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Post by 112288 on Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:09 pm

Celtics Wrap: Boston Survives Against Nets, Win Its Sixth Straight 87-85

NESN by Logan Mullen on Sat, Jan 6, 2018 at 8:35PM

For the second night in a row, the Boston Celtics struggled mightily on the offensive end. And for the second night in a row, it didn’t matter, as the Celtics overcame a quiet first half to secure an 87-85 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday at Barclays Center.

The Celtics never led in the first half, but put together a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to take the lead and build momentum. And though the teams would trade the lead eight times in the fourth quarter, the Nets missed three shots in the final four seconds of the game, allowing the Celtics to secure their sixth straight win. Kyrie Irving led all Celtics scorers with 21 points. Jayson Tatum (14), Marcus Smart (11) and Aron Baynes (10) also scored in double figures. Spencer Dinwiddie paced the Nets offensively with 20 points. With the win, the Celtics climbed to 33-10, while the Nets fell to 15-24. Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVE PG: Kyrie Irving SG: Jaylen Brown SF: Jayson Tatum PF: Marcus Morris C: Aron Baynes

CELTICS OFFENSE STARTS SLOW … AGAIN Boston again came out of the gate slow on the offensive end, never leading in the first quarter, while missing all six attempts from 3-point territory. Though keeping things close with the Nets, Brooklyn opened up a 7-0 run in 57 seconds during the final three minutes and change of the quarter, ultimately rounding out the frame with a six-point advantage.

NETS KEEP BOSTON AT ARM’S LENGTH The Celtics put together an 8-2 run in the first three minutes of the second to even the scoreline. But with the game locked at 34 with 3:58 to play in the half, the Nets countered with a 7-0 run over 2:45 to build some room between them and the Celtics. In the final minute, however, the Celtics scored five unanswered points to head into the break down 41-39.

C’S CLAIM THE LEAD After chipping away at Brooklyn’s lead during the early stages of the third, the Celtics finally broke through and took their first lead of the game 5:29 into the quarter on an Irving floater that put Boston up 51-50. A 10-0 run over 2:55 in the middle of the period paved the way for the Celtics to take the lead, which they didn’t give up the remainder of the third. And although the Nets pulled within one in the final 12 seconds of the quarter, Marcus Morris hit a deep two just before the buzzer to send the Celtics into the final quarter with a three-point advantage. Irving began to heat up in the third, scoring nine of Boston’s 25 points on 4-for-8 shooting.

BACK-AND-FORTH FINAL QUARTER The lead changed eight times in the fourth quarter, and was tied on six more instances. Tatum had a monster sequence in the closing moments of the game that ultimately proved pivotal. After driving the baseline and throwing down a thunderous dunk to put the Celtics up 84-83 with 1:16 to play, Dinwiddie missed a layup on the other end. And after Irving missed his layup the ensuing possession, he gathered his own rebound and kicked it out to Tatum, who hit a 3-pointer to put Boston up four. The Nets pulled within two with 36 seconds to play, but were unable to cash in on three shots in their final possession as time expired.

PLAY OF THE GAME Your regular reminder that Jayson Tatum only is 19 years old.

UP NEXT The Celtics will head to London for the “NBA London Game 2018” against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Tip-off from O2 Arena is set for 3 p.m. ET.

Horford-less Celtics embrace 'next man up' approach in win vs Nets

NBC SPORTS BOSTON By A. Sherrod Blakely January 06, 2018 9:54 P

BOSTON – The “Next man up” approach has been one that has been working most of this season for the Boston Celtics.

So it really wasn’t all that surprising that the Celtics would find a path to success even with their defensive anchor, Al Horford out with a left knee injury.

Without Horford, Boston still managed to deliver a defensive gem of a game in defeating Brooklyn 87-85.

It was fitting that in the game’s closing moments, it was a series of defensive plays at the rim that ultimately secured what became Boston’s sixth straight win which is the longest active winning streak.

Aron Baynes got the start for Horford and delivered a solid performance with 10 points and six rebounds.

And Daniel Theis was as active as ever around the glass, in addition to being a good option to turn to when defenses pay too much attention to Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Boston’s other more accomplished scorers.

He came off the Celtics bench to score eight points on 4-for-6 shooting in addition to grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.

But his contributions to the win were most significant on defense, the kind of contributions Boston has grown accustomed to getting on a night-in, night-out basis from Horford who has been among the NBA’s top defensive big men this season.

And Baynes, who came to Boston from Detroit where he had established himself as an above-average defender playing limited minutes, has bee among the league’s overall leaders in defensive rating this season.

As good as they have been this season, both understand how they must step up their play when a key player like Horford is out.

“Marcus (Morris) is a good player for us, but he’s missed a lot of games this year so we know we have to play better when one of our guys is out,” Theis told NBC Sports Boston in an interview prior to Saturday’s game against the Nets. “We’ve been playing with each other, for each other all season. That’s why we’re a good team.”

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Post by cowens/oldschool on Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:33 am

I really enjoyed this game our defense is no fluke, our guys all can defend 1 2 3 4 can all play and defend. Jaylen Brown was terrible, he couldn’t do a thing on offense, but it didn’t matter, the way Morris, Tatum, Brown, Smart, Rozier can all defend on the perimeter and baseline and all over, then add Theis and Baynes. It was a defensive battle and Okafor really came on, but Theis had a lot of hard physical plays, he really goes after it....but so does everybody on that defense. Glad Lavert didn’t play, if they can get Russell back and going good with Lavert and Okafor if they could get him going could be a big game against us going forward, plus Philly, some interesting potential brewing in EC.

