BOSTON &nbsp; These are the times when all that Coach-speak about staying ready, actually means something. <br><br>The Boston Celtics went into Friday's game against Indiana even more short-handed than they were the previous night at Orlando with Keyon Dooling (hip pointer) added to the usual list of casualties in casual suits on the sideline.<br><br>And once again, the C's managed to knock off a quality opponent, as Boston took control of the game in the third quarter before holding on for a 94-87 win.<br><img src="commonglobal_imagesblog_divider.png"><br>This game, like most for the Green Team, was not easy. <br><br>Just when it seemed they had it put away, Mickael Pietrus was whistled for a flagrant-1 foul and a technical for taunting. A 10-point Celtics lead with 34.1 seconds to play was down to seven. <br><br>But the Pacers could not get any closer, as Danny Granger's driving lay-up was off the mark and ultimately wound up in Pietrus' hands with 28.5 seconds to play. <br><br>Indiana got into the whole foul-to-stop-the-clock game, as the C's cashed in its final few points from the free throw line. <br><br>The Celtics (9-9) have now won four straight which matches their season-best winning streak.<br><br>Making the run of late even more impressive is that it has come with key guys like Rajon Rondo (wrist) and Ray Allen (ankle) out with injuries.<br><br>But guys being out has created opportunities for players such as Avery Bradley (great defense, as usual), E'Twaun Moore (four points, solid work running the offense) and Chris Wilcox (season-high 14 points, six rebounds) to assume a greater role in the team's success.<br><br>Those players have rewarded the C's with solid play, the kind of play that validates all the talk in the preseason about this team being one of the deepest the C's have had under Rivers' watch. <br><br>Still, the C's aren't going anywhere without major contributions from their Big Four. With Rondo and Allen out, that leaves Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to carry the team. <br><br>They've done just that, but in their own unique way.<br><br>Pierce has done it the way he usually does - with a strong, all-around and often overlooked, game that's about more than just scoring. <br><br>He led all players with 28 points along with 10 rebounds and eight assists.<br><br>And Garnett has continued to play well defensively, as well as knock a shot down every now and then. He had 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists.<br><br>
PHILADELPHIA -- Only hours removed from surgery to repair a dislocated left ankle and fractured fibia injury, Gordon Hayward’s agent tells NBC Sports Boston that his client is already attacking the rehab process.
“We expect him to have a full recovery,” agent Mark Bartelstein said via phone Thursday.
That said, Bartelstein also noted that it’s unlikely that the 6-foot-8 forward will return to action this season.
“We don’t have a timetable or anything like that for him,” Bartelstein said. “It’s about getting better, healthier every day.”
The Celtics released a statement Thursday afternoon indicating Hayward underwent successful “bony and ligamentous stabilization surgery for the fracture dislocation of his left ankle.”
Performing the surgery was Drs. Mark Slovenkai and Brian McKeon at New England Baptist Hospital, with Dr. Anthony Schena assisting followed by consultations with Dr. David Porter of Methodist Sports Medicine in Indianapolis.
Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday when he was attempting to catch a lob pass from Kyrie Irving.
On the play, Hayward landed awkwardly on his ankle, which contorted in a way where it was clear immediately that he would be out of action for a significant amount of time.
Since the injury, Hayward has received an amazing amount of outpouring of well-wishes and prayers from Kobe Bryant, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and a cast of other current and former athletes. Both Edelman and Gronkowski know all too well about the challenges associated with returning to play after an injury.
"Go into rehab just like you go into anything else: dominate it," Gronkowski said. "Come back when you feel ready. Come back when you’re 100 percent. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he wasn’t a hard worker.”
And then there are the Celtics fans, whose support has been impressive.
Hayward delivered a pre-recorded message to the fans at the TD Garden that was aired on the Jumbotron high above half court prior to Wednesday night’s game against Milwaukee. Even after the video ended, there was no escaping Hayward’s presence was still very much in the building and on the minds of fans.
At one point in the 108-100 Celtics loss on Wednesday, Boston fans began a “Gor-don Hay-ward!” chant that soon swept its way throughout the TD Garden.
“It has been a bit overwhelming the amount of support that Gordon has received,” Bartelstein said. “It touched him in so many ways. The outpouring he got, certainly all the fans in the arena last night, from players around the league … it meant the world to him. And obviously, going through something like this, it’s devastating. So, to see so many reach out to him, it means the world to him and his family; there’s no doubt about it.”