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Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley buzzer beater lifts Celtics past Cavaliers in most dramatic win of season

02.05.16 at 10:43 pm ET
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Feb 5, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; The Boston Celtics celebrate after guard Avery Bradley (0) reacts after hitting a three-point shot to end the game and beat the Cleveland Cavaliers  at Quicken Loans Arena. The Celtics won 104-103. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Avery Bradley (0) celebrates his game-winner against the Cavs on Friday. (USA TODAY Sports)

It’s time to start believing in the Celtics.

Avery Bradley sank a corner three at the buzzer to give the Celtics a 104-103 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night for their eighth win in nine games.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 22 points, while Evan Turner filled up the score sheet, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists. Bradley, Tyler Zeller, and Jared Sullinger also finished in double figures as the C’s (30-22) maintained their hold on the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The C’s actually trailed by four with six seconds left, but Turner made a layup while being fouled. He missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds off the Cavs, giving the Celtics one last chance to win with 3.7 seconds left. The Celtics inbounded to Thomas, who avoided a double team and fed the ball back to Bradley in the corner. The defensive specialist let it fly as the buzzer sounded, coolly walking along the Celtics bench in complete confidence before the ball even swished to give the Celtics one of their most uplifting victories of the season.

It didn’t appear they’d have a chance after the Cavs jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, but despite struggling early in the first half, the Celtics kept the game close. LeBron James scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth, but the Celtics outscored the Cavs, 39-30 in that final frame.

The Celtics will welcome old friend Rajon Rondo to the Garden on Sunday when they host the Sacramento Kings.

For a complete box score, click here.

STUD OF THE NIGHT  Bradley deserves credit for hitting the clutch shot, but the Celtics stayed in the game due to the play of Turner. In the fourth quarter, Turner made a number of plays on both offense and defense, including a block of James. He finished with a game-high +11 in 32 minutes.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: The Cleveland fans, still upset by the Kevin Love incident during last year’s playoffs, are still quite upset with Kelly Olynyk, booing him every time he touched the basketball. Olynyk did not respond well to the extra attention, finishing with two points in 12 minutes.

VINE OF THE NIGHT: The Game Winner Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Avery Bradley buzzer beater, Cavaliers, Celtics

Danny Ainge says he won’t be afraid to deal Brooklyn pick

02.05.16 at 9:09 am ET
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Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

Appearing on Thursday’s Dale & Holley with Thornton, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge offered some clarity as to his approach toward the upcoming NBA trade deadline.

The most pressing question: Will Ainge be willing to include the Brooklyn Nets’ 2016 first-round pick — which the Celts own — in a potential deal?

“Sure. The Brooklyn pick could be had for the right person,” Ainge noted. “It’€™s going to be a costly price, as it would be for some of our best players. Look, we’€™re not looking to trade the Brooklyn pick, but at the same time, I could certainly see some things that we would do for the Brooklyn pick. And they wouldn’t be taking risks.

“We value [the Brooklyn pick]. Even the chance, even a small chance to get a very talented player is worth [keeping the pick] because you have some chance. And you can’€™t just give up a chance to get a really good player unless [it’s] for another really good player.”

Ainge added, “It would have to be, certainly, a very good player. And also it probably wouldn’t be someone in their 30s. That would have to be a good young player, because again, even if we had a 5 percent or a 10 percent or a 15 percent chance at one of the top picks in the draft, that’€™s worth keeping.”

Brooklyn has the third-worst record in the NBA at 12-38, with the Sixers (7-42) and Lakers (11-41) the only two teams with fewer wins. The Suns (14-37) and Timberwolves (15-38) are next on the list after the Nets.

Danny Ainge with Dale, Holley and Thornton

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Studs and Duds: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics defense shine in win over Pistons

02.03.16 at 10:25 pm ET
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Feb 3, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) defends against Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) in the first quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Zeller cuts off Reggie Jackson‘s path to the basket. (USA TODAY Sports)

Like Will Ferrell in “Old School,” the Celtics are officially streaking. The C’s won for the seventh time in eight games on Wednesday night, leading from wire-to-wire in a 102-95 victory over the Pistons.

Isaiah Thomas (17 points) led five Celtics in double figures as the Celtics opened a 24-point lead before holding on down the stretch. Guard Marcus Smart sealed it with a corner 3-pointer in the final 90 seconds with the lead down to seven.

The Celtics won with interior defense and efficient offense. They did a stellar job of defending the pick and roll between Pistons All-Star Andre Drummond and Boston College alumnus Reggie Jackson. And they picked the Pistons apart inside, scoring on drives and backdoor cuts, finishing with 54 points in the paint and 18 points on fast breaks.

Avery Bradley scored 15 points on 7-of-15 shooting, and the Celtics bench combined for 42 points. Jackson’s 17 points and Drummond’s double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) led the Pistons.

With the win, the Celtics have won six straight at home and remain tied with the Hawks for third place in the Eastern Conference.

