Phoenix Suns defeat Boston Celtics, 116-98

PHOENIX - Celtics coach Doc Rivers is banking that nights like these are a rare occurrence when his team is completely healthy.

Already without Paul Pierce in the lineup, Rivers knew he was putting his team in an unenviable position last night by sitting Kevin Garnett because of a hyperextended right knee, and his squad played like it was missing two All-Stars.

The Suns ran off 16 straight points in the first quarter and staved off minor Celtics rallies for the final...

OAKLAND, Calif. - Those expecting the Celtics to pick up where they left off in June 2008 with a healthy Kevin Garnett have been exposed to a potentially dominant team with several obvious blemishes.

How else do you explain four of the Celtics’ seven losses coming to teams with a combined record of 39-80? In two nights, the Celtics revived the seasons of two downtrodden Western Conference teams because of their inept play in the fourth quarter.

Victories over the Cel...