Ime's way: Celtics' Finals run a product of coach's vision
The Celtics’ transition from a team that has gone from just outside the top tier of the Eastern Conference to one that's four wins way from the franchise’s 18th NBA championship began the moment Ime Udoka took the microphone at his introductory news conference.
Tatum, Celtics hold off Curry and Warriors for 111-107 win
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, left, shoots next to Golden State Warriors guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)SAN FRANCISCO – Jayson Tatum had 27 points in picking up the offensive slack for Boston without injured Marcus Smart, and the Celtics withstood another scoring spree by Stephen Curry to beat the Golden State Warriors 111-107 on Tuesday night. Golden State then lost starting center Kevon Looney to a sprained left ankle that kept him out during the second half. Golden State was outdone on the boards 51-36. Warriors: Golden State hasn't beaten Boston at home in three tries since a 109-105 victory on Jan. 27, 2018.
Anthony Davis scores 27, Lakers hold off Celtics 96-95
Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis (3) shoots between Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown (7) and Jayson Tatum during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON – Anthony Davis had 27 points and 14 rebounds in his return to the lineup and the Los Angeles Lakers hung on to beat the Boston Celtics 96-95 on Saturday night when Daniel Theis missed a follow shot at the buzzer. Montrezl Harrell added 16 points for the Lakers, who lost in Detroit on Thursday when Davis rested a bruised right quadriceps. Walker missed the first 12 games of the season recovering from a procedure on his left knee and Tatum missed multiple games earlier this month with COVID-19. But there weren’t many like him before.” — Celtics coach Brad Stevens on LeBron James’ level of play in his 18th season.
Spurs-Pelicans game called off, as NBA's virus woes continue
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, center, talks to his players during a time out in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 121-101. San Antonio became the 24th team to have at least one game postponed so far this season because of the virus. The Celtics are scheduled to visit San Antonio on Wednesday. The Grizzlies are supposed to play in San Antonio on Saturday.
Celtics plan to play Friday, another Suns game called by NBA
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Miami. Meanwhile, the Indiana at Phoenix game scheduled for Saturday has been called off — the ninth such postponement since the week began. The Suns will not have enough players eligible to play, largely because of contact tracing issues, the NBA said. The Suns and Wizards were both scheduled to play Friday; those games were postponed because of contact-tracing issues. We appreciate the opportunity to play the game we love and when it's taken away for a week or four months that's hard.
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – Payton Pritchard wasn't there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Pritchard's putback with two-tenths of a second left capped a wild finish, and the Celtics beat the Heat 107-105 in the first matchup this season of last year's East finalists. Jimmy Butler had 26 points for Miami, which got 16 points from Duncan Robinson, 15 points from Bam Adebayo and 14 from Goran Dragic. The Heat cut the lead to eight by halftime, part of what became a 39-17 run that saw Miami lead by five in the third quarter.
Irving scores 37, leads Nets to 123-95 win over Celtics
Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving (11) loses control of the ball against Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart (36) and Jayson Tatum (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)BOSTON – Kyrie Irving scored 37 points with eight assists in his return to Boston and Kevin Durant added 29 for Brooklyn on Friday to lead the Nets to a 123-95 victory over the Celtics. Jaylen Brown scored 27 with eight rebounds for the Celtics and Jayson Tatum had 20 points and eight boards. Durant scored 16 points in the third quarter, when the Nets outscored Boston 35-23 to turn a three-point deficit into an 86-77 lead. He scored nine straight Brooklyn points at the beginning of the third when the Nets took the lead for good.
A cautious start to NBA season, as camps open amid positives
Im very concerned if we can pull this off, Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. “I’m very concerned if we can pull this off,” Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers said. Golden State general manager Bob Myers said two Warriors have tested positive, meaning that club won't start individual workouts until Wednesday and won't have a full-scale practice until Monday. Washington coach Scott Brooks said the Wizards have one player who tested positive. And Orlando coach Steve Clifford said Magic center Mo Bamba — who tested positive several months ago — is still “a ways away” from being ready to play again.
