Celtics

Celtics score season-high points in 124-118 win over Nuggets

Celtics score season-high points in 124-118 win over Nuggets

BOSTON – The news of the day for the Boston Celtics involved Gordon Hayward whose left ankle injury is clearly getting better.

The same can be said for the Celtics’ offense which seemed to score in bunches most of the night in their 124-118 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The 124 points scored were a season-high for Boston (24-6), which was coming off a 23-point loss at Chicago on Monday night – their worst loss of the season.

But after losing the first two games to start the season, Boston’s other four losses have each been followed up immediately by a win.

And Wednesday’s game against hot-shooting Nuggets (15-13) was no exception.

Kyrie Irving led Boston with 33 points while Jaylen Brown (26 points) and Aron Baynes (17 points) also had big games for the Celtics. Off the Celtics bench, Shane Larkin had 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting.

For the Nuggets, Gary Harris was a major problem for Boston as he finished with 36 points on 16-for-25 shooting. Harris’ backcourt mate Jamal Murray (28 points) also had a big game for Denver whose six-game road trip ends with a 2-4 record.

The final score was indicative of how this game was played out most of the night.

Boston found itself on the short end of an 11-3 run in the third quarter that brought the Nuggets within 83-81, only for Irving to give the Celtics a little breathing room with a turn-around jumper.

The Nuggets would eventually tie the game at 85 on a put-back basket from Harris.

By now, Boston was on the short end of a 15-5 run, so who do they turn to for a basket?

Baynes of course!

Baynes, well aware the Celtics would need more of a lift offensively from him with Al Horford (rest) out for the game, drained a jumper that was soon followed by a 3-pointer from Brown and a 3-point play by Jayson Tatum as part of a 12-7 spurt by Boston which gave them a 97-92 lead going into the fourth.

Tatum, coming off his worst game scoring (4 points) as a pro, bounced back with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Both teams shot the ball well at the start of the game, evident by the first quarter ending with the Nuggets ahead 31-30.

But the Celtics’ defense, even without their defensive leader Al Horford, found their defensive stride with a slew of stops.

After falling behind 33-30 early in the second, Boston responded with a 17-7 run capped off by a Larkin 3-pointer to put the Celtics ahead 50-40.

Denver responded with a 5-0 spurt which led to Brad Stevens calling a timeout with 5:43 to play.

Out of the timeout, Boston got a 3-point play from Baynes and a goal-tended basket from Jaylen Brown to make it a 10-point game again.

Boston continued to control the action in the first half which ended with the Celtics leading 68-59.

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Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

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Jarell Eddie hoping to find permanent home with Celtics

BOSTON – It was a pretty standard day in the G-League for Jarell Eddie. 

The Windy City Bulls had a game that night, but a pre-game nap was in order. 

But before he could drift off into a brief slumber, Eddie’s plans – and basketball career – were soon jetting off in another unpredictable direction. 

It was his agent calling to let him know the Boston Celtics were signing him to a 10-day contract for what would be his second stint – sort of – with the Celtics. 

Back in 2014, the Celtics picked up Eddie off waivers only for him to be waived by Boston just a couple days later. 

“I remember I was excited I got picked up off of waivers,” Eddie recalled. “And I was really excited and I thought, ‘okay cool, I’ve got another opportunity. And then a couple days later I wasn’t here. So, it was a real quick stint.”

The fact that he will be on the bench tonight is indeed progress compared to his first time as a Celtic. 

But more than anything, Eddie has a specific strength – shooting – that the Celtics desperately need more of going forward. 

“As we went through this past week, as the flu went through our team, with Kyrie and the shoulder, we wanted to make sure as we begin to head West we had a full complement of guys,” Stevens said. “And his ability to shoot the basketball is unique.”

While it is indeed Eddie’s greatest strength, he’ll need to show that there’s more to his game than just knocking down shots. 

First and foremost, he has to get on the floor which will not be easy. 

One of the reasons the Celtics signed him was because they weren’t sure of the status of Kyrie Irving’s sore left shoulder which kept him sidelined for Boston’s 89-80 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday. 

But Irving’s shoulder has improved to the point where he will return to the Celtics’ lineup today against Orlando. 

Eddie, who has 31 NBA games under his belt from his time in Phoenix and Washington, understands that his opportunities will be limited.

But for him, it’s all about having an opportunity – something the Celtics are open to giving him. 

“It’s just so rewarding to finally get that call that you worked so hard for in the offseason, during the season, while you’re playing in the G-League,” Eddie said. “Going through that grind. So, to get that call is such a reward.”

And now, the focus will be on him to answer that call and do enough in the 10-day window that he’s hoping to extend to provide himself with the one thing that has been missing throughout his pro career – a basketball home. 

“You never get used to it,” he said. “I feel like at this point in my career I’m chasing stability, to be in one place longer than six months or however long. You never get used to it. I know my wife is tired of it.  You’re definitely trying to get somewhere, stick somewhere.” 

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Marcus Morris impressed with New England's 'winning culture,' but allegiance is with Eagles

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Marcus Morris impressed with New England's 'winning culture,' but allegiance is with Eagles

BOSTON – Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris isn’t all that different than most football fans in New England as far as being excited about the games today that will decide who moves on to the Super Bowl. 

But Morris’ allegiance lies squarely with the Philadelphia Eagles who will host the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game which will be played after the New England Patriots beat the crap out of  play the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

“Before I got here, I didn’t really know how big sports was in this town,” Morris , who is from Philadelphia, told NBC Sports Boston. “Being here for a couple months, just walking around … it’s a winning culture around here.”

Morris added, “damn near every year they in the Super Bowl or right there. That’s big for the city. It means a lot for everybody.”

And while the last decade or so has not been nearly as great for his hometown, Morris sees progress on several fronts. 

“The Sixers are started to win some games and be more competitive,” Morris said. “Hopefully the Eagles and get it done today, sneak into the Super Bowl and if they get there, you never know what can happen.”

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