Celtics

Brown comes up big in Celtics comeback win over 76ers in London

Brown comes up big in Celtics comeback win over 76ers in London

LONDON – As the Boston Celtics were making their comeback in the third quarter, Jaylen Brown heard a familiar voice from the Sixers bench basically telling him he couldn’t shoot. 

Moments later, Brown raised up for a 3-pointer that hit nothing but the bottom of the net, one of the many big shots made by the Celtics in their 114-103 comeback win over Philadelphia. 

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For Brown who led Boston (34-10) with 21 points, the victory was sweet on several levels. 

It gave him something to talk smack about in the offseason with some of the Sixers bench players. After his shot, he blew the entire bench a kiss.

“The main person was Justin Anderson,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “That’s my guy. I worked out with him pre-draft, known for a very long time. That was for him, because he should know better, of all people.”

And to come up big in London, one of the cities Brown spent time in this summer in preparation for what has been a breakout season for the second-year wing player, makes it even better. 

“We had a business mindset coming here,” he said. “We had fun but we had to take care of business, too. I’m glad we got the win.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 114-103 win over the Philadelphia 76ers which improved Boston’s winning streak to seven straight along with improving their East-leading record to 34-10. In addition, the Sixers’ four game winning streak is a thing of the past now. Boston also won for the third time this season over the Sixers which means the Celtics have clinched the head-to-head series. Also, the loss dropped the Sixers’ record back to below-.500 (19-20) this season.

STARS

Jaylen Brown: Rather than flood the game with points, Jaylen Brown’s was more of a steady drip variety. He led all Celtics with 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting along with four rebounds. 

J.J. Redick: It was Redick’s red-hot shooting that helped catapult Philadelphia to a dominant first half. He wasn’t nearly as impactful in the second half, but still finished with a game-high 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting with seven rebounds.

Kyrie Irving: This wasn’t one of his better games statistically, but Irving was among the Boston players setting the tone in the second half with yet another comeback win. Irving had 20 points on 7-for-20 shooting with six rebounds and seven assists. 

 

STUDS

Marcus Morris: Playing without any minutes restrictions, he delivered exactly what the Celtics needed from the second unit. He scored 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting along with snatching eight rebounds. 

Jayson Tatum: His aggressive demeanor at the start of the third quarter provided a much-needed lift for the Celtics at a time when they were on the cusp of fully swinging the game’s momentum in their favor. He had 16 points for the Celtics on 7-for-13 shooting.

Al Horford: Horford’s defense was once again top-shelf work for the Celtics, and in the second half he picked up his scoring to finish with Horford-esque game of 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting, with eight rebounds and seven assists. 

 

DUDS

Joel Embiid: I couldn’t help but think about the words spoken by his coach Brett Brown earlier who drew a distinction between players who are popular, and superstars. Embiid’s talent is undeniable, but he still has a level or two to reach before you can consider him a superstar. No team proves this point more than the Celtics who continue to be the one team he consistently struggles against. He had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, but did so on 6-for-17 shooting with most of his made baskets coming on backup center Daniel Theis. Credit Boston’s Big Three of Al Horford, Aron Baynes and head coach Brad Stevens whose mixing and matching defensively kept Embiid off-balance and guessing most of the game.

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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.

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"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.

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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.