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Studs and Duds: Celtics lose heartbreaker, Warriors keep streaking

12.11.15 at 10:39 pm ET
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The Warriors were without Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, shot 39 percent from the floor, playing a double-overtime thriller on the sixth game of a road trip, and somehow still walked out of TD Garden with their 24th straight victory.

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

The Celtics played phenomenally for long stretches, but missed seven of their 16 free throws and couldn’t create offense when they needed it most, losing a 124-119 heartbreaker after two extra frames. Still, the C’s (13-10) announced themselves as power players in this NBA season’s most unforgettable game.

“They’re tough, man,” said Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, who scored 38 points on 9-of-27 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. “Their record is still above .500, but they’ve played better than their record. They’ve got some big wins on the road against some tough teams — OKC, Atlanta. And when they win, they win bi. “They really show out, so you know they have that punch — that firepower. They provide a couple of matchup problems with some of the bigs that can step out and shoot 3’s and space the floor. You don’t really know where it’s coming from on a nightly basis, which is tough.”

Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with 28 points off the bench. Avery Bradley (19 points), Isaiah Thomas (18 points, 10 assists), Jae Crowder (15 points), Evan Turner (13 points, 9 rebounds) and David Lee (10 points) also reached double figures. Golden State’s Draymond Green had 24 points, 11 boards, eight assists, five steals and five blocks.

For the complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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4 keys for Celtics to beat Warriors

12.11.15 at 3:06 pm ET
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Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Don’t let the Celtics fool you, this isn’t just another game.

The Celtics (13-9) have a chance to beat the undefeated Warriors (23-0) Friday night at TD Garden, and of course it’s not going to be easy. Reigning MVP Steph Curry is making a case for this year’s honor and leading the league’s best offense. Avery Bradley is going to do his best to pester Curry — make him uncomfortable, keep a hand in his face — but if the Celtics do knock off the Warriors it’s not going to depend on that.

The Warriors are a great team with a lot of weapons. If the Celtics are to pull off the upset, here are four things that would go a long way toward helping that happen.

1. Isaiah Thomas comes through with his season-best effort

No other Celtic has been more consistent than Isaiah Thomas. He’s averaging a team-high 21 points and leads the team in assists (6.3). The Celtics need a big night from their best scorer. If Thomas scores 30 or more points against the Warriors, it’s going to free up guys like Bradley and Jae Crowder. He’s only scored 30 points once this season (against the 76ers) but if there’s one Celtic you have to bet is going to score 30, it’s Thomas. Lately he’s been the second-half hero for the C’s. That has to end Friday night. Thomas needs to get it going early.

2. The C’s control the boards

Jared Sullinger has been a force on the glass lately, grabbing 36 rebounds in his last two games. But he is going to have his hands full guarding Draymond Green. Sullinger needs to out-rebound Green and keep him outside of the paint. The Celtics also are going to need all the second-chance points they can get. The C’s managed 17 second-chance points on 13 offensive rebounds against the Bulls, and they should be able to do the same against Green, Andrew Bogut and the Warriors.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Stephen Curry

Poll: Will Celtics knock off Warriors?

12.11.15 at 11:17 am ET
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The Warriors bring a 23-0 record and 27-game regular-season winning streak to TD Garden on Friday night, and many are saying the Celtics are poised to pull off the upset.

What do you think? Can the improving C’s use their balance to hand Golden State its first loss of the season? Or will Stephen Curry and friends prove to be too much of a challenge for Brad Stevens‘ crew?

Will the Celtics knock off the Warriors?

  • Yes, Golden State's streak will come to an end (62%, 66 Votes)
  • No, the Celtics can't keep up (38%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 106

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Studs and Duds: Balanced Celtics beat Bulls, brace for Warriors

12.09.15 at 9:53 pm ET
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Eight Celtics scored in double figures, overcoming 41.3 percent shooting and winning for the first time when allowing 100 points, beating the Bulls, 105-100.

Isaiah Thomas finished scoreless in the first half, and then totaled 20 points in the final two quarters to lead the C’s in scoring. Kelly Olynyk netted 15 points, Evan Turner and Jae Crowder each added 13, Amir Johnson and David Lee both dropped 12 and Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley totaled 10 apiece.

