Davis scores 45, Pelicans beat Celtics 116-113 in OT

Davis scores 45, Pelicans beat Celtics 116-113 in OT

BOSTON -- Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans eventually were too big for the Boston Celtics.

Davis had 45 points and 16 rebounds as he and DeMarcus Cousins controlled the lane and led the Pelicans to a 116-113 overtime victory on Tuesday night, ending the Celtics' seven-game winning streak.

"It was a great win for us. They tested us," said Davis, who just missed matching the 48 points he scored Sunday during a win in New York.

Cousins added 19 points and 15 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 23 points. The trio combined for all 12 Pelicans points in OT as New Orleans handed the Celtics their first loss of 2018.

Ian Clark added 15 points for the Pelicans, whose size inside ended up prevailing in overtime when Boston's barrage of 3-pointers stopped falling.

Kyrie Irving led Boston with 27 points, 24 after halftime as the Celtics rallied from a 12-point deficit and led by as much as five late in regulation.

"For some reason tonight, the whole game we were a little careless. It just carried over there at the end," said Al Horford, who had 14 points and nine rebounds. "We thought we had it. It just got away from us."

Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown added 16 points apiece for the Celtics, who attempted a season-high 50 3-pointers. Rather than challenge Davis and Cousins inside, the Celtics lived outside and it cost them in overtime when they went just 1 for 4.

"I thought we did a great job defensively in the first half trying to contain Kyrie. You know that that's not going to last the entire game," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "We came up with stops when we absolutely had to and then we were able to make some plays down the stretch that were the difference in the game."

Horford's 3-pointer early in OT gave Boston a 107-106 lead and Boston went up 113-110. A jumper by Cousins cut the lead to 113-112, then Holiday added two more field goals and Boston couldn't catch up from there.

"They kept worrying about me so much diving to the rim, Jrue was able to hit them little midrange jumpers. He kind of took over that overtime for us and got some separation for us," Davis said.

New Orleans survived a rough start to the fourth, opening the period 3 for 13 and going without a field goal from 6:40 remained until the 1:50-mark, when a layup by Clark cut Boston's lead to 101-98. The Pelicans went ahead 104-102 in the final minute of regulation before Irving drove for a layup to tie it at 104-all with 11 seconds left.

Irving scored 16 in the third to help Boston back into it, but New Orleans scored the last six points of the third for an 87-80 lead, and went ahead by 10 early in the fourth.

Boston battled back again, tying it at 95-all when a dunk by Brown invigorated the home fans.


The Pelicans overcame Boston's five-point lead late despite a rough fourth quarter for Davis, who was 0 for 3 from the floor and scored only four points in the period.

"I think they did a good job on him but also he had played a long stretch of minutes. And I thought he was fatigued more than anything," Gentry said. "But when we needed him most, when we needed Jrue most, that's when they came through. And that's the big thing."


Pelicans: Davis was warmly greeted by Celtics fans. He had 25 points at halftime.

Celtics: The Celtics were playing their first game since returning from London, where they beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-103 on Thursday. ... Boston shot just 35 percent (18 for 51) in the first half. ... Boston's previous high for 3-pointers attempted was 43 against Atlanta on Nov. 18.


The Celtics announced during the game that Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with Boston, had died at age 71.

Boston coach Brad Stevens said White was always "super kind" during what little time he got to spend with the two-time NBA champion, whose No. 10 was retired in 1982.

"He was always clearly really appreciative to have been a part of the Boston Celtics," Stevens said. "You just appreciated how he treated everybody. And he was around, you could tell he had an influence on our guys and an impact on our guys. It's really sad."


Pelicans: Visit Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Celtics: Host Philadelphia on Thursday night.


Pierce details mental-health struggles after stabbing

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Pierce details mental-health struggles after stabbing

Jackie MacMullan's deep-dive look at the mental health stigma in the NBA on Monday wasn't without a few Celtics anecdotes.

One of the biggest sections of the stories was former Celtic Paul Pierce talking about his struggles after he was stabbed outside a Boston night club in 2000.

"I was stabbed 11 times," Pierce tells ESPN. "I felt like I was trapped in a box. I couldn't go nowhere. I battled depression for a year. The only thing that saved me was basketball."

Pierce played all 82 games after surviving the incident, but that was also a product of his anxiety in the ensuing months.


"I think that's the reason I got back on the court so fast. Me sitting at home thinking about [the stabbing] didn't work. I went to every practice, sat on the sideline for hours, because that's where I felt safe. I didn't want those practices to end because then I had to go back out there in this world that really scared me."

The Celtics offered consulting with a mental health expert, and Pierce is quoted saying he wished he took the advice.

Celtics general manager Danny Ainge is quoted as well, saying "We can offer all the services in the world, but if they won't use them, we can't help them. Too many of these guys don't realize how badly they need help until it's too late."

The piece also follows Cavaliers center Kevin Love and his mental health struggles in the past year.


Anything is Podable Episode 6: The games behind-the-scenes

Anything is Podable Episode 6: The games behind-the-scenes

It’s hard not to be intense when Kevin Garnett is on your team. For the 07-08 Celtics, that fire extended beyond the court and into every waking moment they spent together.

Episode 6 of NBC Sports Boston’s “Anything is Podable” goes behind-the-scenes with the members of the world champion Celtics to get a never-before-heard glimpse into the games and competitions that brought them all closer together.

“Everything is about competition and we, as a staff, understood that early,” said Doc Rivers. “For practices, if there was no score, it was a bad practice. All you had to do was put a winner and a loser and the practice went from here to here. It was just that type of group.”

Whether it was on road trips, at practice, or in the weight room, everything about the team revolved around competition and an innate desire to win.

“Everything was competitive,” stated Rajon Rondo. “The boxing gloves came out in the weight room.”

As is the case with every great team, the bonding off the court was essential to finding success on it. Anything that could possibly be turned into a competition, was.

Arm wrestling? Check.

Push-upsYou bet.

On a road trip in Miami, Paul Pierce challenged Glen Davis to eat a large piece of bread in under one minute.

“Have you ever tried to eat a piece of bread like that?” Davis asked. “It gets dry. You can’t swallow it. It sounds easy, but people don’t know how dry bread is...I almost like choked and died.”

“You’re talking about a guy who loved to eat,” Pierce joked.

“I couldn’t do it,” Davis responded.

Competition off the court breeds competition on the court and, while the talent helped, little games like the ones played on road trips were vital to the Celtics achieving their ultimate 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.