Celtics

Celtics stay on top of East with 110-104 victory over Wizards

Celtics stay on top of East with 110-104 victory over Wizards

WASHINGTON - Kyrie Irving scored 12 of Boston's last 17 points and finished with 28 to help the Celtics remain in sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead with a 110-104 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Jaylen Brown added five of his 18 points in overtime for Boston. The Celtics have won five of six, and remained a game ahead of Toronto in the race for the East's top playoff seed after the Raptors win over New York earlier Thursday.

Otto Porter had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, and Bradley Beal had 18 points and matched his career high with nine assists.

But as John Wall remains sidelined following knee surgery, the Wizards committed 22 turnovers and shot just 2 for 12 in the overtime period, dropping their second straight game after winning five straight.

Irving went 9 of 10 from the foul line in his second game back from a thigh injury. And after Boston allowed Washington to come back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, he tied it from the line in the late seconds on three made foul shots after luring Markieff Morris into a foul on a 3-point attempt.

That was part of 10 straight points for Irving before finding Brown for a layup that made it 105-103 with 2:32 left in overtime.

Brown stretched the lead to five when he hit a contested baseline 3-pointer about a minute later, and the Wizards failed to get within a possession after that.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Signed and activated free agent C Greg Monroe, but did not make a trade at the NBA trade deadline. ... Coach Brad Stevens wasn't surprised. "It was probably the least amount of time that I was paying attention to it or on the phone over these days in five years," he said. ... Monroe was one of three Celtics players to receive a technical foul in separate incidents, along with F Marcus Morris and G Terry Rozier

Wizards: Traded G/F Sheldon Mac to the Atlanta Hawks for a 2019 second-round pick in a move coach Scott Brooks said gave Washington the flexibility to sign one or two players. "We're definitely looking," Brooks said. ... Mac (torn Achilles), who was then waived by Atlanta, has not played this season. ... F Kelly Oubre received a technical foul in the fourth quarter.

NOT TAKING THE BAIT

Although the Wizards won their first five games after losing G John Wall to knee surgery, Brooks denied the notion his absence has been a positive.

"He knows how I feel about him," Brooks said. "He knows how the organization, his teammates feel about him. And for anyone to think that we're not better with John, that's for clickbait."

ALMOST LOUISIANA'S MONROE

After reaching a buyout agreement with Phoenix, Louisiana native Monroe said he also considered signing with the New Orleans Pelicans after they lost C DeMarcus Cousins to a torn Achilles in January. "They obviously had a need there at my position," Monroe said. "It's home for me. So it was definitely a tough decision. But it was hard to resist here."

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BEST OF BST PODCAST: Welcome back Celtics

best_of_bst_podcast.jpg
NBC Sports Boston Photo

BEST OF BST PODCAST: Welcome back Celtics

0:41 - The Celtics returned from the All-Star Break in style with a 110-98 win over the Detroit Pistons thanks to a 65-point performance from their bench. A. Sherrod Blakely, Kayce Smith, DJ Bean and Tom Curran break down the victory.

5:52 - More details have been released about the FBI’s probe into NCAA basketball. Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, DJ Bean and Jim Murray discuss how the possible violations by multiple schools will affect the economy of college sports.

11:49 - After saying that the Patriots knew that Malcolm Butler would not be starting in Super Bowl LII, New England safety Devin McCourty amended his statement, adding that the team didn’t know Butler would sit out the entire game. The BST crew continue to discuss the biggest talking point to come out of the Super Bowl.

17:20 - Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich join DJ Bean to discuss the current state of Red Sox Spring Training camp, from the absence of J.D. Martinez to the status of certain bench players like Blake Swihart.

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Smart helps Celtics end three-game losing skid

Smart helps Celtics end three-game losing skid

There were Boston Celtics who had more points, rebounds and assists than Marcus Smart. 

But make no mistake about it. 

The Boston Celtics are a better team with Smart’s return, evident by them cruising to a 110-98 win over Detroit. 

MORE CELTICS

Smart was part of a strong second unit, tallying 12 points in his first game back after missing the previous 11 due to a laceration on his right hand that required 20 stitches to close after he punched a picture frame last month. 

“I felt great,” Smart told NBC Sports Boston following the game. “This training staff did a good job of making sure I was still in shape and ready come back when I did come back.”

Within minutes of entering the game, Smart drained a 3-pointer which was part of a Celtics’ 3-point barrage in which they were collectively 17-for-39 on 3’s.

Said Boston’s Daniel Theis: “He (Smart) was great for us today.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 110-98 win over Detroit. 

 

STARS

Daniel Theis: The 25-year-old rookie came up with one big hustle play after another. And when all was said and done, he had a career-high 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting to go with seven rebounds.

Ish Smith: For most of the night, he was the best player on the floor for the Detroit Pistons. He would lead Detroit with 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting along with six assists. 

Celtics bench: This was one of the best games we’ve seen from Boston’s backups. Along with doing a solid job defensively, the Celtics’ bench absolutely dominated the game scoring the ball. For the night, they had a season-high 65 points scored.

 

STUDS

Kyrie Irving: Irving did not have the monster game offensively, and the reason was clear: they didn’t need it. He had 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting which included four made 3’s, not to mention six assists.

Andre Drummond: He got off to a slow start, but Drummond’s play around the rim really picked up after the first quarter as he finished with a double-double of 15 points and 17 rebounds.

 

DUDS

Blake Griffin: He had 17 points, but he was non-factor most of the game courtesy of some really strong play defensively by Al Horford. Griffin shot just 5-for-19 from the field and turned the ball over six times. 

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