Celtics

Celtics run away from Suns, 115-103

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Celtics run away from Suns, 115-103

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON The Boston Celtics are a team in transition - literally and figuratively - these days.

They certainly were on Wednesday night as they ran away with a 115-103 win over the Phoenix Suns.

A big part of Boston's success was the C's ability to score in transition, which is surprising when you consider Phoenix is one of the NBA's better teams when it comes to scoring on fast-break opportunities.

On Wednesday, it was the C's getting out and running as they outscored the Suns 24-7 in fast-break points.

"We said if we can get stops, we can run," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "We felt that we could really beat them down the floor."

And the key to Boston's transition game is Rajon Rondo, who had his 25th double-double of the season with 16 points and 15 assists.

"One of the things we told Rondo is to think of this as a coast-to-coast game," Rivers said. "Every time you got the ball, think about going from rim to rim until they stop you. And if they stop you, that means someone's open."

For most of the game, that someone was Kevin Garnett who tallied his 22nd double-double of the season with a season-high 28 points and 11 rebounds.

That was just part of a Boston (44-15) team that's still adding pieces to the puzzle - Wednesday was Troy Murphy's first game with the Celtics, and the C's will add another player, Sasha Pavlovic, as early as Thursday - but still good enough to put together a much-improved effort after losing 88-71 at Phoenix on Jan. 28.

In that game, Kevin Garnett was ejected after picking up two technical fouls. It was also a game in which Garnett connected on a below-the-belt-shot on Channing Frye that prompted some reacting to the incident by labeling Garnett as a dirty player.

"I don't really care," Garnett said.

More than anything, Garnett seemed bothered by comments about him that he doesn't believe are true.

"Don't make stuff up, stuff that's not true," Garnett said. "I don't fall from dirty. I play the game really hard. I play with my heart. I'm never going to make any excuses about that, so who cares what they're talking about."

There would be no questionable below-the-waist shots from Garnett on Wednesday.

Every shot Garnett tossed on Wednesday was above and more often than not, through the rim.

Garnett was smacking the Suns around - Frye in particular - most of the game.

He led all scorers with a season-high 28 points, with his play being a big part of the Celtics pulling ahead by as many as 29 points.

But the Suns, about as streaky a team as you'll find in the NBA, got hot at the start of the fourth and had Boston's lead down to just 10 points with more than eight minutes to play.

Just like that, the Celtics' runaway victory was now a game again.

A pair of free throws by Glen Davis with 8:17 to play pushed the C's lead to 93-81. He would later leave the game because of a strained patella tendon in his left knee.

Davis said he was planning to have an MRI done today, and go from there as far as when he would return.

Phoenix eventually cut Boston's lead to single digits following an Aaron Brooks jumper with 7:14 to play.

The Suns had to play a good chunk of the fourth without starters Vince Carter (mouth laceration) and Frye (eye contusion) who collided with one another.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

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Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

BOSTON – It was a pretty standard day in the G-League for Jarell Eddie. 

The Windy City Bulls had a game that night, but a pre-game nap was in order. 

But before he could drift off into a brief slumber, Eddie’s plans – and basketball career – were soon jetting off in another unpredictable direction. 

It was his agent calling to let him know the Boston Celtics were signing him to a 10-day contract for what would be his second stint – sort of – with the Celtics. 

Back in 2014, the Celtics picked up Eddie off waivers only for him to be waived by Boston just a couple days later. 

“I remember I was excited I got picked up off of waivers,” Eddie recalled. “And I was really excited and I thought, ‘okay cool, I’ve got another opportunity. And then a couple days later I wasn’t here. So, it was a real quick stint.”

The fact that he will be on the bench tonight is indeed progress compared to his first time as a Celtic. 

But more than anything, Eddie has a specific strength – shooting – that the Celtics desperately need more of going forward. 

“As we went through this past week, as the flu went through our team, with Kyrie and the shoulder, we wanted to make sure as we begin to head West we had a full complement of guys,” Stevens said. “And his ability to shoot the basketball is unique.”

While it is indeed Eddie’s greatest strength, he’ll need to show that there’s more to his game than just knocking down shots. 

First and foremost, he has to get on the floor which will not be easy. 

One of the reasons the Celtics signed him was because they weren’t sure of the status of Kyrie Irving’s sore left shoulder which kept him sidelined for Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. 

But Irving’s shoulder has improved to the point where he will return to the Celtics’ lineup today against Orlando. 

Eddie, who has 31 NBA games under his belt from his time in Phoenix and Washington, understands that his opportunities will be limited.

But for him, it’s all about having an opportunity – something the Celtics are open to giving him. 

“It’s just so rewarding to finally get that call that you worked so hard for in the offseason, during the season, while you’re playing in the G-League,” Eddie said. “Going through that grind. So, to get that call is such a reward.”

And now, the focus will be on him to answer that call and do enough in the 10-day window that he’s hoping to extend to provide himself with the one thing that has been missing throughout his pro career – a basketball home. 

“You never get used to it,” he said. “I feel like at this point in my career I’m chasing stability, to be in one place longer than six months or however long. You never get used to it. I know my wife is tired of it.  You’re definitely trying to get somewhere, stick somewhere.” 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Marcus Morris impressed with New England's 'winning culture,' but allegiance is with Eagles

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Marcus Morris impressed with New England's 'winning culture,' but allegiance is with Eagles

BOSTON – Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris isn’t all that different than most football fans in New England as far as being excited about the games today that will decide who moves on to the Super Bowl. 

But Morris’ allegiance lies squarely with the Philadelphia Eagles who will host the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game which will be played after the New England Patriots beat the crap out of  play the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

“Before I got here, I didn’t really know how big sports was in this town,” Morris , who is from Philadelphia, told NBC Sports Boston. “Being here for a couple months, just walking around … it’s a winning culture around here.”

Morris added, “damn near every year they in the Super Bowl or right there. That’s big for the city. It means a lot for everybody.”

And while the last decade or so has not been nearly as great for his hometown, Morris sees progress on several fronts. 

“The Sixers are started to win some games and be more competitive,” Morris said. “Hopefully the Eagles and get it done today, sneak into the Super Bowl and if they get there, you never know what can happen.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE