Celtics escape with last-second win over Charlotte in Terry Rozier's return "home"

Celtics escape with last-second win over Charlotte in Terry Rozier's return "home"

BOSTON -- Terry Rozier made his way into the TD Garden on Sunday afternoon and was soon greeted by some familiar faces. 

After chatting a couple of folks in media relations, Rozier took a few more paces forward and soon made a sharp left turn into the visitor’s locker room which served as the first noticeable difference between the four years he spent as a Celtic and the new reality of his life with his new team, the Charlotte Hornets. 

“This is home for me,” Rozier said. 

And while the fans certainly showed Rozier some love when he was introduced with the rest of the Charlotte starters, the Celtics still managed to come away with a 107-106 preseason win. 

Jayson Tatum led all players with 20 points and Celtics fan favorite Tacko Fall came off the  Celtics bench and scored five points to go with three rebounds and two blocked shots in eight minutes of action. 

Boston also got a nice lift from rookie Carsen Edwards who picked up where he left off in summer league with his instant-offense game. He had 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting which included 3-for-6 from 3-point range. 

In limited minutes, Rozier reminded all in attendance how talented a player he can be, tallying a near double-double of nine points and nine assists along with four rebounds in just 22 minutes of court time. 

“He’s a great competitor,” said Hornets head coach James Borrego of Rozier. “He’s bought in from Day One. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him. I look forward to him growing this season.”

Rozier still has that feisty, competitive streak but the final score meant little to him or the Celtics for that matter. 

For Rozier, it was more about getting this season started while at the same time, seeing some familiar faces and ex-teammates that he remains close to still.

Before the game, Rozier talked about how excited he was to face his ex-teammates and the franchise that selected him in the first round with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.  

“I’m ready to go out here, have some fun, talk a little trash to my old teammates and just get it over with,” Rozier said. “I’m glad to be back in this building.”

While things certainly didn’t end the way Rozier or the Celtics would have liked, the 25-year-old returns with nothing but good thoughts and memories of his time in Boston. 

For Rozier, playing for the Hornets allows him to live out a life-long dream of being not just an NBA player, but an NBA starter who is essentially the face of the franchise. 

“It’s been great. I’ve been learning, continuing to learn, continue to grow,” Rozier said. “I’m in a different role, a bigger role but it’s something I’ve always wanted and I’m ready for. I’m just going to keep getting better as the time goes.”

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LeBron James doesn't regret breaking Celtics-Lakers routine to watch son play

LeBron James doesn't regret breaking Celtics-Lakers routine to watch son play

BOSTON -- How LeBron James got to Boston on Monday afternoon is up for debate.

One report suggested the Los Angeles Lakers star took a private helicopter from Springfield, Mass., to TD Garden ahead of his game against the Boston Celtics. The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported that James rode in a car like anyone else.

James quipped after the game that he "walked" the 90-mile distance: "I walked and they didn’t call it."

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What's undisputed is that James messed with his pregame routine Monday to watch his son Bronny James, a freshman at Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School, play in Springfield's Hoophall Classic.

Bronny's squad played at 1 p.m. ET, meaning James had to attend the Lakers' pregame meeting Monday morning, haul out to Springfield to watch his son, and then hightail it back to play a primetime NBA game against a quality opponent.

According to Vardon, James napped in the car on the way to and from his son's game to try to maintain some normalcy. Not that he minded the disruption.

"I’d break every routine in my life for my family," James said after the game. "Listen, if the gods are with me, they’re going to make sure I get back safe, but my routine was broke today. 

"But I could care less if I’m seeing my family, my wife and my daughter and my kids. It was a unique opportunity for me to see my son play live that close to where I’m at."

The Celtics likely are glad James logged the extra travel; the Lakers star scored just 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting (with seven rebounds and 13 assists) as Boston cruised to a 139-107 win.

Bronny also struggled Monday, failing to score in Sierra Canyon's loss to Paul VI. But the final scores were the only issue James had with his busy travel day in Massachusetts.

"I didn’t mind going down to Springfield to check the game out,” James said. “The only bad thing about today was that I took two L’s. The 'James Gang' took two L’s, but there are always better days."

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Why LeBron James reportedly arrived at Celtics-Lakers via helicopter

Why LeBron James reportedly arrived at Celtics-Lakers via helicopter

LeBron James did what any good dad would do Monday -- with a little extra help.

The Los Angeles Lakers star's son, Bronny, plays for Sierra Canyon (Calif.) High School, which happened to be in Springfield, Mass., on Monday to compete in the Hoophall Classic.

Sierra Canyon played Paul VI at 1 p.m. ET, so James, whose Lakers were in town to play the Boston Celtics on Monday night, decided to go watch his son play.

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James then had to hightail it from Springfield to Boston -- about 92 miles and a 90-minute drive on a good day -- to get ready for Celtics-Lakers.

But rather than sit in traffic on the Mass Pike, James took a private helicopter, according to The Athletic's Jared Weiss.

That's a true helicopter parent.

James' express mode of transportation apparently worked: He arrived at the Garden on time and didn't miss the team's shootaround that morning, according to Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

"I saw him at the meeting this morning, I saw him on my phone this afternoon (at the Hoophall Classic), and I saw him in the locker room tonight," Vogel said before Monday's game, adding he had "no idea" how James got to or from Boston.

Sierra Canyon's game wasn't without incident, either: Bronny was held scoreless in the team's loss to Paul VI and a fan was caught throwing a piece of candy at him, prompting an admonishment from LeBron on Twitter.

The Celtics are hoping James' busy day wears him down a bit as they aim snap a three-game losing streak.

UPDATE (Tuesday, Jan. 21, 7 a.m. ET): Apparently James didn't take a chopper to Boston, after all.

The Athletic's Joe Vardon reported that the Lakers star made the Springfield-to-Boston trip in a car, citing someone who was with him for the drive.

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