Celtics

Garnett, Griffin matchup gets heated

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Garnett, Griffin matchup gets heated

BOSTON -- The heated moments between Kevin Garnett and Blake Griffin seemed inevitable -- one of the most intense players in NBA history against one of the game's most promising stars.

The competitive tension was obvious on the court Sunday afternoon as the Celtics battled the Clippers at the TD Garden.

There was a third quarter tangle under the basket, followed seconds later by an inbounds play in which Garnett stood close to Griffin on defense. Garnett moved his mouth near Griffin's ear as they bumped bodies fighting for position.

In the fourth quarter, Garnett and Griffin tussled in the paint. Garnett tried to have the last word, throwing an elbow at Griffin's chest. The officials did, instead, and whistled him for a technical foul.

The snapshots were indicative of how Sunday afternoon played out for the two big men. After the game, though, neither were interested in hyping the undeniably heated matchup.

"It's just another game," said Griffin following the Celtics 106-104 win. "I'm trying to execute our game plan, I'm try to get to my spots on the floor, I'm trying to keep them from getting to their spots on the floor."

Garnett finished the day with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 fouls, while Griffin posted 20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 fouls.

In his postgame interview, Garnett was equally unenthusiastic about discussing Griffin.

"I don't know," he said when asked by a reporter what he did to prevent Griffin from attacking with the ball late in the game. "I'm in the midst of playing. I'm not paying attention to his mood or whatever."

Garnett and Griffin didn't say much about one another after the game, and they didn't need to.

Their heated play on the court said it all.

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

Smart 'not worried' about lack of contract extension with Celtics

CLEVELAND – For the third year in a row, a first-round pick of the Boston Celtics is unable to come to terms on a contract extension prior to the deadline.

That means Marcus Smart will become a restricted free agent this summer. Last year it was Kelly Olynyk (now with the Miami Heat) and in 2015 it was Jared Sullinger (now with Shenzhen Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association).

Both the Celtics and Smart's camp intensified their discussions in recent days as the October 16th 6 p.m. EST deadline drew near.

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While there was progress made, there wasn’t enough to get a deal done.

Smart has repeatedly indicated that he wants to re-sign a long-term deal to stay in Boston.

And the market for the 6-foot-4 guard became clearer based on the contracts that some of his fellow rookie class of 2014, were receiving.

Denver’s Gary Harris agreed to a four-year, $84 million contract after establishing himself as one of the better young two-way talents in the NBA last season. And at the other end of the financial spectrum, you would have to look at Phoenix’s T.J. Warren who signed a four-year, $50 million contract.

More than likely, Smart’s deal next summer will fall somewhere between the deals those two players received.

As much as Smart would have preferred to get a deal done heading into the season, it’s not something that he’s going to cause him to lose any sleep.

“Get it done now, or get it done in six months, I’m OK either way,” he told NBC Sports Boston. “I’m not worried about it.”

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All signs point to LeBron James playing against Celtics Tuesday

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All signs point to LeBron James playing against Celtics Tuesday

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- A sprained left ankle injury kept LeBron James out of all but one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason games, and has created a certain element of uncertainty as to whether he’ll play against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night. 
 
While it has yet to be determined for sure if he’ll play, all indications are that the 15-year veteran will be in the starting lineup as the Cavs kick off their quest to remain the team to beat in the East.

“I never hide stuff from you guys. I really don’t know,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said when asked if James would play against the Celtics. “Depending on how he feels, but I really don’t know.”
 
However, James looked pretty comfortable shooting the ball after practice with a trio of former Celtics in Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Jeff Green. 
 
And if you listen to the man who would likely start in James’ place -- J.R. Smith -- there’s nothing to worry about Cavs Nation. 
 
According to Smith, James will play. 
 
“We were talking about it, he’s never missed, since he was 8 years old and he started playing, he’s never missed a first game,” Smith said. “I’m preparing for him to play.”
 
Despite having played more than 41,000 minutes -- only 33 players in NBA history have done so -- James has been one of the game’s more durable players. Last season James he sat out only eight games, and that was the most he has missed in a single season.
 
 "He's gonna go [Tuesday]," Smith said. "He's gonna go, trust me [on] that. I don't care what he's gotta do, he's gonna play."