Thomas on ejection vs. Heat: 'I'm far from a dirty player'

Thomas on ejection vs. Heat: 'I'm far from a dirty player'

Isaiah Thomas found himself in an unfamiliar place in the closing minutes of Boston’s 105-95 win at Miami - in the locker room as a spectator after being ejected.

Thomas, who finished with 23 points - 10 of which came in the fourth - was whistled for a flagrant-2 foul which is an automatic ejection, after his elbow landed in the face of Miami’s Justise Winslow with 3:02 to play.


“Just a regular basketball move I do every game,” Thomas said after the win. “It just happened to connect. I don’t mess with elbows. Im far from a dirty player. It sucks the NBA makes those type of calls.”

Thomas said the lead official Tony Brothers didn’t think it was a flagrant-2 foul, but the  decision was ultimately made by the NBA’s replay center in Secaucus, N.J. 

“He (Brothers) has to to go off of what they say,” Thomas said. “I’m happy we won, but disappointed they kicked me out. There’s no reason for that.”

The Heat immediately began chipping away at Boston’s double-digit lead only for Boston to get a slew of clutch plays from Al Horford to secure the victory. 

“We did a good job of moving on to the next play, try and finish the game,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Thomas’ Flagrant-2 came after a Flagrant-1 penalty was called against Hassan Whiteside when he landed an elbow to Kelly Olynyk’s chin. 

The big difference between the two calls was Olnyk went down and got back up soon, while the blow Winslow took resulted in a cut under his eye. 

Thomas believes that might have been a factor in the Flagrant-2 penalty being called against him. 

“Maybe because they saw the blood,” Thomas said. 

But the one upside is that it did allow someone other than Thomas to deliver in the fourth quarter which is when he’s typically the best player on the floor. 

Even though he was off the floor for the final three-plus minutes of the game, Thomas still finished with 10 fourth-quarter points. 

“I like the fourth quarter and my teammates put me in position to be successful in that quarter and be aggressive and make plays,” Thomas said. “My job is, especially when we’re up, is control the game and make the right play.”

Rozier gets a big test tonight against Thunder

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Rozier gets a big test tonight against Thunder

BOSTON -- Terry Rozier has stepped up his game this season. There’s no disputing that point. 
And the Celtics have rewarded him with increased playing time, which he has proven he deserves. 
While he has made the most of his opportunity with an increased role due to injuries, at some point Rozier’s minutes should go back to being 20 or so per game. 
It’s amazing how far Rozier has come in such a short period of time, from a first-round pick many questioned as being a reach on Boston’s part, to an integral part of the team’s quest towards Banner 18.
And it is games like tonight’s against the Oklahoma City Thunder that will put the experience gained by Rozier as a major contributor, to the ultimate test when he faces off against reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook.
No one expects Rozier to put up Westbrook-like numbers . . . but would anyone be shocked if he did?
Remember, Rozier’s first NBA start came this season and he racked up his first career triple-double. The next game out, he dropped a career-high 31 points. 
But as we get deeper into the season, he’s no longer viewed as a backup or a role player, They see him as a player that has to be accounted for, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. 
“There’s a lot of teams in this league you could easily see him starting for,” a league executive told NBC Sports Boston via text. “He’s not Kyrie [Irving] obviously, and he’s a different kind of player than Marcus [Smart], but he can play. If teams didn’t know it before, they know it now.”
Rozier may not be a secret anymore, but here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on tonight as the Celtics go for the season sweep against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 


If the Celts expect to win tonight, they better get it done in four quarters of play. Because overtime has been a good time for the Thunder. They come into tonight’s game with a 3-0 record in overtime this season. They are one of eight teams with an unblemished overtime record, and no other team in the league this season has as more wins (3) in overtime without a single defeat. 


The NBA hit Marcus Morris up for $15,000 following “verbal abuse of a game official” at the end of Boston’s 108-89 loss at New Orleans.  Morris will be lighter in the wallet, obviously. But it also might get him even more fired up tonight which could lead to him lighting up the Thunder. 


Scoring around the basket has not been a strength of the Celtics, but with key players on the perimeter hurt, Boston has to generate points in other ways. Doing so against the Thunder, a team that has allowed 43.1 points in the paint per game --10th-fewest allowed in the league this season -- will be a challenge.


At some point tonight, Boston will be challenged to get back on defense and not allow Russell Westbrook to score on the break. The Celtics have been one of the league’s better transition defense teams in allowing 10.2 fast-break points, which is the fourth-fewest allowed per game this season. Meanwhile, the Thunder average 14.1 fast-break points, which ranks third in the league. 


The Celtic players talk all the time about how great the TD Garden crowd can be. But at the end of games lately, they haven’t let them much to cheer about. The C's come into tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with losses in five of their last seven home games with the lone wins coming over Memphis and Charlotte – two teams currently out of playoff seeding. Boston’s last home win over a team that’s currently in the top 8 was a 97-96 win over Portland on Feb. 4, a game in which Al Horford hit a game-winning, fadeaway jumper as time expired.


Report: Kyrie Irving may need screws removed from knee

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Report: Kyrie Irving may need screws removed from knee

BOSTON — Kyrie Irving is reportedly going to get a second opinion on his sore left knee which may result in him having season-ending surgery.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti reported on Tuesday that Irving will get a second opinion as early as Wednesday.

Irving suffered a fractured left knee cap during the 2015 NBA Finals.

He underwent surgery that sidelined him for the rest of the playoffs.

The surgical procedure performed on his knee involved the insertion of screws to aid the stabilization of the  kneecap.

The Celtics have already been ravaged by injuries this season. They lost Gordon Hayward just five minutes into the season due to a left ankle injury. Daniel Theis is out for the season with a torn meniscus injury to his left knee. Marcus Smart recently had right thumb surgery that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season, with there being a chance he will return at some point for the playoffs. And Jaylen Brown suffered a concussion that has him sidelined, as well.