Celtics

Team USA highlights: Kemba Walker-led Celtics trio lights up Australia

Team USA highlights: Kemba Walker-led Celtics trio lights up Australia

Off-court chemistry is nice and all, but Boston Celtics fans just want to see their Team USA representatives get buckets.

Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown happily obliged Thursday morning.

The trio of Celtics players all played key roles in helping Team USA defeat Australia 102-86 in Melbourne in a tune-up game ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Walker led the charge, dropping a game-high 23 points on 9-of-22 shooting while adding six rebounds and one assist. Check out some of his highlights below:

Tatum and Brown were heavily involved, too, playing significant minutes alongside Walker in the third quarter as Team USA pulled away to take a double-digit lead. The two even connected for a sweet alley-oop early in the fourth quarter.

Tatum racked up 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting with three rebounds and four assists, while Brown also tallied 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting with six boards and a nice block on a Patty Mills layup attempt.

Walker, Brown and Tatum all logged over 20 minutes of playing time and combined for 45 of Team USA's 102 points, a sign that the Celtics' American contingent isn't just there for decoration.

Smart didn't suit up in the exhibition match as he recovers from a calf injury, but his Celtics teammates represented the Green quite well against Aron Baynes (eight points, six rebounds) and the Aussies.

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Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

Al Horford out for Celtics-Sixers reunion game due to injury: 'Definitely disappointed'

BOSTON -- Celtics fans won't be able to boo or cheer Al Horford when the Philadelphia 76ers' starting lineup is announced Thursday.

Horford won't play Thursday against the Celtics due to left knee soreness and left hamstring tightness, the Sixers forward told reporters at TD Garden before the game.

Horford, who got injured during Philly's win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, will be on Philly's bench but won't suit up in his first trip to Boston since leaving the team in free agency over the summer.

The 33-year-old admitted he’s not too happy about the timing of his injury.

"Obviously I played here, but always during the years coming to play in the Garden, that's a big deal," Horford said.

"It's a special place to play at and I'm definitely disappointed that I won't be able to play tonight."

Some expected Horford to re-sign with Boston this past offseason before the veteran big man signed a four-year, $97 million contract with the rival Sixers.

But Horford still is very welcome at his former home.

"I've got no hard feelings," Horford said. "It's all love."

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

Tacko Fall, Tremont Waters active for the Celtics vs. 76ers, both reportedly unlikely to play

The Boston Celtics are going to have two of their G League stars available to play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.

According to multiple reports, including NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin, 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall and 5-foot-10 guard Tremont Waters are both expected to be active for the Celtics tonight.

Fall and Waters have starred at the G League level to start the season. Waters won the G League Player of the Month award in November and so far this season, he is averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game for the Red Claws.

As for Fall, he has been excellent as well and has provided the team with an anchor down low on both sides of the floor. He has averaged 15 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in six games, but he has missed time recently due to a knee injury.

Fall and Waters will replace fellow rookies Romeo Langford and Carsen Edwards on the bench. The two were sent down to the Red Claws to make room for Fall and Waters as depth.

That said, though Fall and Waters are listed as active, neither is likely to play in the contest, per Brian Robb of the Boston Sports Journal.

This isn't a major surprise, but it's still possible they could see time if the game ends up being a blowout or if the team gets in foul trouble at either guard or center.

Waters would likely find himself behind Brad Wanamaker and Javonte Green on the bench at guard while Fall will be the team's fourth big overall behind Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, and Grant Williams.

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Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-76ers, which tips off Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.