Celtics

Garnett reaches 25,000 points in Celtics' win over Lakers

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Garnett reaches 25,000 points in Celtics' win over Lakers

BOSTON There will come a time when the game will eventually pass Kevin Garnett by.
And with each milestone he passes, that time becomes closer.
Thursday was yet another accomplishment for Garnett, who joined one of the more exclusive clubs in NBA history.
At the 8:08 mark in the second quarter of Boston's 116-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Garnett scored his sixth point of the night, which punched his ticket into the 25,000 career point club. He finished with 15 points and now has 25,009.
The 25K club is one of the more exclusive fraternities in the NBA, now 16 deep with Garnett.
"I'm sure someday I'll fall back and rock in my rocking chair having a cigar, thinking about what I've done," Garnett said. "I'm sure it will make some sense to me."
Garnett's ascension to being one of the NBA's all-time great scorers is an amazing feat for a player who has spent the bulk of his career taking great pride in being one of the league's elite defenders.
But with most of his career spent in Minnesota, Garnett had little choice but to become a high-volume scorer ... and rebounder ... and assist man ... and just about every job imaginable for the Timberwolves except tossing t-shirts into the stands during time-outs.
Since arriving in Boston prior to the 2007-2008 season, Garnett has been tasked with anchoring a Celtics defense that has been among the NBA's best annually.
For the 36-year-old, that is as ideal a fit as he could have.
But in achieving this latest milestone, it speaks volumes as to how talented Garnett is as an all-around player.
Only 15 players to ever suit up in the NBA have scored more than Garnett, and yet the imprint he leaves on most games is at the defensive end of the floor.
"You know what's funny is he's a great offensive player," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "But that tells you he's so good defensively that you rarely hear about Kevin being a great offensive player."
As much as Garnett deserves to be praised for what he has done in the NBA as a scorer, he'll be the first to acknowledge that his success offensively involves so many other folks.
Said Garnett: "I told Doc when I came here to all the coaches and ex-players and current players and systems and organizations, this great organization that I play for, I'm more than honored, because without the systems and the coaches, and obviously players that put you in a position to score the basketball none of this would be possible."
And making it even more special was that it came with at least one family member more than usual at the game.
"You know my family, my baby, she got to be at the game tonight and see it. Thank you for snow days," Garnett said. "She got to come to the game tonight which is kind of unusual, so it was good to have her here. It was great."

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

Celtics continue comeback narrative with win vs. Hawks

The Boston Celtics trail by double digits. The Celtics rally to make it relatively close by halftime. Boston continues to gain ground in the third, pull it out in the fourth.

Rinse. Recycle. Repeat.

That has been the Celtics’ mantra this season, with the latest chapter in their comeback narrative being a 110-99 win at Atlanta.

“We need to put an emphasis on playing with space and getting the ball to the other side of the floor,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “It just stuck too much early on. We were staring at some post-ups that if we got it to the other side, maybe you could take advantage of.”

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Boston (15-2) fell behind by as many as 16 points against the Hawks (3-13), the second straight game the Celtics have rallied from a double-digit deficit.

In Boston’s 92-88 win over Golden State on Thursday, the Celtics fell behind by as many as 17 before rallying for their most impressive win of the season.

That said, it still shouldn’t take away from what happened on Saturday against an Atlanta team that despite their record, has shown signs of playing better in their recent games.

Players are aware of the penchant they’ve shown thus far for falling behind only to mount a furious comeback for the win.

“We don’t try to (go down early),” said Kyrie Irving following Saturday’s win which extended their winning streak to 15 straight which is the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. “Some teams, they go on runs and whether that be us giving up some easy ones or giving up some turnovers or doing things we can correct. When we do correct them, it turns into a different game.”

And that is what makes this stretch of play so impressive.

The Celtics have not played a full game; instead they have had stretches of good play that have often masked their mistakes early in the game.

That’s why head coach Brad Stevens, obviously pleased with the team’s success, knows as well as anyone that his team has to become more consistent in their play if they are to get the most out of these wins and continue to build off of them and achieve their ultimate goal – getting back to the NBA Finals.

“We’re going to keep playing,” Stevens said. “But the biggest thing is, we can’t keep digging these holes.”

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Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

Stars, studs and duds: No lack of confidence for Brown

When it comes to the top backcourts in the NBA, you seldom hear about Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown.

That may soon be changing if they have more games like the one they delivered on Saturday as Boston put together a solid second half to pull away from the Atlanta Hawks, 110-99.

Irving had a game-high 30 points which was his second game with at least 30 points scored – both against Atlanta.

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And Brown, who had a strong 22-point performance in Boston’s win over Golden State on Thursday, was even better against the Hawks in tallying a career-high 27 points.

We all know about Irving who has established himself as one of the NBA’s top guards.

But is Brown on the way?

One thing Brown won’t have to develop going forward is, confidence.

He has long maintained that he believes he’ll be among the best in the league. It’s just a matter of him performing at a high level at both ends of the floor, consistently.

“I’ve always had that confidence, I can play with the best in the world,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin following the win over Atlanta which extended Boston’s winning streak to 15 in a row. “It’s just a matter of coming out, doing it. My teammates found me tonight. We had a good team win tonight.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-99 win at Atlanta which extended the Celtics’ winning streak to 15 in a row which is the fifth-longest winning streak in franchise history.

 

STARS

Jaylen Brown

Back in his home state of Georgia, Jaylen Brown delivered another monster game for the Celtics by scoring a career-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting with four 3-pointers.

Kyrie Irving

Irving had his most efficient game this season for the Celtics, tallying 30 points on 10-for-12 shooting to go with four rebounds and five assists.

Dennis Schroder

Atlanta’s best scorer delivering a strong 23-point, 9-assist performance for the Hawks.

 

STUDS

Jayson Tatum

He only had 14 points, but they all came in the third quarter and they included a few crowd-quieting dunks.

John Collins

He came into the league with the reputation of being a high motor player, and he has not disappointed. His hustle and energy led to him tallying 18 points and seven rebounds.

Marcus Morris

When the offense struggled mightily in the first half, it was Morris’ scoring that kept them within striking distance. He finished with 14 points, 10 of which came in the second quarter.

Kent Bazemore

He was Atlanta’s number two scoring option most of the night, and finished with 19 points.

 

DUDS

Boston’s first quarter defense

The Celtics can’t keep digging themselves these early holes, expecting they will turn it on and find a way to climb out of them. The Hawks led 35-20, fueled in large part by shooting 64.7 percent (11-for-17) in addition to out-rebounding Boston 8-6.

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