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Stud and Duds: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Pistons hold off Celtics 12.16.15 at 11:08 pm ET
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Kentavious Pope-Caldwell

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

After the Pistons opened their first double-digit lead of the second half, Celtics coach Brad Stevens turned to his bench, but it wasn’t enough to counter Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Reggie Jackson, who combined 54 points in a 119-116 victory.

Once the Pistons built a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead — their largest of the night, Jonas Jerebko’s nine points on three straight 3-pointers helped the C’s cut the deficit to four. But before Jerebko’s final 3-pointer, Jackson converted three free throws on a questionable shooting foul that extended Detroit’s lead to seven. In the end, Jackson scored seven more points and Caldwell-Pope added four from the free-throw line in the final minutes for the Pistons.

Isaiah Thomas made a 3-pointer in the final seconds that cut the lead to 118-116. The Celtics fouled Jackson, who missed his second attempt, but with no timeouts remaining Jared Sullinger’s desperation heave from the opposite end of the floor sailed wide in the final 1.7 seconds.

Remarkably, the Celtics loss on the second night of a back-to-back on the road for just the first time in 11 games. Thomas scored a career-high 38 points, Sullinger added a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Tyler Zeller scored 12 off the bench. Caldwell-Pope netted a team-high 31 points, Jackson dropped 23 and Andre Dummond had a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) for the Pistons.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Isiah Thomas, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson,
4 keys for Celtics to beat Warriors 12.11.15 at 3:06 pm ET
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Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry

Don’t let the Celtics fool you, this isn’t just another game.

The Celtics (13-9) have a chance to beat the undefeated Warriors (23-0) Friday night at TD Garden, and of course it’s not going to be easy. Reigning MVP Steph Curry is making a case for this year’s honor and leading the league’s best offense. Avery Bradley is going to do his best to pester Curry — make him uncomfortable, keep a hand in his face — but if the Celtics do knock off the Warriors it’s not going to depend on that.

The Warriors are a great team with a lot of weapons. If the Celtics are to pull off the upset, here are four things that would go a long way toward helping that happen.

1. Isaiah Thomas comes through with his season-best effort

No other Celtic has been more consistent than Isaiah Thomas. He’s averaging a team-high 21 points and leads the team in assists (6.3). The Celtics need a big night from their best scorer. If Thomas scores 30 or more points against the Warriors, it’s going to free up guys like Bradley and Jae Crowder. He’s only scored 30 points once this season (against the 76ers) but if there’s one Celtic you have to bet is going to score 30, it’s Thomas. Lately he’s been the second-half hero for the C’s. That has to end Friday night. Thomas needs to get it going early.

2. The C’s control the boards

Jared Sullinger has been a force on the glass lately, grabbing 36 rebounds in his last two games. But he is going to have his hands full guarding Draymond Green. Sullinger needs to out-rebound Green and keep him outside of the paint. The Celtics also are going to need all the second-chance points they can get. The C’s managed 17 second-chance points on 13 offensive rebounds against the Bulls, and they should be able to do the same against Green, Andrew Bogut and the Warriors.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Stephen Curry
Stud and Duds: Manu Ginobili, Spurs spoil late Celtics comeback 12.06.15 at 12:03 am ET
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Behind superior defense and efficient offense, the Spurs reminded the Celtics why they’re one of the best teams in the league, fending off the C’s late-game comeback and remaining unbeaten at home with a 108-105 win.

The Spurs (17-4) were dominant, shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and commanding the post — where they outscored the Celtics (11-9) in the paint, 44-30, and converted 10 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.

But the Celtics didn’t go down without a fight. They challenged the Spurs’ transition defense, outscoring San Antonio 28-3 on fast-break points. After the Spurs opened a 15-point lead at the end of the third quarter, the C’s pulled within two with a 14-1 run midway through the fourth quarter.

Avery Bradley (18 points) missed a go ahead three-point attempt with eight seconds left — the Celtics’ last chance to pull off the upset, since their last-second, full-court pass resulted in a turnover. Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 23 points, and Evan Turner added 16.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s 17 points led six Spurs in double figures.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Isaiah Thomas, Manu Ginobili, NBA
Stud and Duds: Isaiah Thomas, Celtics en fuego in Mexico 12.04.15 at 1:16 am ET
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The Celtics carried their momentum from Miami all the way to Mexico.

