Dig this: Celtics outlast Nuggets in 3OT, 118-114


Dig this: Celtics outlast Nuggets in 3OT, 118-114

BOSTON For the fans of the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets who braved the elements and trekked out to the TD Garden Sunday night, they got their money's worth.

Boston and Denver put on a triple-overtime thriller that left everyone feeling good except the Nuggets who could not muster up enough big plays down the stretch and left with a 118-114 triple-overtime loss.

Paul Pierce had his second triple-double of the season with 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists while Jason Terry came off the bench to score a season-high 26 points. Boston also got a strong game and some clutch baskets from Jeff Green who had 17 points to go with four rebounds.

The Celtics (27-23) have now won a season-high seven straight, and in doing so ended the Nuggets (33-19) winning streak at nine in a row.

In the third overtime period, it was clear that Kevin Garnett was fed up with this game taking so long.

He went into "I got this" mode, scoring Boston's first six points to put the C's ahead 113-110. Garnett finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds in addition to six assists.

But as well as Garnett played to start the third overtime, the Nuggets once again had an answer.

Danilo Gallinari drilled a high-arcing 3-pointer over Garnett's outstretched hands to tie the game at 113.

And right back came the Celtics with a big shot from Terry to put Boston ahead 116-113 with 1:33 to play.

Gallinari had a pair of free throws with 1:13 to play, making the second to cut Boston's lead to 116-114.

Following a 3-point miss by Andre Miller, the Celtics got the loose ball that wound up in Terry's hands for an uncontested lay-up as time expired.

The game's ending wasn't all that surprising when you consider how it began.

The Celtics could not have drawn up a better start to the game as they opened with the game's first 12 points.

But the Nuggets countered with nine straight of their own.

The Celtics spent the rest of the quarter with a lead, one that they pushed back to double digits (29-19) with a 5-0 spurt to end the first quarter.

Boston's lead remained steady throughout the second quarter, although Denver made multiple mini-spurts that brought them within striking distance.

However, each surge by the Nuggets was matched with a similar push back by the Celtics who took a slim 50-46 lead into the half.

Pierce was on a pace for his second triple-double of the season with nine points, five rebounds and four assists at the half. Kevin Garnett was headed towards his 14th double-double this season with five points and seven rebounds at the half.

Meanwhile the Nuggets were being led by Kenneth Faried and Ty Lawson who each had eight first-half points. Faried finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Lawson tallied a game-high 29 points and nine assists.

Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery


Agent doesn't expect Gordon Hayward to return this season, but foresees full recovery

PHILADELPHIA --  Only hours removed from surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibia injury, Gordon Hayward’s agent tells NBC Sports Boston that his client is already attacking the rehab process.
“We expect him to have a full recovery,” agent Mark Bartelstein said via phone Thursday.
That said, Bartelstein also noted that it’s unlikely that the 6-foot-8 forward will return to action this season.
“We don’t have a timetable or anything like that for him,” Bartelstein said. “It’s about getting better, healthier every day.”
The Celtics released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating Hayward underwent successful “bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle.”
Performing the surgery was Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Anthony Schena assisting followed by consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday when he was attempting to catch a lob pass from Kyrie Irving.
On the play, Hayward landed awkwardly on his ankle, which contorted in a way where it was clear immediately that he would be out of action for a significant amount of time.
Since the injury, Hayward has received an amazing amount of outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from Kobe Bryant, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and a cast of other current and former athletes. Both Edelman and Gronkowski know all too well about the challenges associated with returning to play after an injury.
"Go into rehab just like you go into anything else: dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you’re 100 percent. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’t a hard worker.”
And then there are the Celtics fans, whose support has been impressive.
Hayward delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans at the TD Garden that was aired on the Jumbotron high above half court prior to Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee. Even after the video ended, there was no escaping Hayward’s presence was still very much in the building and on the minds of fans.
At one point in the 108-100 Celtics loss on Wednesday, Boston fans began a “Gor-don Hay-ward!” chant that soon swept its way throughout the TD Garden.
“It has been a bit overwhelming the amount of support that Gordon has received,” Bartelstein said. “It touched him in so many ways. The outpouring he got, certainly all the fans in the arena last night, from players around the league … it meant the world to him. And obviously, going through something like this, it’s devastating. So, to see so many reach out to him, it means the world to him and his family; there’s no doubt about it.”