Celtics

Danny Ainge responds to Kyrie Irving's request for '15-year veteran'

Danny Ainge responds to Kyrie Irving's request for '15-year veteran'

Kyrie Irving already has clarified his apparent suggestion that the Boston Celtics sign a 14- or 15-year veteran. But what does Irving's boss think of his request?

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was asked Thursday morning what he thought of those remarks, which Irving made Sunday after Boston's road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I talk to Kyrie all the time," Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich" during his weekly interview. "Kyrie can tell me whatever he wants to tell me anytime, privately or publicly, I guess. But I don't think he's trying to send any message. He can walk right up to my office and send me any message he wants."

Ainge admitted he hasn't had private discussions with Irving about adding a 15-year veteran, however.

"I think that at that moment, he was probably feeling that we needed -- I'm not even sure what he meant by that," Ainge said. "I haven't even talked to him about that comment. I don't know if he meant a 15-year player or a 15-year guy in the locker room, or what it was."

Irving downplayed his initial remarks after Wednesday's win over the Chicago Bulls, insisting he wasn't talking about any specific player. But if the 8-6 Celtics hit a few more rough patches over the next few weeks, perhaps Irving and Ainge will sit down and hash this out.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

 

Celtics-Trail Blazers Takeaways: Tatum has 36 for an encore, C's roll in Portland

Celtics-Trail Blazers Takeaways: Tatum has 36 for an encore, C's roll in Portland

Jayson Tatum came in having had the best game of his life in Los Angeles, dropping 41 on LeBron & Co. 

His encore performance in Portland was just as impressive, delivering yet another brilliant scoring game in leading the Celtics to a 118-106 win. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Tatum finished with 36 points against the Blazers, mixing in yet another array of dribble-drive baskets, 3-pointers (he had a career-high eight 3’s) and finishes at the rim. 

This was actually a better performance for Tatum because of the game’s outcome. 

The Celtics, playing without Kemba Walker (knee) for the third game in a row, got contributions from several players in addition to Tatum. 

Still, this game was yet another one where Tatum was again the best player on the floor. 

KILLER 3’S

The Celtics were looking for the 3-point shot early and often, and considering who they were playing…you can understand why. 

Boston has been a top-10 team from 3-point range most of this season, while the Blazers have been among the NBA’s worst teams when it comes to defending the 3. 

Portland came in allowing 13 made 3's per game, a total that the Celtics reached after just three quarters of play. 

Boston finished with a season-high 19 made 3-pointers.

This was another game in which the Celtics faced an opponent with a clear weakness and to their credit, they took full advantage. 

JAYLEN BROWN

Boston began to put some distance between itself and Portland in the second quarter and Brown’s play had a lot to do with it. 

He would finish with 24 points, 12 of which came in the second quarter, which ended with the Celtics leading, 56-48.

Following the loss to the Lakers on Sunday, Brown talked about how Tatum had elevated his play to another level, and the rest of the Celtics - himself included - had to step up as well. 

Tuesday was a strong step in that direction, for sure. 

BRAD WANAMAKER

It has been a rough few games for Wanamaker, who came into Tuesday 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from the field in his past two games. 

Wanamaker was much better on Tuesday, scoring 13 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the field. 

But more than the scoring, Wanamaker played with more poise and was among the keys to Boston getting the win. 

If you’re the Celtics, you’re hoping the backup guard will build off his solid performance especially with Walker missing the past three games and no clear indication when exactly will he will be back. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Jazz, which begins Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

NBA Highlights: Jayson Tatum keeps it going with 36 points as Celtics bounce back in Portland, 118-106

NBA Highlights: Jayson Tatum keeps it going with 36 points as Celtics bounce back in Portland, 118-106

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 118, Trail Blazers 106

IN BRIEF: Jayson Tatum continued his torrid scoring pace with eight 3-pointers in a 36-point effort as the Celtics bounced back from a tough loss to the Lakers with win No. 40, beating the Trail Blazers 118-106 in Portland on their Western trip. BOX SCORE

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

CELTICS RECORD: 40-17, 3rd in Eastern Conference

HIGHLIGHTS

TATUM PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF:

SMART HEATING UP:

OJELEYE TAKING THE CHARGE:

KANTER WITH THE HOOK:

TATUM TURNS IT ON AND FINISHES STRONG:

TATUM WITH THE LOB TO THEIS:

MORE TATUM...FROM DOWNTOWN:

UP NEXT:
@Utah Jazz, Wednesday, 10:30 p.m., NBC Sports Boston
Vs. Houston Rockets, Saturday, 8:30 p.m., ABC 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Jazz, which begins Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.