The Celtics improved to 13-9 and tied the Raptors for first place in the Atlantic Division. Only the Cavaliers (14-7) have more wins in the East. The Celtics will have a chance to snap Golden State’s 23-0 start at home on Friday night.

On Wednesday, Bulls guard Jimmy Butler led all scorers with 36 points.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, David Lee, NBA

Studs and Duds: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics run past Pelicans

12.07.15 at 10:24 pm ET
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Behind a 30-9 run sandwiched around halftime, the Celtics defeated the Pelicans, 111-93, Monday night in New Orleans.

With 4:31 left in the second quarter, Jared Cunningham’s free throws gave the Pelicans a 42-40 lead, but Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics on a dominant 10-minute stretch that pushed transferred a two-point deficit to a 70-51 advantage.

Thomas started the run with a floater in the lane before hitting his next three attempts from beyond the arc. Thomas outscored the entire Pelicans team 11-9 during the run. Jae Crowder punctuated the game-breaking stretch with a 3-pointer of his own.

Not normally known for his shooting efficiency, Thomas finished with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from downtown. Kelly Olynyk (21 points), Jae Crowder (17 points), Jared Sullinger (11 points, 20 rebounds) and Avery Bradley (11 points) also scored in double figures for the Celtic€™s (12-9).

While Jrue Holiday scored 14 points for the Pelicans, the Celtics held New Orleans’ starting backcourt of Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon to zero points on seven shots. The victory marked the C’s third on a nine-day, five-game road-trip. The team returns to Boston on Wednesday to host the Bulls, before trying to hand the potential 24-0 Golden State Warriors their first loss of the season.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the buckets, read on.

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Stud and Duds: Manu Ginobili, Spurs spoil late Celtics comeback

12.06.15 at 12:03 am ET
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Behind superior defense and efficient offense, the Spurs reminded the Celtics why they’re one of the best teams in the league, fending off the C’s late-game comeback and remaining unbeaten at home with a 108-105 win.

The Spurs (17-4) were dominant, shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and commanding the post — where they outscored the Celtics (11-9) in the paint, 44-30, and converted 10 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.

But the Celtics didn’t go down without a fight. They challenged the Spurs’ transition defense, outscoring San Antonio 28-3 on fast-break points. After the Spurs opened a 15-point lead at the end of the third quarter, the C’s pulled within two with a 14-1 run midway through the fourth quarter.

Avery Bradley (18 points) missed a go ahead three-point attempt with eight seconds left — the Celtics’ last chance to pull off the upset, since their last-second, full-court pass resulted in a turnover. Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 23 points, and Evan Turner added 16.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s 17 points led six Spurs in double figures.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, Manu Ginobili, NBA

Stud and Duds: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics en fuego in Mexico

12.04.15 at 1:16 am ET
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The Celtics carried their momentum from Miami all the way to Mexico.

As part of the 2015 Global Games, the Celtics blew out old friend Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings in Mexico City, 114,-97, improving to 2-1 on their five-game road trip. Thomas scored 19 of his 21 points in the opening 24 minutes, propelling the C’s to a 51-36 halftime lead. In one of Boston’s most impressive shooting displays of the season, the Celtics shot 47.6 percent from the floor and finished with an impressive 34 assists on 40 field goals. The Celtics shot 42.4 percent (14-33) from 3-point range. After the C’s jumped out to a big lead in the first half, the Kings looked defeated, as the Celtics forced 19 turnovers on 14 steals.

Making matters worse, Rondo was ejected with two technical fouls in the third quarter after starting down official Bill Kennedy. The Celtics opened up a 26-point lead shortly after the ejection and never looked back. Thomas led four Celtics with 20-plus points, as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each scored 20 and Kelly Olynyk netted 20 on 9-of-12 shooting (3-for-5 from 3) to lead the bench. Rudy Gay (18 points, 7 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (16 points, 7 rebounds) led the Kings.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on. Read the rest of this entry »

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