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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

Report: Celtics have interest in Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari

02.02.16 at 12:21 pm ET
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Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari

If the Celtics can’t swing a deal for an A-list star, might they turn their sights to a lesser acquisition that would still improve their team, a la Isaiah Thomas last year?

If so, that player could be Danilo Gallinari.

According to a report from over the weekend on Sportando, a website that tracks worldwide basketball, the Celtics have interest in the Nuggets’ sharpshooter, who’s in the midst of his best season.

The 6-foot-10 Italian, the No. 6 overall pick by the Knicks in the 2008 draft, has rebounded from 2014 knee surgery to post the best numbers of his career. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 5.6 rebounds a game, both career highs, and he ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in free throws made (291, 5th) and attempted (333, 9th).

That the Celtics would have interest shouldn’t be a surprise, since the Herald’s Steve Bulpett reported over the summer that Gallinari was a potential target of Celtics president Danny Ainge and that the sides had discussed a deal.

Gallinari, 27, is signed through the 2017-18 season on a two-year, $34 million extension.

Read More: Boston Celtics trade rumors, Celtics, danilo gallinari, Denver Nuggets

Report: Celtics boss Danny Ainge has spoken to forward David Lee about his future

02.01.16 at 3:24 pm ET
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According to a report from CSNNE, Celtics president Danny Ainge has spoken to representatives for forward David Lee about his future with the team.

Lee, who has not played in the last 12 games, is a free agent after the season. The 6-foot-9 power forward has lost his spot in the rotation with the Celtics deciding to shift to a smaller lineup featuring the versatile Jae Crowder at the 4.

Both Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens have praised Lee’s willingness to make the best of what everyone recognizes is a less-than-ideal situation. The 32-year-old former All-Star is a skilled scorer in the post, but not necessarily a fit in Stevens’ offense, which is built more around ball movement and 3-point shooting.

“All the success he has had in the NBA ‘€¦ he has dealt with it right,” Ainge told CSNNE.com. “He knows an opportunity is going to come to him at some points. He’s staying ready.”

Ainge declined to disclose what he told Lee’s camp, and there are no indications the forward has requested a trade in advance of the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

Lee is averaging 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He’s only two years removed from going for 18.2 and 9.3 in Golden State.

Read More: Celtics, Danny Ainge, David Lee, NBA Trade Deadline

Studs and Duds: Celtics fall to Magic, snap 5-game win streak

01.31.16 at 8:55 pm ET
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Jan 31, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Mario Hezonja (23) shoots around Boston Celtics forward Amir Johnson (90) during the first quarter of a basketball game at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Magic guard Mario Hezonja shoots around Celtics forward Amir Johnson during the first quarter at Amway Center. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

The Celtics saw their five-game winning streak snapped in a 119-114 loss to the Magic on Sunday in Orlando.

The hosts prevailed on the strength of a 72-point second half, overcoming a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to lead by as many as 11 in the fourth.

The Celtics cut the deficit to 3 with 14 seconds left to play on a four-point play by Marcus Smart, but the comeback fell short.

Evan Fournier (24) and rookie Mario Herzonja (17) led the Magic, combining for 41 points off the bench. Four other Magic scored in double figures.

Smart matched his career-high with 26 points including seven in a five-second span during the frenetic comeback. Isaiah Thomas had 23 and  Avery Bradley added 22.

The (27-22) Celtics are now tied with the Atlanta Hawks for fourth in the Eastern Conference, one-half game behind the Chicago Bulls.

For a complete box score, click here.

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Read More: Celtics 114, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Magic 119

Report: Celtics inquired about Hawks’ Al Horford, Jeff Teague

01.31.16 at 9:12 am ET
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Al Horford

Al Horford

According to Chris Mannix, the Celtics have shown in interest in some very interesting players.

Reporting on Friday night’s Celtics broadcast, Mannix said that Danny Ainge has shown some interest in Atlanta’s players, including Jeff Teague and Al Horford.

“Atlanta, I’€™ve been told, is ready to turn the page, to give the team to Dennis Schroeder, their young point guard, who is ready to step up and be a starter,” Mannix said. “Teague is available because Teague has some value. He has another year left on his contract, about $8 million per year, and teams across the league are looking to get him.”

Mannix continued, “I’€™ve heard that Boston’€™s inquired about several players with Atlanta, Teague and Al Horford. Teague might seem like a weird fit with this team because they already have point guards, but he is an asset, He’€™s someone the Celtics could be interested in.

“Horford, a little more difficult. It would be a gamble going after Al Horford because Al Horford is in the last year of his deal and he’€™s going to command a salary north of $20 million next year. But as we know and as I just said, (president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge is a gambling GM. He could make a move like that, too.”

Atlanta is currently tied for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference at 27-21, with the 29 year old Horford averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Teague, 27, 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per contest.

Read More: Al Horford, Celtics, Hawks, Jeff Teague

Studs and Duds: Celtics bench dominates Magic for 5th straight win

01.29.16 at 10:05 pm ET
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Jan 29, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8) celebrates against the Orlando Magic during the first half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko celebrates against the Magic during the first half at TD Garden. (Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports)

The depth is real.

Led by their bench, the Celtics dominated the Magic 112-94 on Friday night at TD Garden.

The Celtics outplayed the Magic for the majority of the game, but only led by nine points at the end of the third quarter. The Celtics bench unit of Kelly Olynyk, Evan Turner, Jonas Jerebko, and Marcus Smart then used an 26-6 run to blow the game wide open.

Olynyk and Smart led all scorers with 16 points, while five other Celtics were in double figures. Jared Sullinger also finished the game with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

The (27-21) Celtics have won five in a row and eight of their last 10 games. With the win, the C’s are tied with the Hawks for the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. The C’s will look to extend their winning streak to six games as they travel to Orlando to take on the Magic on the second leg of the home-and-home series.

For a complete box score, click here.

STUD OF THE NIGHT The Bench Mob

Since Brad Stevens shortened the bench to nine players, the bench mob has really excelled. Friday night, the foursome absolutely dominated the Magic reserves, outscoring them 60-35. All four players scored greater than 13 points and combined to shoot 7-of-10 from 3-point range.

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