Celtics

Highlights of the Celtics' 129-120 win over the Hawks

Highlights of the Celtics' 129-120 win over the Hawks

FINAL SCORE: Celtics 129, Hawks 120

IN BRIEF: Kyrie Irving had a near triple-double of 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Jaylen Brown 23 points and Marcus Smart 16 points and five steals to lead five Celtics in double-figure scoring, as Boston held off Atlanta Hawks 129-120 in a Saturday matinee at TD Garden for its fifth victory in their past six games.  BOX SCORE.

CELTICS RECORD: 43-27

HIGHLIGHTS:

HAYWARD'S DAY IS DONE EARLY AFTER TAKING SHOULDER TO HEAD:

SMART GOES BEHIND-THE-BACK TO BROWN:

SMART BLOCK SETS UP TATUM SLAM:

KYRIE TO THE CUP FOR A 22-POINT LEAD:

MORE SMART BEING SMART:

UP NEXT:
Vs. Nuggets (Isaiah Thomas' return), 7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Boston 

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Handicapping the NBA's Eastern Conference before the 2019-20 season

Handicapping the NBA's Eastern Conference before the 2019-20 season

The Eastern Conference hasn't been easy to figure out in recent seasons, as the conference has seen some massive power shifts in each of the past two offseasons.

During the 2018 offseason, LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers. The ensuing move left the Cavaliers as a bottom dweller in the conference while teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Toronto Raptors rose to the top. Meanwhile, the star-studded and deep Boston Celtics failed to live up to lofty expectations.

Now, the Raptors don't look as strong despite winning the 2019 NBA title. They lost Kawhi Leonard and their potential fall has created another opening atop the Eastern Conference. Will teams like the 76ers and Bucks step up into the No. 1 spot? And can a new-look Celtics squad rise up once again? The East will be unpredictable, but here's a look at the state of the conference ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Click here for Chris Forsberg and A. Sherrod Blakely's Eastern Conference expectations>>>

Boston trims roster, Javonte Green appears to win final spot

Boston trims roster, Javonte Green appears to win final spot

The Boston Celtics waived Max Strus, Kaiser Gates, and Yante Maten on Saturday, trimming their roster to the regular-season limit of 17.

With the moves, summer league standout Javonte Green appears to have clinched the team’s 15th roster spot. Gates and Maten will have a chance to latch on with the Maine Red Claws as affiliated players after they clear waivers.

The Celtics signed Strus to a 2-way deal after he went undrafted then promoted him to the 15-man roster earlier this week on a partially guaranteed deal. That opened a 2-way slot to sign 7-foot-7 Tacko Fall.

Strus played well late in the exhibition slate and made 5 of his 12 3-point attempts overall. The combination of Fall’s potential and his popularity forced the team to maneuver. With help from his springy hops, Green made 16 of his 20 shots in the preseason and showed an ability to be an aggressive perimeter defender, helping him edge Strus in the competition for the final spot on the parent roster.

The Celtics open the regular season on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

FORSBERG: What does Pascal Siakam's deal mean for Jaylen Brown?>>>

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