Archive for November, 2013

Celtics allow Bucks to snap 11-game losing streak

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

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.

Click here for a complete box score.

Jeff Green, Avery Bradley help halt Celtics’ home losing skid

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Jeff Green — and the Cleveland Cavaliers — were going to make sure the Celtics didn’t lose their fifth straight game at the TD Garden.

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.

Besides Green, the Celtics also got stellar performances from Avery Bradley (9-of-11 from the floor, 21 points) and Brandon Bass, who netted 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting fro the field.

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.

Click here for a complete box score.

Furious fourth quarter comeback falls short as Celtics lose to Grizzlies

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

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.

Celtics tame Bobcats for second straight road win

Monday, November 25th, 2013

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.

Celtics surge to fourth-quarter win in Atlanta

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Down 83-80 with just over four minutes left, the Celtics reeled off a game-ending 14-4 run as part of a 30-13 fourth quarter that permitted the team to snap a six-game losing streak with a 94-87 win in Atlanta. The Celtics shot 46 percent from the floor and featured a balanced effort, with six scorers in double figures (and none tallying more than 17 points). Brandon Bass had a team high 17 points and seven boards while making six free throws down the stretch, while Jared Sullinger scored 14 with nine rebounds (with a particularly pronounced presence on the glass in the fourth quarter) and Jordan Crawford, despite shooting 3-of-9, scored a dozen points while dishing out 10 assists, matching a season-high in that category.

While Hawks center Al Horford scored a game-high 18 points, the Celtics limited Atlanta to 39 percent from the floor. Boston also outrebounded the Hawks by a 47-38 margin.

For a box score, click here.

Fast Break: Pacers hand Celtics sixth straight loss

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The Celtics led the Eastern Conference’s best team by eight at the break, but a dreadful second half left the Celtics looking at a sixth straight loss and their 10th overall — this time 97-82 at the hand of the Pacers.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens grew up idolizing Reggie Miller and lamented the fact that Indiana has its best team of his lifetime before facing his former favorite team for the first time. And the Pacers lived up to that billing, holding the C’s to 12-of-30 shooting and forcing 16 Celtics turnovers in the second half.

Jordan Crawford led the C’s with 24 points. Jeff Green added 20 and Jared Sullinger 13.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Twisted: Kelly Olynyk got tied up with Indiana’s Luis Scola under the Pacers’ basket in the second quarter and immediately headed to the locker room with Celtics trainer Ed Lacerte and team Dr. Brian McKeon. The Celtics announced he would not return due to a right ankle sprain, calling the injury, “nothing serious.”

Give it way now: After staking themselves to a 25-22 lead and committing just two turnovers in the opening quarter, the Celtics committed four turnovers in their first eight possessions of the second quarter, allowing the Pacers to briefly regain the lead. Things only got worse in the third, when the C’s had more turnovers (11) than points (8) and the Pacers turned an eight-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Thin line: The Celtics entered Friday’s game with 76 fewer free throw attempts than their opponents. Tommy no likey. And they attempted just one free throw in the first 30 minutes against the Pacers — on a defensive three-second call. Tommy really no likey. Of course, the lack of a point guard capable of penetrating doesn’t help.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

So much Steez: Crawford fittingly capped a ridiculous first half by banking a 30-footer to beat the buzzer and hand the Celtics a 50-42 halftime lead. He also drained a shot clock-busting triple as part of an 8-for-8, 19-point effort in the opening 24 minutes. He added three assists in that span and was not credited with a turnover.

Defending their life: Without a defense that forced 16 turnovers, this loss could have been even worse. Led by Green (yes, that guy) and Sullinger, the C’s D respectively kept Pacers stars Paul George and Roy Hibbert in check for most of the night (until George dropped 14 fourth-quarter points). They just had no answer for Indiana’s depth, as Lance Stephenson recorded the first triple-double of his career while Scola and David West added 17 apiece. West has to be smiling now about choosing the Pacers over the Celtics in 2011.

Rajon Rondo on rehab, cornhole, wing-tipped shoes

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

As most interviews with Rajon Rondo do, his live chat with fans hosted by NBA TV’s Jared Greenberg for American Express began with some hilariously dry responses from the Celtics point guard, as he talked fashion for roughly five minutes. But Rondo warmed to the questions over the course of 17:42. Here’s what we learned.

He’s still not rushing his rehab.

“I’€™m anxious to get back out there, but I want to take my time, make sure this knee is healed 100 percent. I don’€™t want to rush back and have any second surgeries or get anything drained out of my knee. … I’€™m participating in some contact drills here and there, and as of now I’€™ve had no swelling, and I’€™m feeling pretty good.’€

He plans to enter the World Championships of Cornhole.

‘€œI saw a cornhole tournament on ESPN the other day, about a month ago, and I think I’€™ll probably try to enter next year and win that. I’€™m pretty good at that as well.’€

Connect 4 comes more naturally to him than basketball, and roller skating is a close third.

‘€œProbably Connect 4 — the most naturally. Or I could say basketball. I’€™ve been playing basketball for a long time, but I just love sports in general. I’€™ve always had a knack for competing, whether it was football, baseball, track. Anything I did, I’€™ve always wanted to be the best at it, so that’€™s a trickle down as far as Connect 4 or even skating. I always put a lot of time and practice in when I first started to [roller] skate, because I wanted to be the best.’€

He wanted to join the NFL a couple years back.

(more…)