For a complete box score, click here. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics, Celtics 102 Pistons 95, Evan Turner, Isaiah Thomas

Report: Celtics intend to trade David Lee

02.03.16 at 12:10 pm ET
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In a report that will surprise no one, the Celtics are interested in trading David Lee before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. After reports on Monday that Danny Ainge spoke to Lee about his future, today Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck tweeted :

Lee will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has not played in a game since Jan. 10. Despite the lack of playing time, Lee has not been a distraction in the locker room,  drawing praise from both Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge for his handling of the situation. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reports that the Celtics and Lee’s agents are working together to find an amicable solution.

Paul Pierce tells podcast how he nearly left Celtics for Blazers, but wanted to join Mavericks

02.03.16 at 10:14 am ET
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After Paul Pierce led the Celtics to the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, and before he led them to the 2008 title, he wanted out of Boston, and he nearly got his wish.

Speaking to Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast, Pierce explained how he helped nix a deal to the Blazers and pushed for a trade to the Mavericks that would’ve altered Celtics history.

“It was just discouraging,” Pierce told Mannix, courtesy NESN.com. “It was just like I want people to know who Paul Pierce is, what type of player he is, but the only way to do that is to be on the big stage, be in the playoffs with a shot at the championship. It was discouraging playing so well and not reaching the team success that I wanted to reach. Because at the end of the day, that’s how you’re going to be measured on how your team does more than what you do as an individual. When I didn’t see that, the results of that, it created doubts where maybe I could go somewhere else and find that.”

Trader Danny Ainge, who long lusted after point guard Chris Paul, worked on the framework of a deal that would swap the two young stars. But Pierce wanted none of it.

“It was just like, (the Blazers) weren’t going to the playoffs, they had a young team, too, players always getting in trouble, and I was just like, I’m not going to Portland,” Pierce said on the podcast. “I think I made the announcement. I think I did an article in the paper saying I wasn’t going to Portland if I got traded there. I might as well stay in Boston if I go to Portland. I know that was the one trade I knew about that was on the table that they were really close to pulling.”

Pierce had another destination in mind: Dallas, where he would join his fellow member of the draft class of 1998, Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs boasted a committed owner in Mark Cuban, and a young roster that would eventually win a title in 2011. Maybe it would’ve happened sooner with Pierce.

“If you can get me to Dallas, that’s where I wanted to go at the time,’€ Pierce said. “I thought Dallas was a player like me away from winning. They were 50-game winners. Dirk was pretty much by himself. I even ran into Dirk and Mark Cuban that summer. It was like, ‘Mark, you’ve got to find a way to get me over there. I want to get over there. I think I could help you all get over the hump.'”

It never happened, and for that, the Celtics should be grateful.

Read More: Blazers, Celtics, Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks

Celtics reportedly have talked to Rockets about Dwight Howard

02.03.16 at 8:59 am ET
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The rumor mill continues to churn out interesting stories regarding the Celtics and their pursuit of a marquee player. The latest has the C’s talking to the Rockets about veteran center Dwight Howard.

Writes Frank Isola of the New York Daily News: Meanwhile, the Celtics have engaged the Houston Rockets in talks about a possible deal for Dwight Howard, the Daily News has learned. Howard can opt out of his contract this summer, and considering his back and knee issues, it doesn’t make much sense for Boston GM Danny Ainge to use the assets on a player with declining skills and a battered body.

The oft-injured Howard, who was suspended by the league for Tuesday’s game after making contact with an official in Saturday’s loss to the Wizards, is averaging 14.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season.

The 30-year-old, who previously played for the Magic and Lakers, is making $22 million. He has a player option for next season.

Howard is an eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Studs and Duds: Tyler Zeller, Evan Turner led Celtics past Knicks

02.02.16 at 10:16 pm ET
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Feb 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) is called for a flagrant foul against Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) during the first half of an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony commits a flagrant foul against Celtics forward Jae Crowder during Tuesday’s game. (USA TODAY Sports)

Shooting is overrated.

On a night when the Celtics couldn’t make a 3-pointer to save their lives — missing their first 13 — it didn’t matter in a 97-89 victory over the Knicks on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

With the win, the Celtics (28-22) pulled a half-game ahead of the Heat and are tied with the Hawks for the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 20 points, while Tyler Zeller (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Evan Turner (14 and 10) both added double-doubles off the bench. Aaron Afflalo led the Knicks with 18.

In a sloppy and physical first half, the Celtics kept the game close, despite only shooting 38 percent from the field and missing all 13 of their 3-point attempts.

With their outside shots not falling, the Celtics pulled ahead in the third quarter by moving the ball and attacking the basket. After only managing six assists in the first half, the Celtics assisted on nine of their 11 third quarter field goals.

In the fourth, the Celtics bench, led by Turner, Zeller, and Kelly Olynyk, dominated the Knicks, abusing their terrible pick-and-roll defense. The trio combined for 25 of the team’s 27 points in the final frame.

They needed it, too, because they were abysmal from long range, making only 3 of 19 3-pointers (15.8 percent). They helped their cause by limiting the Knicks to 30 percent shooting from distance (6-for-20).

The C’s return home to play the Pistons to complete the back-to-back on Wednesday night.

For a complete box score, click hereRead the rest of this entry »

Read More: Celtics 97, Isaiah Thomas, Knicks 89, Kristaps Porzingis
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