Celtics make big plays down stretch to edge Bucks in overtime, 112-108

Celtics make big plays down stretch to edge Bucks in overtime, 112-108

The Boston Celtics had to make tough shots down the stretch, have their ball movement be precise and crisp as well as make big plays defensively (that charge Amir Johnson took with 2:37 to play in overtime was huge).

And then they had to fend off the hot shooting of Milwaukee’s Tony Snell who drained back-to-back 3's to tie the game at 108 with 1:13 to play.

This wasn’t how the Celtics thought the game would play out, not after leading by as many as 16 points.

But it was a good night in terms of how it tested them and maybe most important, it was good enough to win as the Celtics edged the Bucks 112-108.

Isaiah Thomas may be Mr. Fourth Quarter for the Celtics, but in the closing seconds it was Jae Crowder coming through with Boston’s last four points – all from the free throw line.

Crowder, who played on the Bradley Center floor when he starred at nearby Marquette, finished with 20 points and six rebounds which included the final one as time expired.

Boston also got some strong play defensively down the stretch from Amir Johnson whose ability to provide help-side defense against a driving attempt by Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of the key plays to the victory which was Boston’s third in a row.

And while Crowder was doing his best Thomas impression in the game’s closing seconds, Thomas’ scoring most of the night was huge as usual. The soon-to-be two-time all-star led all scorers with 37 points.

Boston scored the first six points of overtime, only for Milwaukee’s Tony Snell who was only on the floor to defend and shoot 3’s, make back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 108 with 1:13 to play in overtime.

After trailing the entire game, the Bucks rallied to come within 83-80 following a dunk by Jabari Parker – his first basket of the night. But on the ensuing Celtics possession, Thomas, double-teamed by the Bucks as soon as he crossed half court, found Kelly Olynyk for a lay-up.

Thomas wasn’t done.

The Bucks made it a one-possession game and this time, Thomas drained a 3-pointer.

Milwaukee wasn’t done, either.

Back-to-back baskets by the Bucks led to Brad Stevens calling a time-out and his team clinging to an 88-87 lead with 7:31 to play.

Out of the time-out, the Celtics got the ball in the paint to Marcus Smart who was fouled by ex-Celtic Jason Terry. He made the second of the two free throws to put Boston ahead by two points.

After a miss by Antetokounmpo, Smart found himself back at the free throw line and once again he split a pair of free throws which increased Boston’s lead to 90-87, only for Antetokounmpo tied the game with a 3-pointer.

Back and forth these two went with the Bucks continuing their rally while the Celtics seemingly doing just enough to cling to a slim lead.

Milwaukee took its first lead of the game, 95-94, following a 3-point play by Greg Monroe with 4:54 remaining to play.

The lead didn’t last long as Thomas drained a 3-pointer that put Boston back on top by two points.

It became a down-to-the-wire battle, a sharp contrast from how most of the game was played.

'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

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'Big Baby' busted with 126 grams of pot, $92K in cash

Former Celtics forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was arrested last month in a hotel room in Aberdeen, Maryland, with more than 126 grams of marijuana and more than $92,000 in cash.

Davis, 32, who played on the Celtics 2008 championship team was last in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers in 2015, was arrested Feb. 7 after the hotel owner at the Aberdeen Hampton Inn smelled marijuana coming from Davis' room, WMAR-TV in Baltimore reported.

“They recovered 126 grams of marijuana,” Aberdeen Police Lt. William Reiber told WMAR. “In addition to that, there was a briefcase that contained 92,164 dollars of U.S. currency along with a ledger that contained language which is consistent with someone involved in the sale and distribution of narcotics.”

Davis is charged with seven counts of drug possession and distribution.

Police said the strains of marijuana were from a Los Angeles wholesaler that court records show Davis told police he was in business with.

He told officers he was visiting family in Maryland. Davis' attorney told WMAR the former Celtic (2007-11) adamantly maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court next month to clear his name. 


Horford helps Celtics get back on track

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Horford helps Celtics get back on track

Aggressive Al Horford was on the floor Friday night for the Boston Celtics, a good sign for a Celtics team that has been battered by injuries. 

As the oldest member of the team, the 31-year-old’s leadership has to become more example-driven as well as existing in the spoken word.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST  - Smart's importance to C's, dissecting the East

Horford was on point for most of Friday’s 92-83 win over Orlando, a game that was far more lopsided in Boston’s favor than the final score might indicate.

The 6-foot-10 forward/center had a near double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

What was more telling was that Horford took a team-high 18 shots from the field, as clear a sign as you will find that Horford’s mindset on Friday was to attack Orlando’s defense early and often. 

And while it’s true that the Magic are one of the worst teams in the NBA, that doesn’t diminish the way Horford executed the plays called by head coach Brad Stevens as Horford played the role of primary scorer more often than usual, instead of being a major facilitator.

Having missed Boston’s previous two games, Horford was admittedly concerned if the lay-off might affect his conditioning. 

“Wind-wise I felt good,” Horford told reporters after Friday night’s win. “A little rusty on offense. But defensively I felt great. I felt our team came out with energy; just a good win.” 

A win that became a lot easier to get with Aggressive Al on the floor. 

 Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s 92-83 win over Orlando.



Terry Rozier: He continues to provide the Celtics with really solid guard play, with all-star guard Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) missing. Rozier had a game high-tying 17 points along with seven rebounds and five assists. 

Greg Monroe: The third quarter was when Monroe really began to take over the game. He finished with 17 points, 10 of which came in the third. 

Shelvin Mack: Not a lot to cheer about for Mack and the Magic who once again struggled in so many phases of the game. But Mack still managed to score 16 points. 



Al Horford: Having missed the two previous games, Horford was back in full force on Friday. He had 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting to go with nine rebounds

Boston rebounding: The Celtics control of the glass began from the outset and never really eased up. For the game, Boston grabbed 55 rebounds compared to just 40 by Orlando. 



Fourth-quarter Celtics: The only real blemish on an otherwise impressive performance by Boston, was the team’s overall play in the fourth quarter. Boston was outscored 31-17 and turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.