallied from a 21-point second-half deficit to give themselves a chance to win the game in the final seconds. Deron Williams' potential go-ahead 3-pointer was well off the mark for one opportunity, and Dwyane Wade's chance to tie at the buzzer also missed. Game MVP Kevin Durant (36 points), Kobe Bryant (27) and Russell Westbrook (21) paced the West, while Wade chipped in a triple-double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) and teammate LeBron James added 36 points, sparking the fourth-quarter rally.
GRADING THE CELTICS
John Hollinger hands out All-Star grades:
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BOSTON?
The Celtics reconvene for the second half of the season on Monday in Cleveland, where they will hold an evening practice before jousting with the Cavaliers on Tuesday in a game that marks the official halfway point (Game No. 33 of 66) of their 2012 season. Boston returns home to close out the month of February with a visit from the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday before launching into a wild March that features 17 games, 11 of which are on the the road, including a season-high eight-game trek around the mid-month trade deadline.