For Celtics, winning streak is history in the making


For Celtics, winning streak is history in the making

BOSTON – Beating the Atlanta Hawks 110-99 on Saturday did more than just pad the win total for the Boston Celtics.
It moved them even further up the food chain to what has already been a pretty amazing season.
Saturday’s win was their 15th straight, which places them in the penthouse of great Celtics runs of success.
Only four other teams in this franchise's storied history have won more consecutive games than this year’s group.
Here at NBC Sports Boston, we take a look back at the four teams that are ahead of the Celtics in what has been one of the greatest streaks in franchise history.

19 straight wins:  Nov. 15, 2008 – Dec. 23, 2008
Fresh off claiming Banner 17, the Celtics were determined to take their place among the all-time great Celtics teams by winning a second straight NBA title. They seemed well on their way with a 15-2 start to the season and of course, their 19-game winning streak. But what turned into a season-ending knee injury suffered by Kevin Garnett later in the year derailed their date with destiny and instead ended with them being upset by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the playoffs , brining a quicker-than-expected end to one of the best regular seasons in franchise history.

18 straight wins: Feb. 24, 1982 – March 26, 1982
Boston was still considered the best team in the East, although Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers were very much closing the gap. The Celtics dodged a number of close calls during the streak with seven games decided by five points or less, including a 98-97 overtime win at Washington in which the Bullets (now Wizards) went into the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead. The Celtics’ streak eventually came to an end at the hands of the Sixers, which, in hindsight, served as a precursor for Boston losing to Dr. J and the Sixers in the playoffs.

17 straight wins: Nov. 28, 1959 – Dec. 30, 1959
The Celtics were defending NBA champions and seemingly off to a strong start, only to lose back-to-back games to Philadelphia. While it was still early in the season, they knew they had to quickly right the ship. And they did. During the 17-game winning streak, 12 were by double-digits with only three by five points. The streak ended on New Year’s Day 1960. But by then, the Celtics had re-established their presence atop the NBA landscape and would go on to claim the second of eight straight NBA titles.

16 straight wins: Dec. 19, 1964 – Jan. 22, 1965
There was little doubt in anyone’s mind that this Celtic team was going to have a special season. They got things going with an 11-0 record right out the gate. And they weren’t just winning games; they were thumping teams with flat-out beatdowns, which is evident by their average margin of victory being by 18.5 points per game. That’s not all that surprising when you consider most of Boston’s core group consisted of players in their prime such as Bill Russell and Tommy Heinsohn. The streak began with a double-digit win over the St. Louis Hawks and would roll along for another couple of weeks. During both the start of the season and the 16-game winning streak, both cemented Boston as the team everyone was chasing. And no one caught them. The Celtics continued to be the dominant force in the league and the season ended with another title, which was the franchise’s seventh straight.

Kyrie, Celtics defeat Knicks 121-112

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Kyrie, Celtics defeat Knicks 121-112

Kyrie Irving on the court can be a lot of trouble, messed around and (almost) had a triple-double.

The Celtics all-star, no stranger to big performances on big stages, delivered one of his best all-around performances for Boston.

And did they ever need it, holding on for a 121-112 win over the pesky New York Knicks.

Irving was as dominant as we’ve seen him this season, finishing with 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Boston also got a strong game from Jaylen Brown who tallied 24 points which included a breakaway dunk to put Boston up 115-106 with less than two minutes to play.

And New York was led by Trey Burke’s 26 points.

After having lost three straight and four of five, Boston (42-19) has come out of the all-star break with back-to-back wins over Detroit and New York, respectively.

While there are certainly tougher foes on the horizon for the Celtics than what they’ve seen in these last two games (both wins), beating teams they’re supposed to is part of the process in getting back to where they were earlier this season.

But tonight’s game, like so many for the Celtics, didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts.

Boston avoided the early hole that they frequently found themselves in prior to the all-star break, but they didn’t exactly surge away and take control of the game from the jump, either.

Boston spent most of the first quarter playing with a slim lead, only for New York to end the quarter with a 5-0 spurt that put the Knicks ahead 24-23 after the first.

The second quarter was more of the same with both teams going on runs to seemingly take control, only for the lead to eventually disappear.

Trailing 49-48, Boston closed out the quarter with an 11-5 run to lead 59-54 at the half.

In the third, it was all about Irving who mixed in an array of 3’s and drives to the basket which helped the Celtics pull ahead by double-digits only for the Knicks to chip away at the lead which stood at 88-81 going into the fourth.


Baynes injury shakes up Celtics rotation

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Baynes injury shakes up Celtics rotation

Brad Stevens said a shake-up of some kind with the team’s rotation was on the table, but he didn’t want it to come about due to injuries.

Aron Baynes is out for tonight’s game against New York after suffering an elbow injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 110-98 win at Detroit on Friday night.

Replacing him in the starting lineup will be Daniel Theis who is coming off a career-high 19 points in Boston’s win over the Pistons.

Boston will also benefit from having Shane Larkin available. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Larkin will be available to play after having missed the previous nine straight games because of a sore right knee.

Regardless of who may or may not play, the Celtics will need the collective efforts of all their available players to close out the regular season on a high note.

“We got a lot of guys that have done this for a long time, but we also got a lot of guys that haven’t,” Stevens said. “We gotta lean on all the freshness left in their legs.”