As part of the 2015 Global Games, the Celtics blew out old friend Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings in Mexico City, 114,-97, improving to 2-1 on their five-game road trip. Thomas scored 19 of his 21 points in the opening 24 minutes, propelling the C’s to a 51-36 halftime lead. In one of Boston’s most impressive shooting displays of the season, the Celtics shot 47.6 percent from the floor and finished with an impressive 34 assists on 40 field goals. The Celtics shot 42.4 percent (14-33) from 3-point range. After the C’s jumped out to a big lead in the first half, the Kings looked defeated, as the Celtics forced 19 turnovers on 14 steals.

Making matters worse, Rondo was ejected with two technical fouls in the third quarter after starting down official Bill Kennedy. The Celtics opened up a 26-point lead shortly after the ejection and never looked back. Thomas led four Celtics with 20-plus points, as Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each scored 20 and Kelly Olynyk netted 20 on 9-of-12 shooting (3-for-5 from 3) to lead the bench. Rudy Gay (18 points, 7 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (16 points, 7 rebounds) led the Kings.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Studs and Duds: Jared Sullinger, Celtics crush Wizards 11.27.15 at 10:57 pm ET
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Behind great defense and efficient offense, the Celtics routed the visiting Wizards, 111-78, Friday night at TD Garden.

The Celtics got off to a quick start, thanks to Jared Sullinger (18 points, 15 rebounds), who had his fourth double-double of the season by halftime. The C’s closed out the first half with a 54-36 lead, and then kept the pedal to the metal in the second half, outscoring the Wizards 57-42 to seal the blowout win. The Celtics forced a total of 22 turnovers, and Washington never led.

The C’s finished the night with 28 assists and 11 steals — two statistical categories that gave them a big advantage over the Wizards. They shot 43.3 percent from the floor, while limiting themselves to 15 turnovers.

“I think pulling that Sixers game out was huge,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “Playing that way over the last six minutes, not having played well for a couple of games in a row plus most of that game, and finding a way was probably good for us emotionally heading into tonight. And then I felt we had a pretty good shoot-around and then felt like we played on both ends probably as consistently for 48 minutes as we’ve played all year.”

Isaiah Thomas‘ 21 points led six Celtics in double figures. Avery Bradley scored 12 of his 16 points in the opening 12 minutes and finished with a plus-22 rating on the night. Jae Crowder added 15 points. David Lee and Kelly Olynyk each scored a dozen points off the bench. Former Boston College standout Jared Dudley led the Wizards with 19 points off the bench. Bradley Beal chipped in 16 points, and John Wall finished the night with just 10.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jared Sullinger, NBA, Washington Wizards
Stud and Duds: Celtics suffer worst loss of season in Brooklyn 11.22.15 at 9:27 pm ET
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What a difference 48 hours makes.

After crushing the Nets at TD Garden on Friday, the Celtics suffered what may end up being their worst defeat of the season, 111-101 at Brooklyn. Considering the C’s own the Nets‘ first-round pick, the loss is twice as tough to swallow.

The Celtics closed the third quarter on an 18-6 run, trimming a Nets lead as large as 22 in the first half to single digits entering the final frame. The C’s pulled within four in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump. They never led.

The Celtics started sloppy. Ten of their 17 turnovers came in the first half, and they couldn’t get into an offensive rhythm until the third quarter. But Brooklyn held firm in the fourth, shooting 50.6 percent for the game and outrebounding the C’s 49-35.

Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas both scored 27 points to lead the Celtics. And Evan Turner added 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench. Brook Lopez (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Thaddeus Young (11 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded a double-double for the Nets, who won for just the third time in 14 games this season.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Isaiah Thomas
Studs and Duds: Avery Bradley, Celtics blow out Nets 11.20.15 at 9:54 pm ET
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For the second straight game, the Celtics grabbed a big first-half lead — only they held it this time.

The Celtics outscored the Nets 68-40 in the paint and shot 58.6 percent from the field, blowing out the Nets, 120-95. The C’s led by 24 at the half (66-42) and opened up a 30-point advantage in the third quarter — their biggest lead of the night. Avery Bradley‘s 21 points off the bench led five Celtics in double figures. Jae Crowder (19), Isaiah Thomas (18 points, 9 assists), Evan Turner (12 points, 7 assists) and David Lee (11 points) also reached double digits.

For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Jae Crowder.

Crowder found his offense early and often against the Nets. After scoring 11 points in the first quarter, he finished the night with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds and had three steals.

DUD OF THE NIGHT: Joe Johnson.

Johnson couldn’t find a rhythm and was minus-19 on the night. He finished with three points on 1-of-5 shooting.

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Read More: Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Isaiah Thomas
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