Celtics

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Another feisty game between Celtics and Wizards

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Another feisty game between Celtics and Wizards

BOSTON – It was testy at times, feisty as ever and included a couple technical fouls being called.

Just another Boston-Washington game, one in which the Celtics go into the half ahead 58-47. 

Boston’s control of the first half really didn’t begin until there was a dust-up involving Terry Rozier, Brandon Jennings and Kelly Oubre Jr.

It led to a video review which determined that double techs were in order for Rozier and Oubre Jr., and a foul against Jennings.

At the time of the incident, the score was tied at 37.

The Celtics scored the next six points which included a long 2-pointer by Isaiah Thomas (the tip of his toe was on the 3-point line) that led to a Wizards time-out with 6:19 to play in the half.

Boston continued to surge ahead with their lead peaking at 11 points (53-42) following a pair of free throws by Thomas who was back in the lineup after missing two games with a knee bruise.

The control Boston displayed in the second quarter was in stark contrast to how the game was played in the first quarter which featured strong runs by both teams.

First there was the Wizards breaking open an 8-all tie with an 11-4 surge leading to a Celtics time-out with 6:19 to play.

Boston came out of the time-out playing a different, more effective brand of basketball resulting in 10 straight points that put them ahead 22-19.

The rest of the quarter was a tightly played contested that ended with Boston ahead 30-28 following a put-back basket by Avery Bradley.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Monday night’s game between Boston and Washington.

 

STARS

Avery Bradley

A defensive wiz most nights, Avery Bradley delivered a serious blow to Washington with his scoring, too. He led the Celtics with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

Bradley Beal

He leads all scorers with 15 points, but he’s had to work hard for it tonight.

 Jae Crowder

He had a great two-minute stretch in the first half where he was the best player on the floor. He goes into the half with 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting with five rebounds.

 

STUDS

Kelly Olynyk

We’ve seen Olynyk have some good nights on the boards, but never like this … in one half? He has three points to go with a game-high eight rebounds.

Brandon Jennings

He gave the Wizards a nice offensive jolt in the first half with seven points on 2-for-4 shooting.

Isaiah Thomas

Having the weekend off has left him a little rusty (2-for-7 shooting), but he’s still managing to make his presence felt. He has nine points along with four assists and three rebounds.

 

DUDS

John Wall

The All-Star guard has been all dud in the first half, scoring five points on 2-for-6 shooting.

 

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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