Celtics

Pierce 'probably' won't travel to Toronto with C's

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Pierce 'probably' won't travel to Toronto with C's

BOSTON The Boston Celtics preseason begins Sunday at Toronto, and there will be at least one key player who probably won't make the trip.

Paul Pierce, who has been dealing with a right heel injury throughout training, will not play in Sunday's game against the Raptors, though Celticsteam trainer Ed Lacerte thought Pierce's heel may be improved to where he could play at Toronto.

"But why take the chance of going from no practice to playing in an exhibition game," Rivers said. "We're probably going to leave him back."

Rivers, speaking to the media prior to Thursday's practice, said there's a chance that Rajon Rondo (right ankle) may not play in the preseason opener at Toronto, either.

Rivers said Rondo was expected to participate in some drills on Thursday, but "I'm not going to let him go through anything live."

The C's are also taking a wait-and-see approach on deciding if Rondo will participate in the team's scrimmage tomorrow.

"Rondo may play Sunday, but I don't know that," Rivers said. "But Paul's definitely not."

Another Celtic dealing with some level of soreness, is Sasha Pavlovic. The 6-foot-6 guard has a mild sprain of his left wrist.Rivers said he's surprised Pavlovic's injury wasn't any worse.

"Sasha, he got flipped pretty bad in the air yesterday and landed on his hand," Rivers said. "It looks like he'll give it a go. Other than that, just same thing here, everywhere else, strains, things, and poor play."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history. 

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.

MORE:

Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”

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