Celtics

Pietrus looks to build off Wednesday's performance

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Pietrus looks to build off Wednesday's performance

TORONTO Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers liked what he saw out of Mickael Pietrus, who returned to the C's lineup on Wednesday after being out since March 23 because of a concussion.

He's looking for more of the same tonight when the Celtics face on the Toronto Raptors.

And like so many of the C's games this season, they will once again be short-handed with Ray Allen (ankle) out.

As for Pietrus, his play in Boston's 88-86 overtime win far exceeded Rivers' expectations both in terms of production (eight points, six rebounds) and minutes played (29). Pietrus was indeed a key player in the Celtics' victory, evident by the Celtics being plus-11 (that was the second-highest on the team) when he was on the floor against the Hawks.

"It's great to have him back," C's guard Avery Bradley told CSNNE.com. "He's a great shooter, great defender. Having him only makes us better, a tougher team to beat."

Said Rivers: "He looked good, he felt great. He said he felt normal. That's good."

While Pietrus told CSNNE.com following the win that he had put in extra work conditioning his body so that he wouldn't be too winded once he returned, look for him to continue to get in extra conditioning work between now and the playoffs.

"He worked out a little bit more yesterday, trying to get his legs back in playing shape," Rivers said. "I think these next three games will help that."

After tonight's game at Toronto, the C's play at New Jersey on Saturday and at Charlotte on Sunday.

"It's good to have him back," Rivers said.

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Gordon Hayward had surgery on his left ankle Wednesday night.

While there was hope he could return, Hayward's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season.

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Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE