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Fast Break: Al Horford, Terry Rozier fuel Celtics’ comeback victory over Timberwolves 11.21.16 at 10:32 pm ET
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Celtics guard Terry Rozier goes to the basket during Monday's win over the Timberwolves. (Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports)

Celtics guard Terry Rozier goes to the basket during Monday’s win over the Timberwolves. (Brad Rempel/USA Today Sports)

The Timberwolves entered Monday’s game ranked last in the league in second-half scoring. Luckily for Boston, that trend continued, as the Celtics rallied in the fourth quarter for a 99-93 road victory.

The Timberwolves ranked second in the league in first-half points (59.8) but last in points after the break (45.2). So, even though Minnesota led by 10 points at the half (52-42) and 13 points heading into the fourth quarter (81-68), there was reason to believe the C’s could make a run. And what a run it was — 19 consecutive points that started with a basket with one second remaining in the third after Boston had trailed by 15.

The Celtics, struggling for offensive consistency all night, finally got hot while the Timberwolves went ice cold, with the hosts failing to score a single point for almost seven minutes. Al Horford came up with a bucketful of big plays, including a block on Gorgui Dieng in front of the basket followed by a dunk at the other end.

Terry Rozier also provided a spark in the fourth, hitting a pair of 3’s, including one that tied the game at 81 with 6:52 left. Shortly thereafter, he came up with a steal on the defensive end that led to a breakaway one-handed dunk and a two-point Boston lead. When Horford hit a short jumper on Boston’s next possession it capped the 19-0 run and forced Minnesota to call its third timeout of the period and final one of the game.

While the C’s continued to attack, Minnesota continued to struggle to find the basket. The hosts scored just 12 points in the fourth (41 in the half). It marked the fifth time this season the Timberwolves squandered a lead of 14 points or more.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 29 points. Horford had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Rozier finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting (2-for-4 treys).

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Fast Break: Isaiah Thomas nets 37 but Celtics let it slip away vs. Pelicans 11.14.16 at 10:45 pm ET
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Amir Johnson (left) and Marcus Smart battle for a loose ball during Monday's game against the Pelicans. (Matt Bush/USA Today Sports)

Amir Johnson (left) and Marcus Smart battle for a loose ball during Monday’s game against the Pelicans. (Matt Bush/USA Today Sports)

When the Celtics were in a funk last week, Isaiah Thomas said that he needed to do more to help the team regain its identity. On Monday night in New Orleans, Thomas did his part, but the Celtics still let one slip away to the lowly Pelicans, 106-105.

Thomas scored 18 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter, displaying a variety of impressive moves on drives to the basket against much bigger defenders. He made 13-of-29 shots and 8-of-10 free throws while adding seven assists.

Thomas got free for a layup high off the glass with seven seconds remaining — with help from Kelly Olynyk sealing off Pelicans big man Anthony Davis in the paint — tying the game at 105. At the other end, Pelicans guard Tim Frazier — who had a big steal seconds earlier — faked out Olynyk just inside the 3-point line and drew a foul with 2.5 seconds remaining. He made 1-of-2 free throws that gave New Orleans just its second win in 11 outings this season.

Avery Bradley had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Marcus Smart contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 25 points and 16 rebounds. The New Orleans bench outscored Boston’s subs 57-20, led by Langston Galloway’s 21. Terrence Jones added 15 points and 10 boards.

“My biggest concern coming into the game were the other guys,” C’s coach Brad Stevens told reporters in his postgame press conference. “Because I thought that Anthony’s going to be Anthony, and he’s averaging 31 a game. But you can’t let Langston Galloway go off. Terrence Jones has had great games against us for as long as I can remember playing against him. So, obviously you’re very concerned and you need to start with Davis in a game plan. But those other guys really hurt us. They really hurt us tonight.”