What can I say about Tatum? really showing the clutch gene early, I mean how dramatic were his last 2 baskets? He obviously really killed it!!! Brown and Rozier gave us nothing and we had no Al, they still competed hard without Lavert, both teams playing hard, they attacked us with all these no names, they are well coached and play hard, that kid Harris outplayed Jaylen, outworked him. Amazing if you really saw how good the defense played, we are so good on perimeter defense. That’s what wins in this era. Where did this kid Dinwiddie come from? He also outplayed Brown and Rozier. Glad with some being so off on offense, it didn’t effect the defense.

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Post by mulcogiseng on Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:30 am

The current streak is now at 6. Somehow this team finds a way to win and win in a way that you think the victory was never seriously in doubt. What is it that Brad's teams do after the first of the year? They get better.

The NBA season, just like any NBA game, is about the runs. Which team will put it all together at the right team, make the run, and win the game. Once again the Celtics made a defensive run and allowed that to translate to just enuf points to get the win.

I think that at some point we are going to look back to this London trip and be very happy that we were the ones to go across the pond. The ability to have multiple practices and get a little rest in the middle of the season is going to be the catalyst that propels us into the playoffs

He had 14 points which is his average. Six rebounds, three steals and six blocks. Seriously? What else do you need to know?

Baynes and Theis both got more minutes with Horford out and they gave the team exactly what it needed to get the win. Am I very wrong in thinking that Theis has made the transition to the NBA game, that his learning curve has already flattened out, and that he is now poised to give the team strong minutes every night? He sure seems to be playing that way. Along with Larkin, he is the surprise of the season.

Every player has a role to play. The ebb and flow of the season is the sign post upon which is hung each players stats. No single player is really playing beyond their potential. Each one is clearly playing to their potential. Right now I think that the player who can improve his performance the most is Kyrie. It may sound a little strange to say that about our best player, but let's face it, Kyrie is only just about to enter his prime. Every aspect of his game can be improved upon yet he is one of the very best players in the Association. In three years we will be laughing at the way he played his first season in Green. He will be that much better.

You can call us butter cuz we're on a roll!

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Post by bobheckler on Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:09 am

This is the 3rd game in a row where the Celtics have held their opponents to their lowest point totals of the season (Cleveland, Minny, Brooklyn).  This is the first time in 3 years where any NBA team has held opponents to under 37% fg%.  This crew can defend!!  And we're doing without a designated shotblocker anchoring the baseline like a Gobert or Whiteside or Embiid.  

I think Cowens summed it up nicely.  Brown with an awful night (2-8 from the field and 0-4 from the line).  He is now shooting 56.5% from the line for the season.  

But Tatum has the "clutch gene".  He had 7 points on 3-10 after 3, but he did have 5 blocks.  His last 7 points, in the 4th, were great with a shot, a drive for a stuff to put us ahead and the game-winning corner 3 with just :45 left.  He scored the last 5 Celtic points.  He's 6'8", kinda bony looking and has no fear, he could be another "Iceman", like Gervin.  I'm usually down on the draft, which I call "The Annual NBA Crapshoot", and I don't expect much from rookies in general regardless of where they are drafted.  This is even more true for one-and-doners, who are only 1 year out of High School when they join the NBA but Jayson Tatum is really popping my eyes open.  This kid should have been the #1 pick and we got him 3rd plus another pick that will almost certainly be in the front half of the lottery even if it's next year's Sacto pick.  I want to give Tatum a few more years before I start comparing his career to another player's.  I don't think it's fair to compare a 19 year old only halfway through his first season to future HOFer Paul Pierce.  Tatum is 19, but Pierce played 19 seasons.  Yep, that's right, Tatum was born in 1998 and Pierce's first year was 1998-1999.  Doesn't that make you feel old?  On a game-by-game basis, however, that's ok (because you're not extrapolating out 15 years) and Jayson Tatum is only the 2nd teenager since 1963 with at least 14 points, 6 blocks, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in a single game.  The first teenager to do that?  A pretty good player named Garnett, who did it in 1996.  Considering how, unlike back in the 60s-80s, all the top players are coming out as teenagers now it is remarkable that Tatum is the first to do this in 21 years.

Marc D'Amico @celtics


When asked about Tatum, Stevens says, “he’s not scared of the moment, never has been.”
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We were struggling SO badly.  Larkin came in and gave us energy.  We shot 38% for the game and he had 9 points on 3-4 in 19 minutes.  That's what we needed.

Smart and Rozier shot a combined 5-21.

Semi played 7 minutes, all in the 4th.  He came in with 7 1/2 left and the Celtics down 2 (71-73), left with 3 1/2 left (replaced by Theis) and the game tied (79-79).  He came back in with 3:06 left (replacing Theis) with the Celtics up 2 (81-79) and played the rest of the way.  I'm pointing this out to show the confidence Brad has in this kid's defense.  He's swapping out a long defender for a shorter, beefier defender in crunch time.  It's neck-and-neck, 2 points either way, and rookie Semi Ojelaye is on the floor for all but :30 of the last 7:33.

With Baynes picking up 5 fouls and Horford out Theis became a central player.  He had a great game.  8 points on 4-5 and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes.  2 blocks.  To be honest, I thought he'd be playing more mpg at this point, because he's not a kid fresh out of college, he's a 25 year old veteran, but the minutes we get from him are usually quality.

Over the past 6 games the Celtics have been 25th in the NBA on offense.  We won all 6 games.  Brad has successfully instilled defense in our DNA.




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Post by cowens/oldschool on Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:17 pm

This game was worse offensively than any game I saw in Jaylens rookie season, thankfully he still made some great defensive plays, jumping on shooters shooting hand like he usually does. Driving into a few defenders on multiple occasions...??? Not good

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