Celtics

Celtics survive Golden State scare, 107-103

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Celtics survive Golden State scare, 107-103

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- For as dominating as the Boston Celtics can be, they have a way of letting lesser teams get back into a game they looked to have under control.

Case in point: Fridays match up against the 27-33 Golden State Warriors.

They pulled off a 107-103 win, but it wasnt without having the keep the starters in for extended minutes down the stretch.

Between acquiring new pieces and players like Glen Davis suffering injuries, the starting five has been forced to establish a lead for the second unit, which is still trying to find its identity.

"We thought we had the game in hand, even when it was close, and you could still see it," Doc Rivers said. "We won the game, so you take the win. The only thing I told our team after the game was that when we have a lead, our starters have to come out and really play the same way, because they're putting a lot of pressure on that second group who, they don't know many plays. If you can give them a cushion, it would be nice."

The Celtics jumped out to a 32-27 first quarter lead, fending off 14 points from David Lee. With Glen Davis added to the long list of injured players for this game, every available Celtic with the exception of Sasha Pavlovic played in the quarter.

The Cs built their lead to 14 points in the second quarter, and led 63-54 at halftime. Jeff Green scored 13 points in 10 minutes off the bench, while Ray Allen led all players with 20 points at the half. Von Wafer suffered a right calf injury during the quarter and did not return.

The Warriors, though, didnt back down. Well, Monta Ellis didnt at least and the Celtics did little to stop him.

"I didn't like the way he got his 40," said Rivers. "A lot of it was at the basket, and a lot of it was back cuts. I mean, we don't ever give up back cuts and I had nine at one point in the middle of the fourth, so it was probably 13 or 14. So I didn't necessarily enjoy the back cut facet tonight."

Ellis scored 16 points in the third quarter to propel the Warriors to outscore the Celtics, 28-24, and cut the deficit to seven points.

The game that had potential to be a double-digit victory came down to the final minutes, as the Celtics combined their offensive efforts to fend off another 12 points by Ellis. His 41 points tied Kobe Bryant for most points scored against the Celtics this season.

Allen and Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 27 points apiece. Rajon Rondo added 16 assists. Lee posted a double-double with 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors.

Celtics headliner of the night was Green, who finished with 15 points in 18 minutes.

"He's a gazelle," said Rivers. "I mean, the guy can absolutely fly."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics back in win column

0:41 - The Celtics returned to their winning ways with a 118-103 victory over the Orlando Magic. Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Rob “Hardy” Poole break down the win.

6:58 - Tom Giles and Hardy discuss the Bruins’ four-game winning streak and how the success of Anton Khudobin has helped keep the team afloat.

11:39 - Is the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Dolphins a trap game? Tom Giles, Phil Perry and Hardy discuss where Miami ranks among NFL teams and how the Patriots should approach the game.

17:07 - With Black Friday upon us, the Boston Sports Tonight crew discusses what big-ticket item they would choose to buy for any Boston sports team. 

 

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

Morris out, Brown questionable for Pacers game Saturday

BOSTON – Boston made strengthening their depth at the wing position a priority during the offseason.

Well, that depth will be put to the test with the possibility of at least one and maybe two of their top wing players being out for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

Shortly after Boston’s 118-103 win over Orlando on Friday night, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced that Marcus Morris (left knee) would not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Pacers.

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Also, Jaylen Brown will be attending the funeral of his best friend (Trevin Steede) in Georgia on Saturday and isn’t sure if he’ll be back with the team in time for Saturday’s game.

“My intention is to make it back. If I can, I’ll definitely be playing,” Brown said. “But we’ll see.”

The absence of Brown would be a huge blow for the Celtics.

Boston only returned four players from last season’s team, none of whom have improved their overall game as much as Brown did during the offseason.

He came into the season focused on being a lock-down defender.

But Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury was a game-changer for all the Celtics, including Brown.

Not only would Brown be charged with being an elite defender, but Boston now needed the second-year wing player to become more of a scoring threat.

And to Brown’s credit, he has risen to the challenge.

In 20 games (all starts) this season, Brown has averaged 15.9 points per game which is second on the team to Kyrie Irving (22.9). In addition, Brown’s defense has been among the keys to Boston’s 17-3 start which is the best record in the NBA thus far this season.

His defensive rating of 95.0 is fifth among players to appear in at least 10 games this season, and tops among all second-year players. And of the four players ahead of him, two – Aron Baynes and Marcus Smart – are teammates.

But just like the Celtics gave Isaiah Thomas all the time he needed in dealing with the death of his sister right before the playoffs last season, a similar approach has been taken with Brown which he is admittedly appreciative of the organization for doing.

“Brad (Stevens) has been great in this process,” Brown said. “Just somebody to talk to, allowing me to deal with it in the best way our family and their family feels we can deal with it. He’s been great; we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I can make it to Indiana; if not, I just have to re-group with my family and I’ll see you guys next game (against Detroit on Monday).”

While there's a chance that Brown will play against Indiana, the same can not be said for Morris who is definitely out.

Morris, who missed the first eight games of the season with left knee soreness, has been on a minutes restriction all season in addition to not being allowed to play in back-to-back games.

Following Friday’s game, Morris said the knee feels good but he understands the need to be cautious.

“It’s frustrating,” said Morris who acknowledged the decision was made by the coaching and medical staff. “I’m a competitor, so I want to be out there.”

He added, “Like I said, at this point I pretty much don’t have control over it when I’m playing. It’s a long season. I just want to be ready for June.”

With Morris out and Brown potentially out as well, the Celtics will be extremely thin and inexperienced at the wing position. Look for Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes to be in the starting lineup if Brown is out along with Morris.

Also, Stevens will likely use Terry Rozier and first-year forward Semi Ojeleye more in addition to increased spot-duty for another rookie, Abdel Nader. On Friday, Rozier had a career-high 23 points while Ojeleye and Nader had seven and three points, respectively.

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