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Doc Rivers: ‘We deserve everything we got. … We just don’t learn’ 03.20.13 at 11:22 pm ET
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Doc Rivers has been here before, and has had way too much experience this year in trying to rip his team a new one after blowing a double-digit lead and losing to an inferior opponent.

As a matter of fact, the Celtics did exactly that against the same lowly Hornets team they lost to at the Garden back on Jan. 16. But that apparently wasn’t motivation enough as the C’s blew a 13-point lead in the third quarter and lost to New Orleans on an Anthony Davis tip-in of an Eric Gordon missed layup with 0.3 seconds left to lift the Hornets over the Celtics, 87-86, Wednesday night.

Rivers needed just one minute, 45 seconds to tear his team a new one after the loss.

‘€œWe messed the game up [with] our spirit,” Rivers began. “I thought we thought we were going to win the game when we got the lead.

‘€œI told our guys at halftime, you could see it in the middle of the second quarter. We went from being a solid, just good-looking basketball team, to ‘€˜Showtime.’€™ And I believe in the basketball gods. When you mess with the game, the game messes you up. I thought we deserved it, I really did.

‘€œI thought we activated them. I thought they were ready to go. You could just see it. We stopped making passes, we started dancing around, stopped defending, laughing. You could see our guys laughing and joking. I told our coaches, I said, ‘€˜The basketball gods will get us tonight at some point.’€™ And unfortunately, it did. So, I thought we deserve everything we got.

‘€œWe don’€™t learn because we’€™ve done this three or four times this year and we just don’€™t learn. It’€™s disappointing.”

Rivers was asked just one question: Is he surprised this kind of play is coming so late in the season?

“It doesn’€™t matter at the point of the season, it really doesn’€™t,” he said. “But, it does get old. You could just see it. And once you do it, you can’€™t turn it back on. But I thought once we activated them, you could see the difference in the speed, the way they were playing and the way we were playing in the fourth quarter. We were trying to say, ‘€˜Come on, now.’€™ And I was like, ‘€˜No, you can’€™t do it now. You turned it off and you turned them on.’€™ I thought they were in a great place at the end. But we were asleep and we deserved it. I thought we absolutely deserved to lose the game. Whether or not we won it or not, we deserved to lose the game.’€

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, NBA
Stung again: Celtics blow 13-point second-half lead, lose to lowly Hornets at 10:35 pm ET
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Anthony Davis – the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft last June – tipped in the go-ahead basket with 0.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter to allow the Hornets to nip the Celtics, 87-86, Wednesday night in New Orleans. The Hornets were able to sweep the season series with the Celtics this season. The Celtics could managed just 31 points in the second half and lost their second straight, with road games in Dallas and Memphis on tap for Friday and Saturday nights.

On the final play, Eric Gordon went right on Avery Bradley and drove to the basket. His layup went hard off the glass and the rim. Kevin Garnett and Jeff Green failed to box out Davis, who tipped in the miss. The play was reviewed on replay but was upheld. A final shot by Garnett was off the mark and wouldn’t have counted.

Paul Pierce scored a game-high 28 points while Garnett returned to action after a two-game absence to add 20 points. Green, who had 13 points in the first half, was held scoreless in the second half.

Green picked up where he left off Monday night, when he scored a career-high 43. Green hit 4-of-6 shots in the first 24 minutes, scoring 13 points from his more customary spot coming off the Boston bench.

Garnett, showing no rust or residual effect from his left leg injury and flulike symptoms, was 6-of-9 from the floor and had 14 points. Pierce added 12 points, as the Celtics used an 11-1 run to build the lead to 12 before settling for a 55-45 halftime lead. Boston shot a blazing 21-of-35 (60 percent) in the first half.

The third quarter was a brutal one for the Celtics. They scored just 12 points and turned the ball over seven times, allowing the Hornets to erase a 13-point lead.

Courtney Lee‘s midrange jumper broke a drought of nearly 4 1/2 minutes late in the third quarter and put an end to an 18-5 run that saw the Hornets come all the way back from a 60-47 Celtics advantage.

The Celtics’ ship continued to take on water in the first four minutes as Ryan Anderson hit a pair of free throws that made it 76-69 with 7:39 left. Anderson hit a jumper to build New Orleans’ lead to nine, 78-69, with 6:25 left.

The Celtics – at one point – were outrebounded 26-9 as the Hornets attacked at will in the paint.

But the Celtics responded with a 10-0 run, including four straight free throws by Pierce over a 20 second span. But Anderson responded with a three with Pierce dunk 3:14 tied the game at 81-81. The New Orleans defense collapsed on Garnett, who found Pierce with 2:34 left. Pierce drilled the three-ball to put the Celtics back up, 84-81.

With just under two minutes left, Brandon Bass followed his own miss and tipped it in to put Boston up, 86-81, finishing off a 17-5 run. Bass got another key offensive rebound on an Avery Bradley missed three with 50 seconds left.

Pierce was called for fouling Ryan Anderson on a baseline three attempt with 35.5 seconds left as Anderson had the chance to tie the game. But Anderson, an 85 percent free throw shooter, missed the first one before making the next two to draw the Hornets within one.

The Celtics caught a break when Green called timeout just before getting whistled for a five-second violation.

Pierce missed a 15-foot fallaway with 17.9 seconds left, giving New Orleans a chance to win the game in regulation.

For more, visit the Celtics team page at weei.com/celtics.

Read More: Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA
Kevin Garnett: Anthony Davis ‘makes me look like a midget’ 01.17.13 at 12:33 am ET
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From one athletic freak out of Chicago’s South Side to another, Kevin Garnett had high praise for Anthony Davis.

“That kid is long,” the aging Celtics superstar said of the Hornets rookie. “He makes me look like a midget, man. I was nothing like him. He’s a freak of nature. This kid’s going to be really good. He’s going to be really good.”

Apparently, Garnett hasn’t looked in a mirror lately. He’s officially listed at 6-foot-11, although he’s easily 7 feet, and various outlets list his wingspan at 7-foot-6. That would make him longer than the University of Kentucky product, who measured in at 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan.

In an NBA career that’s spanned almost as many seasons (18) as the 19-year-old Davis has spent on this planet, Garnett only praises those few he deems worthy, and this year’s No. 1 overall pick received his stamp of approval.

Davis totaled 10 points on five shots, 10 boards and a pair of blocks in 27 minutes. He also helped force the Celtics into jump shot after jump shot, as New Orleans outscored the C’s 48-32 in the paint and 90-78 overall.

“We refused to go in the paint,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose team snapped a six-game winning streak and fell to 20-18. “We had an electric fence around the paint tonight. We just settled, I thought.”

Read More: Anthony Davis, Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Kentucky PF Anthony Davis 06.14.12 at 9:12 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

ANTHONY DAVIS

Position: Power forward

School: Kentucky

Age: 19

Height: 6-foot-10

Weight: 220 pounds

Achievements: 2012 National Player of the Year (AP, Sporting News, Naismith, Wooden), 2012 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 2012 Defensive Player of the Year (NABC)

Key 2011-12 stats: 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.7 blocks, 62.3 FG%, 32.0 minutes

What he brings: Davis is widely considered to be the premier prospect in this year’s draft. The 19-year-old is freakishly athletic with a long frame and the ability to run the floor like a guard. On offense Davis is extremely efficient, shooting 65 percent this past season. His length and athleticism allow him to be an alley-oop threat as almost every pass is in reach. He has also shown some guard-like ability on offense by averaging less than one turnover a game.

On defense, Davis brings a wide array of skills. His best skill is his shot-blocking, but he also is great at recovering, can guard on the perimeter, has a high defensive basketball IQ and gives full effort at all times. Despite his attacking-style defense, Davis keeps his foul count low. Scouts see his defense as the most ready aspect of his game.

The only knock on Davis’ game is that he appears weak at times, but he hides his lack of strength with his great athleticism.

Where the Celtics could get him: They have virtually no chance. It would be a major surprise if Davis is not the first overall pick.

Notes: Davis won a national championship with Kentucky this year as a freshman, tying an NCAA record for the title game with six blocked shots. … Davis set the Kentucky and SEC single-season record for blocks (186). … He was almost the consensus National Player of the Year, but the National Association of Basketball Coaches chose Michigan State’s Draymond Green.

Recent articles:

USA Today: How does Anthony Davis fit on each NBA lottery team?

Los Angeles Times: Anthony Davis can’t wait to shut down Kobe Bryant

College Basketball Talk: Anthony Davis headed back to where he helped UK win a title

Video: Here’s a highlight video of Davis’ 2011-12 season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Anthony Davis,
NBA lottery results: Hornets land big prize, Bobcats to select second 05.30.12 at 9:11 pm ET
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The bouncing balls went the Hornets’ way at the lottery Wednesday night, as they landed the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. The best player available is widely considered to be Kentucky standout Anthony Davis. The Hornets moved up from the fourth spot, where they had a 13.7 percent chance to win the first pick.

The league still technically owns the franchise while the sale to Saints owner Tom Benson is being finalized.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats, who had the worst winning percentage in NBA history last season and a 25 percent chance to land the first pick, fell to the No. 2 spot. The Wizards and Cavs will select third and fourth, respectively.

Read More: Anthony Davis, NBA draft lottery, Tom Benson,
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