Celtics

Shaq powers Celtics past Nets, 89-83

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Shaq powers Celtics past Nets, 89-83

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

BOSTON - It was an improbable scene. Shaquille O'Neal stepped to the free-throw line for two shots with the Celtics down by two points in the fourth quarter.

He made both.

It was that kind of night for O'Neal, who dominated the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds. More significantly, he shot 7-for-13 from the line, including 5-for-8 in the fourth.

Led by O'Neal's best performance as a Celtic, the C's beat the Nets, 89-83, and improved to 11-4 on the season.

"He looked like the 2000 Shaq," said Kevin Garnett. "He looked fresh tonight. He looked really good. I thought he did a great job of getting us in the bonus early. He definitely was the target tonight . . . On this team. night in and night out, we are going to have a different guy, from Paul Pierce to Ray Allen to anybody. And tonight it was Shaq."

But this victory wasn't without a downside.

Delonte West broke his right wrist after falling on a drive to the basket with 2:43 left in the second quarter. Coach Doc Rivers projects West could miss the entire regular season.

Witnessing West's injury makes Rivers more hesitant - not eager - to play the injured Rajon Rondo. He would much rather wait than risk his starting point guard aggravate his hamstring pull if he returns too soon.

"I'm serious about that," said Rivers. "Unless trainer Eddie Lacerte says he's feeling great, I just can't see it. And I know Rondo, so we're really going to have to have a long talk for him to play on Friday."

In spite being down two key players, the Celtics overcame a first-half push by the Nets to get the win.

The C's jumped out to a 18-17 first quarter lead thanks to eight points from O'Neal. They outscored the Nets 10-2 in the paint and looked to have the advantage down low.

But the Nets dominated the second quarter, 29-20, behind an 8-0 run. The Celtics were outrebounded, 8-4, and outscored 6-0, at the free-throw line. Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris combined for 21 points in the first half, which ended with the Nets in front, 46-38.

Down two guards in the second half, Marquis Daniels stepped in for 11 minutes and contributed 2 points, 2 steals, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, and a blocked shot to spark the Celtics. They outscored the Nets, 23-17, to cut the deficit to two points entering the final 12 minutes.

"I thought he really changed the game," Pierce said of Daniels. "I thought his length really bothered the point guards. In the pick-and-roll, he was able to get over and under, switch it up, just showing his versatility, some of the things that he can do when he gets in the game."

The fourth quarter belonged to O'Neal. He electrified the Garden crowd with a dunk off a feed from Allen and provided constant energy on both ends of the court. He posted seven points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter.

Nate Robinson sealed the victory with a 3-pointer to give the Celtics an 85-78 lead with less than a minute to go.

Pierce finished with 18 points while Allen scored 15. Harris led the Nets with 20 points and Morrow added 18.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcamerato

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”