Celtics step up after Tatum injury, beat Lakers 107-96 for tenth straight victory


Celtics step up after Tatum injury, beat Lakers 107-96 for tenth straight victory

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics came into the season looking to build around a new Big Three of Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.

Eleven games into the season and Irving is the last man standing, with Hayward (ankle) expected to be out for the rest of the season and Horford (concussion protocol) out indefinitely.

Boston took another blow when rookie sensation Jayson Tatum (ankle soreness) left the game in the first half and did not return. He played just nine minutes and finished with five points.

But instead of being overcome by a string of adversity, the Celtics continue to be a next-man-up kind of team that regardless of who’s not playing, it’s not an excuse to lose sight of the mission – find a way to win.

And the Celtics did just that, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 107-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Boston (10-2) has extended its winning streak to 10 in a row, and in the process handed the Lakers (5-6) their fourth straight defeat in this head-to-head series. 

Boston got a season-high 21 points from Aron Baynes. Kyrie Irving had another strong game with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Marcus Morris, starting for the second time this season, had 16 points.

Meanwhile, the Lakers were led by Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson who each had 18 points. Lonzo Ball had nine points, five rebounds and six assists for the Lakers.  

The Lakers had cut Boston’s lead down to as little as four points in the third quarter following a 3-point play by Julius Randle. But the Celtics bounced back to take an 87-81 lead into the fourth.

Randle, who finished with 16 points, had another 3-point play that cut Boston’s lead down to 89-86 with under nine minutes to play.

Boston responded with a 7-2 run capped off by a pair of free throws by Terry Rozier.

The Celtics dominated the first half of play with a lead that peaked at 21 points. But the Lakers gradually chipped away at the deficit which was down to single digits in the last couple minutes and were within six following a driving lay-up by Kyle Kuzma with less than a minute to play in the half.

But the Celtics wasted no time coming back with a 3-point play by Baynes that put the Celtics ahead 61-52 with 25.6 seconds to play in the second quarter and would serve as the final points scored by either team in the first half.


Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge was busy on Twitter late last night poking a little fun at a couple of his players.

Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, wondered where the defense was in a video of "Scary" Terry Rozier playing in a pickup game with Wizards guard John Wall and other NBAers. 

A little good-natured payback for Rozier's FaceTime interruption of Ainge's drafting of Robert Williams back in June?

A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.

Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills. 

So, Celtics players, post those Twitter videos at your own risk because the boss is watching.



Anything is Podable Episode Two: New owner, new era

Anything is Podable Episode Two: New owner, new era

It’s not very often that a marquee franchise like the Boston Celtics is sold, but in 2002, control of the green and white changed hands.

Episode Two of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” looks at the first several years of the Wyc Grousbeck era and how the new ownership group began to lay the building blocks of the next great Celtics team.

“Mortgaged the house to put down the deposit and started to figure out whom I could call to raise all this money,” said Grousbeck in an exclusive interview for the podcast series. “But as of that moment, I knew I was going to be the controlling owner of the Boston Celtics, or I was going to die trying. I mean, that was going to happen.”

While the Celtics’ transformation from pretender to contender took several years, Grousbeck and his team were committed to giving fans the team’s seventeenth championship.

“When you come into the Celtics, you can’t come into it for money, and we never did” added Grousbeck. “I named the company ‘Banner 17’ because I wanted to win the 17th banner and hopefully more.”

The podcast continues on to address the coaching transition from Jim O’Brien to Doc Rivers, as well as Danny Ainge’s first few seasons as General Manager and President of Basketball Operations.

“I’m not exaggerating if I say 10-15 different coaches and ex-coaches told me not to take the Boston job,” said Rivers. “Too much pressure, they’re going to be bad for a long time, not sure if you and Danny will work well together. I mean, I just got a lot of calls.”

“As excited as I was for Doc, you know, Wyc and Pags, they wanted to sign him before we left the house,” joked Ainge. “They were so excited. They were enamored with Doc.”

With Ainge and Rivers now in charge of all things on the court, Grousbeck and his team were on their way to fulfilling their goal.

Anything is Podable is a ten-part series diving into the story of the 2008 Celtics and their championship season, with exclusive, never-before-heard interviews with team executives, former players, and media members.

Narrated by Kyle Draper, it’s the perfect way for Celtics fans to pass time this offseason and get excited for 2018-19, a season in which the Celtics have as good a chance at raising their 18th championship banner as they’ve had since that magical 2008 season.

Fans can subscribe to the podcast through the link below and check out the other nine episodes for a look at this exclusive series.