Celtics

Nuggets' Jamal Murray buries Celtics with career-high 48 points

Nuggets' Jamal Murray buries Celtics with career-high 48 points

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 115-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets which extended their losing streak to two in a row.

STARS

Jamal Murray: The third-year guard got off to a fast start with 14 first-quarter points and continued to provide timely shot-making for the Nuggets in their comeback. He finished with a career-high 48 points on 19-for-30 shooting from the field.

Kyrie Irving: For most of the night, Kyrie Irving was in mix-tape, ankle-break, Uncle Drew mode with a flurry of highlight-worthy moves ending with lots of points. Irving led all scorers with 31 points coming on 13-for-17 shooting from the field to go with five assists.

STUDS

Nikola Jokic: The Joker was doing what he does most nights – contributing in all the major categories. Murray’s scoring was indeed the dominant factor in the game, but that still didn’t keep Jokic from flirting with a triple-double by finishing with eight points, eight assists and 10 rebounds.

Jaylen Brown: Brown was active at both ends of the floor for Boston before finishing with 15 points on 7-for-14 shooting from the field.

Marcus Smart: He was being a defensive pest as always, but also did a solid job of making the most of his shot attempts. He had nine points on 3-for-4 shooting from the field along with a career-high four blocked shots.

DUDS

BWA: The usually reliable Celtics’ second unit – Bench With Attitude – was a non-factor for most of the game. They collectively finished with just 17 points on 10-for-26 shooting. Every reserve Brad Stevens used finished with a negative plus/minus except for rookie Robert Williams III (+1).

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NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

No Hayward for Celtics tonight in Atlanta

No Hayward for Celtics tonight in Atlanta

Gordon Hayward is not with the Celtics in Atlanta, where they'll face the Hawks tonight.

The team said his absence is for personal reasons. Hayward's wife, Robyn, is expecting their third child any day now. That is the most likely reason for his absence from the one-game trip. 

Hayward had eight points, three rebounds and four assists in the 122-116 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. He's averaging 11 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season.

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Report: Celtics mentioned as destination for Bradley Beal

Report: Celtics mentioned as destination for Bradley Beal

The Celtics' first-half struggles, not to mention the recent drama surrounding Kyrie Irving and his teammates, have some wondering if a change of scenery for some players might be in the offing to jump-start a second-half push up the Eastern Conference standings.

With the Feb. 7 trade deadline nearing, Boston was mentioned in a Bleacher Report story as a possible destination for a player who could perhaps be the NBA's most coveted at the deadline, the Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal.

Beal, 25, has averaged 29.8 points on 45.7 shooting over his past 10 games since Washington lost his backcourt mate, John Wall, to season-ending surgery. Ken Berger's story reports that a "conga line of contenders have kicked the tires on Beal, by far the Wizards' most valuable - and most tradeable - asset."

Of the Celtics, Berger writes:

With the Celtics struggling to find an identity—and defined roles for their plethora of wing players—there could be a path to a deal. Jaylen Brown, the expiring contract of Marcus Morris or Aron Baynes (2019-20 player option) and a first-round pick would have the makings of a compelling offer, according to one executive. The C’s could win the East with a core of Kyrie Irving, Beal, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford. Whether the Wizards would want to help Boston is another story.

Beal has two years and $56 million remaining on his contract. 

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