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

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Fast Break: Isaiah Thomas, James Young lead way as Celtics knock off Pacers 11.12.16 at 9:40 pm ET
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Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas reaches around Jeff Teague to make a pass during Saturday's win over the Pacers. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas reaches around Jeff Teague to make a pass during Saturday’s win over the Pacers. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports)

Earlier this week, following back-to-back blowout losses, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas lamented the fact that the C’s had lost their “swag.” He put it on himself to find away to help the team regain its identity.

Mission accomplished.

Thomas overcame an off shooting night by hitting some big baskets in the fourth quarter as the Celtics put together a strong performance for a second straight night, leading to a 105-99 victory over the Pacers in Indiana, Boston’s first road win of the season.

Thomas shot just 4-for-13, but he hit 14-of-15 free throws to finish with 23 points. He joins Sam Jones (1965-66) and Kevin McHale (1986-87) as the only Celtics to score 20 or more points in each of the team’s first nine games of the season.

It was 99-94 with just over a minute left after Thomas hit two free throws. At the other end, Bradley snuck up on center Myles Turner at the 3-point line and stole the ball, then passed it to Smart in the middle of the court as he was falling out of bounds. Smart caught it in the air and, without coming down, fired it ahead to Thomas for a reverse layup under pressure that put the C’s ahead by seven with exactly a minute to play. Indiana never threatened thereafter.

For the second straight game, Brad Stevens elected to start Kelly Olynyk and Marcus Smart as Boston looked to avoid the disastrous starts that previously were a problem in embarrassing losses to the Nuggets and Wizards. The C’s did give up a lot of points in the opening nine minutes to the Pacers and trailed by seven after one period, but they led by three at halftime (48-45) and maintained that margin after three quarters.

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Brad Stevens on Donald Trump’s victory: ‘It wasn’t my vote’ 11.10.16 at 8:28 am ET
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Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens

Celtics coach Brad Stevens, while saying he is hesitant to discuss politics, felt strongly enough about the results of the Tuesday’s presidential election to reveal his view of Donald Trump.

“It wasn’t my vote,” he told reporters Wednesday in Washington, where his team was preparing to be routed by the Wizards. “Let’s put it that way.”

The Celtics learned of Trump’s upset victory while in the nation’s capital, and Stevens said he had to address it in an attempt to refocus his team.

“I think you have to be able to compartmentalize,” Stevens said (via MassLive.com). “We talked about that this morning, and that’s a hard thing. Everybody is — because it’s such a passionate topic right now, every team’s going to be feeling that this morning. It’s not going to be one team and not another.”

“I think the whole world’s talking about it and has been talking about it for quite some time,” Stevens added. “I read somewhere last week that the campaigning is double what it used to be. The coverage is probably 10 times what it used to be. The predictions are probably worse than they used to be. So I think that there’s a lot of discussion about it, there’s a lot of talk about it, there’s a lot of empty space, empty minutes of your day, that you’re turning on whatever and it’s constantly being discussed. So everybody was talking about it. I don’t think that was just our locker room or just anywhere else.”

All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas also tried to keep his comments to a minimum, although he previously had made it clear via Twitter that he opposed Trump.

“It was a rough night,” Thomas said of watching the election results. “But hopefully he’s good. That’s all I’m going to say.”

JBL_CMYK_NoHarmanNoRBallWEEI is how you listen to Celtics coverage. JBL cutting-edge wireless headphones and speakers are how you feel like you’re there. As the official Sound of the Celtics, Isaiah Thomas and the NBA, JBL is Made for the Biggest Stage.

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Isaiah Thomas laments Celtics’ lack of effort: ‘We’re in a bad funk right now’ 11.09.16 at 10:22 pm ET
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The Celtics’ latest embarrassment, a 118-93 rout at the hands of the previously struggling Wizards on Wednesday night, has left the team searching for answers.

Guard Isaiah Thomas said the bottom line is the C’s need to play harder.

“It’s tough. We’re in a bad funk right now. But we can’t hold our heads,” he told reporters in Washington. “One thing I think is, we’re not the hardest-playing team no more. I think that’s what made us special, that’s what made us good, is us playing harder than the other team, being more scrappier, getting all the loose balls. Rebounds don’t come to us no more because we’re not playing hard.

