Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

Celtics coach Brad Stevens joins elite company with win No. 300

BOSTON -- For most of Brad Stevens’ time as Boston Celtics coach, he tends to get more out of his teams than most expect. 

So, it was only fitting that on the night he came up with a historic win No. 300 with the Celtics, it would come in a game where his team was at far from full strength. 

No Jaylen Brown (ankle). 

No Jayson Tatum (groin).

No Enes Kanter (hip bruise).

No problem for the Celtics, who rallied from a 16-point deficit before pulling away for a 109-98 win.

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And with the victory, Brad Stevens became just the fifth coach in Celtics history reach the 300-win milestone, a group that includes Red Auerbach (795 wins), Tommy Heinsohn (427), Doc Rivers (416), K.C. Jones (308) and now, Stevens. 

It is an impressive mark when you consider the company he now finds himself in, a fitting accomplishment that speaks to how Stevens has immersed himself into being an NBA head coach after arriving from the college ranks. 

In Stevens’ first couple of seasons in the NBA, when the Celtics weren’t nearly as successful as the Stevens-coached teams at Butler, there were steadily rumblings that Stevens would get tired of the NBA coaching lifestyle and losing, and eventually return to college coaching. 

Despite such speculation, Stevens has consistently maintained that he wants to be in the NBA coaching this team. 

Stevens downplayed the milestone and deflected credit when asked about the milestone after the game:

And games like the comeback win over Orlando on Friday night remind us that Stevens is not only all-in on this Celtics team, but he’s all-in on being one of the winningest coaches in franchise history. He got it done with an undermanned, injury-riddled bunch and it was similar to a number of wins he has amassed that have led him to where he is now. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Why Doc Rivers blames himself for Ray Allen's rift with 2008 Celtics

Why Doc Rivers blames himself for Ray Allen's rift with 2008 Celtics

Doc Rivers just wishes the "Big Three"-era Boston Celtics would all get along.

The talented group that brought the 2008 NBA title to Boston still hasn't fully reconciled with Ray Allen, who left the Celtics' core of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo in 2012 to join LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

For example, when the Celtics retired Pierce's No. 34 jersey at TD Garden in February 2018, many members of that 2008 championship team were in attendance -- but not Allen.

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In a recent interview with CLNS Media's Jeff Goodman and The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan, Rivers took the blame for the continued coldness between Allen and his former teammates.

"This one I take on myself," the former Celtics coach said. "I really failed with the Paul jersey retirement. I really thought Ray should have come to that, and I tried to get him to, and he just -- he wanted to, he was going to, and then he just didn't."

Rivers said he's tried to convince both sides to get together and let bygones be bygones -- which Pierce and Allen did briefly in 2017 -- and that he'll try again next season when the Celtics raise Garnett's No. 5 to the rafters.

"The last conversation I had with my guys, I said, 'There is no right time. The time is now. Just do it. And it'll be all fine. It'll be great,' " Rivers said.

" ... So, we've got to get this one done. I think it would be magical next year when they retire Kevin's jersey. I think it would be absolutely magical to get (Allen) to come out. He would be shocked by the ovation that he got."

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Rivers admitted he also was upset that Allen left to join the Celtics' "arch-enemy" in Miami, which had just defeated Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals.

But the Los Angeles Clippers coach sincerely believes both Boston fans and Allen's ex-teammates appreciate his contributions to that 2008 title.

"At the end of the day, the one thing I know about Celtics fans and our players: They all know we don't have a ring without Ray Allen," Rivers said.

Unfortunately for Allen and his former teammates, they won't be reconciling in person anytime soon with the country in a virtual lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Classic Celtics: Larry Bird lifts C's over Rockets in 1986 NBA Finals clincher

Some consider the 1986 Boston Celtics one of the greatest NBA teams of all time.

Here's your chance to watch them finish off that historic season.

NBC Sports Boston's "Classic Celtics" series -- which brought you Kemba Walker's 32-point outburst against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday -- rolls on Friday with Game 6 of the 1986 NBA Finals between the Celtics and Houston Rockets.

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The Rockets took Game 5 in Houston to send the series back to Boston, but they weren't prepared for Larry Bird, whose magnificent performance in Game 6 (29 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists) helped the C's earn a 114-97 win and clinch their 16th NBA championship.

Our re-broadcast of Celtics-Rockets airs Friday at 7 p.m. ET, and if watching Bird at the height of his powers wasn't entertaining enough, former Celtics center Bill Walton will join Brian Scalabrine throughout the night to provide color commentary.

Here's when and how to watch:

When: Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports Boston
Streaming: NBCSportsBoston.com and in the MyTeams app

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