Boston Celtics defeat Charlotte Bobcats, 96-95

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Bobcats had had only one starting lineup change in their first 12 games.

Last night, the team was prepared to make a second change, announced that it wouldn't, then went ahead and did it anyway. End result: the first NBA start for former Boston College star Jared Dudley.

Dudley had been told he was going to start in place of Gerald Wallace, who strained a calf Friday night in Orlando, Fla. But the MRI on Wallace came back negative and the team subs...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - His contribution looked meager in the end, when his teammates were mobbing Ray Allen, maker of the game-winning shot against the Bobcats. But a careful review of Saturday night's game showed some valuable contributions from Scot Pollard, who played 11 useful minutes in a game decided by 1 point.

He had 5 points, all on free throws. He grabbed a couple of rebounds and blocked a shot. He was one of the five Celtics on the floor in the second quarter who ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One day later, with replays of Ray Allen's game-winner still fresh in everyone's mind, the Celtics rested. Not on their laurels, mind you. Despite an 11-1 record, the best in the NBA, they know they were lucky fellows to leave Bobcats Arena with a victory Saturday night.

But they did - and the way they did only adds to the many compelling storylines emerging from this season. Allen's winner was the baseball equivalent of a guy hitting a walkoff homer a...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Try to imagine a Celtics game with no double digit leads - by either team. Or a Celtics game with more than 20 lead changes. Or a Celtics game where - gulp - the Celtics actually trailed in the fourth quarter and the outcome came down to the last shot. (Boy, did it ever.)

All of that transpired last night at Bobcats Arena. But no one could have envisioned the ending, which goes right to the top of the scene selections of the Milt Palacio Fabulous Finis...