“I’ve got to watch the film, I’ve got to see what I’ve got to do better, see what we can do better. But that’s just the feeling I have right now, that we’re not the hardest-playing team. And that’s what made us special, what made us win 48 games last year and made teams not really want to play against us. We don’t have that swagger no more.”

The C’s biggest issues are with defensive and rebounding — they were beaten 54-31 on the boards Wednesday.

“It’s playing hard, leaving it all out there on the floor,” Thomas said. “That’s who we were. That’s what made us one of the best defensive teams in the league. That’s what made us win 48 games last year. We have to find that swag. We’ve got to find that … that. We’ve got to get that back. Because if we don’t, it seems like we’re going off talent, which we really don’t have that much talent, including myself. I think if we get that hard hat back where we’re the hardest-playing team, we’re going to be in every game. Last year we didn’t get blown out like this. Even though it’s early, it’s been two really bad games for us. But we didn’t have these types of games last year. Just half the battle was us playing that hard, which we were in most of the games.”

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Fast Break: Celtics dominated by Otto Porter, Wizards 11.09.16 at 9:30 pm ET
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Otto Porter heads to the basket for two of his 34 points Wednesday. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)

Otto Porter heads to the basket for two of his 34 points Wednesday. (Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)

Following Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Nuggets, Celtics coach Brad Stevens lamented his team’s lack of physicality. He undoubtedly was hoping the C’s would show some fight in Wednesday’s night’s game against the Wizards, who came in at 1-5.

No such luck.

Boston was outscored 34-8 in the first quarter — the biggest first-quarter deficit in franchise history — never mounted a serious comeback bid, and for the second straight game watched an opposing player turn in a career night as they lost 118-93. Three days after Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay exploded for 30 points at TD Garden, the Celtics watched as Wizards forward Otto Porter erupted for a career-high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting to go along with a career-high-tying 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and three blocks — one of them on a Jaylen Brown dunk attempt in the third quarter.

Porter, who scored 20 points in the first half as his team took a 58-43 lead, said the struggling Wizards wanted this game badly.

“This, to us, was like  must-win,” he told CSNNE’s Abby Chin before leaving the court. “We had to get this one. Whatever it takes.”

Meanwhile, with Al Horford (concussion) and Jae Crowder (ankle) still sidelined — but with Kelly Olynyk making his first appearance (2 points, 6 rebounds in 26 minutes) — the C’s were again hammered on the boards, as Washington held a 54-31 rebounding advantage.

The C’s (3-4) were led by Isaiah Thomas (23 points, 10 assists), Avery Bradley (21 points) and Marcus Smart (20 points).

Smart also was involved in an incident with John Wall. With 5:24 remaining and the Wizards comfortably in command, Wall inexplicably tackled Smart around the head and threw him to the ground — ostensibly while trying to steal the ball. Smart got up and immediately started an animated conversation with the Wizards star, although he showed remarkable restraint considering Wall’s seemingly unprovoked attack.

Wall was given a flagrant-2 foul and ejected — for the second straight game — while Smart was given a technical foul.

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Jaylen Brown meet-and-greet canceled after police disperse ‘aggressive’ crowd at Cambridge mall 11.08.16 at 12:47 pm ET
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A Monday night event at the CambridgeSide Galleria featuring Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown had to be canceled when crowds became unruly, forcing police to evacuate the mall, according to police and media reports.

Police said a crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people had gathered for a meet-and-greet with Brown and rapper Desiigner. When a group of fans in line surged forward and knocked over other people and barriers shortly before 6 p.m., police were called in to clear what they termed an “aggressive crowd.”

A police spokesman said fans threw glass, bricks and other objects, and police were forced to use pepper spray. Six juveniles were arrested for disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and trespassing.

Brown tweeted a photo of himself down the street from the mall and indicated he had not yet made it inside when the incident occurred.

Brown and the Celtics, coming off a disappointing loss to the Nuggets on Sunday night, next play the Wizards on Wednesday night in Washington.

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