|12.03.13 at 9:50 pm ET|
All five Celtics starters reached double figures, led by Jordan Crawford‘s 25 points, and the C’s avoided falling victim to the three-win Bucks for the third time in as many tries this season with a 108-100 home win.
Starters Jeff Green (18 points), Brandon Bass (16 points, 9 rebounds), Jared Sullinger (12 points, 8 boards) and Avery Bradley (15 points) all reached double digits, and Courtney Lee added 11 off the bench.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Long distance: The Celtics sunk their first four 3-point attempts — a pair of Bradley treys sandwiched around one apiece from Crawford and Green — to grab an early 18-9 advantage and force a Bucks timeout. While the C’s missed their next 10 3-point attempts, the early barrage staked them to a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and a late string of triples gave them 11 on 24 attempts for the night. Crawford, Bradley and Green combined for 10 of them.
Over the Hump: The ankle injury to Kelly Olynyk finally created an opening for increased Kris Humphries minutes, and the veteran forward has responded with his usual rebounding prowess. As he has for his previous seven NBA seasons, Humphries entered the game averaging double-digit boards per 36 minutes (10.5), and that number only stands to improve after he snagged seven boards in his first seven minutes against Milwaukee.
Happy Lee returns: After missing the previous two games with soreness in his left knee, Lee scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting off the bench. He didn’t provide his usual stat sheet stuffing, but the Celtics desperately needed his offense after seeing their second unit get outscored by 49 points in his two-game absence.
|12.03.13 at 1:02 pm ET|
Since Rajon Rondo appears one step closer to his eventual return, now is as good a time as any to ask: Just how much will the three-time NBA All-Star point guard help the Celtics‘ woeful offense when he returns?
When we last saw Rondo, his 13.7 points and league-leading 11.1 assists per game created an average of 38.0 points for the Celtics, and that doesn’t include the new free throw and secondary assist statistics available this season on NBA.com/stats or the C’s increased pace under Brad Stevens.
This season, Jordan Crawford has received 1,301 touches, which ranks 15th among the league’s guards, and the Celtics rank 26th in points per 100 possessions (96.0). It’s safe to assume there’s a correlation there.
The other 14 guards: Chris Paul, John Wall, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, Tony Parker, Mike Conley, Ricky Rubio, Steve Blake, Kemba Walker and Jose Calderon.
The most jarring name has to be Blake, who’s doing a better job replacing Steve Nash on the Lakers than Crawford is substituting for Rondo. When you combine their scoring and passing, only Calderon creates fewer points per game than Crawford (23.8), and that’s because Calderon shares a backcourt with Ellis.
|12.02.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Nets swingman Paul Pierce is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a non-displaced fracture of the third metacarpal of his right hand, the team announced Monday.
The injury is likely to force Pierce to miss next Tuesday’s game vs. the Celtics in Brooklyn.
Pierce was injured in the first half of Friday night’s 114-95 loss to the Rockets.
Pierce is averaging 12.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 15 games this season, his first in Brooklyn following the offseason trade that also included Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry leaving Boston.
The Nets are 5-12 and ahead of only the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.
|11.30.13 at 11:16 pm ET|
This wasn’t exactly the corner the Celtics thought they might be turning.
After a decisive home win over Cleveland Friday night, the Celts suffered one of their worst losses of the season Saturday night, dropping a 92-85 decision to the lowly Bucks. The subpar performance was made even more difficult to digest for Brad Stevens‘ team considering Milwaukee had lost 11 straight.
Two of the Bucks’ three wins this season have now come against the Celtics.
The C’s had jumped out to an eight-point lead after the first quarter, but were outscored 28-14 in the second quarter. Also not not helping matters was a fourth stanza that didn’t see the Celtics convert a field goal until almost halfway through the quarter.
Jeff Green couldn’t quite repeat his 31-point performance of Friday night, finishing with 18 points. Jared Sullinger turned in another solid outing, scoring 21 while hauling in 14 rebounds.
Avery Bradley (4-for-15 from the floor, 9 points) fouled out of his league-leading third game.
The Celts were also out-rebounded by the usually rebound-challenged Bucks, 49-39, with the visitors making just four of their 19 three-point attempts.
|11.29.13 at 9:58 pm ET|
Green led a Celtics attack that saw Brad Stevens‘ team shoot 50 percent from the floor on the way to a 103-86 win over the struggling Cavs. The Celts’ forward netted 31 points.
The win marked the first time in 10 games the Celts scored at least 100 points.
It was Cleveland’s fifth straight loss, and eighth in its last nine games.
The Celtics, who improve to 7-11, jumped out to a 28-10 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. By the time halftime rolled around the hosts had a 55-39 advantage.
Jordan Crawford also notched his third career triple-double, scoring 11 points while coming away with 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Kyrie Irving starred for the Cavaliers, finishing with 17 points.
|11.27.13 at 9:56 pm ET|
Fresh off a two-game road winning streak, the Celtics proved unable to sustain momentum on their home floor. The C’s were outscored by the Grizzlies, 27-13, in the first quarter, and from there, Memphis cruised until the Celtics mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback that ultimately proved too little, too late, as the Grizzlies claimed a 100-93 victory.
Memphis led, 90-77, with 2:43 remaining, the game seemingly well in hand. But the Celtics reeled off a frantic 16-6 run to move with three — at 96-93 — when Avery Bradley drained a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining. But the Grizzlies bounced back to score the final four points of the game and secure the victory.
Jerryd Bayless led Memphis with a season-high 22 points off the bench, while point guard Mike Conley contributed 14 points and nine assists. The Celtics, in fast, had just five more assists than Conley as a team, on a night where their execution was extremely sloppy.
The Celtics shot a respectable 43 percent from the floor, but they committed 15 turnovers and had just 14 assists. Jeff Green (9-of-19 shooting) led the Celtics with 26 points while Jared Sullinger (10-of-18) contributed 23, but in contrast to the well-balanced scoring efforts at the end of the roadtrip, the Celtics had just three scorers in double figures as they fell to 2-5 at home.
For a box score, click here.
|11.25.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
The Celtics closed out their road trip with a second straight victory, following Saturday’s victory over the Hawks with a 96-86 win over the Bobcats in Charlotte.
Once again, the Celtics featured a balanced offensive attack. This time, five Celtics scored in double figured, led by 21 points from Jordan Crawford and a season-high 17 points off the bench by Gerald Wallace and 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from Brandon Bass.
The balanced scoring was complemented by distribution from unexpected sources. Rookie Phil Pressley had a career-high eight assists in just 20 minutes, while Crawford had five dimes.
The Celtics had a hard time containing Charlotte’s backcourt, with Kemba Walker scoring 28 on 11-of-17 from the floor and Gerald Henderson had 20, but the rest of the Bobcats scored just 38 points.
The Celtics improved to 6-10. They now return home on Wednesday against the Timberwolves.
For a box score, click here.
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