Back to the Finals: Heat oust Celtics, move to title series
Bam Adebayo scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Butler scored 22 points and the Heat won the Eastern Conference finals for the sixth time by topping the Boston Celtics 125-113 on Sunday night. The Heat won the series 4-2 — and now, they’ll see LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the title. Boston took the lead twice more, with Adebayo answering both times, first with a dunk, then a go-ahead three-point play with 6:16 left. Heat: The Heat are now guaranteed no less than $4,399,686 for their playoff share, and that number would rise to $5,791,041 if they win the title. CROSS-SPORT SUPPORTThe Celtics and Heat were getting some support from afar before Game 6.
Celtics’ singular goal: Stop Heat 3’s to force Game 7
Boston Celtics' Kemba Walker (8) reacts to a play against the Miami Heat during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – There have been two undeniable truths about the Miami Heat this season. The Boston Celtics have scouting and analytics teams that undoubtedly know these trends. HEAT ON 3’SFor whatever reason, 31.1% is the magic number for Heat 3-pointers this season. BIG FINISHThe Celtics scored 103 points in the final three quarters of Game 5.
Celtics control second half, top Heat to win Game 5 in East
Tatum had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Jaylen Brown added 28 points and the Celtics shook off a slow first half to top the Miami Heat 121-108 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals and stave off elimination. “Our deal was to come out and play, come out and compete, give it our best shot and I thought we played pretty well in the second half," Stevens said. Kemba Walker scored 15 points, Marcus Smart had a 12-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist night and Gordon Hayward scored 10 for the Celtics. “Boston played great in that second half," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. The Heat scored the first basket of the third quarter.
He’s a Herro: Heat top Celtics, move a game from NBA Finals
Tyler Herro — still just 20 years old — scored a Heat rookie-record 37 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 and Miami beat the Boston Celtics 112-109 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. They erased a double-digit deficit to take a one-point lead in the fourth — then saw the Heat run away again. The other: Magic Johnson, who had 42 in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals for the Los Angeles Lakers. And the Heat rookie playoff record was 27 by Dwyane Wade in 2004; it now belongs to Herro, who scored 17 points in the fourth alone. The biggest Heat lead in the first three games had been eight points.
Back to work: Celtics, Heat start getting ready for Game 4
That lead is down to 2-1 now, the Celtics playing brilliantly in Game 3 and leading wire-to-wire to take a bunch of newfound momentum into Game 4 of the series on Wednesday night. “Our spirit is right, our head is right, our energy is there, so I think we’re responding the right way,” Miami wing Jae Crowder said. But it’s Miami still leading the series, which is why the Celtics are seeking to show up for Game 4 with the same aggression that carried them in Game 3. “We know we’re going to have to play the best game that we’ve played in Game 4 of this series to have a chance to win. That’s just the way series work.
Bam! Adebayo's block helps Heat win Game 1 over Celtics
He put the Heat ahead again in overtime — and then Bam Adebayo finished it off with the biggest block of his career. The Celtics went to Tatum on the ensuing possession, only to watch him get denied by Adebayo. Tatum scored 30 points for the Celtics, Marcus Smart had 26 points, Walker had 19 and Jaylen Brown added 17. Goran Dragic had 29 points, Jae Crowder scored 22, Jimmy Butler scored 20 and Adebayo had 18 for the Heat. MIAMI VS. BOSTONTuesday was the 141st meeting all-time between the Celtics and Heat.
At home, on the road or at Disney, James is tough to beat
Earlier in this postseason, he also became the all-time leader in playoff road wins. For the first time in NBA history, road teams have a winning record through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Lakers are 3-0 in the playoffs as the road team so far, which has pushed James total for road playoff wins to 65 two more than Tim Duncan managed in his two decades with San Antonio. Nobody impacts winning more than LeBron James, Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. The difference was the supporting casts, and Rajon Rondos 21 points and nine assists were enormous for the Lakers.
Celtics roll in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead on Raptors
Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and the Celtics never trailed, rolling past the Toronto Raptors 111-89 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday night. Boston now leads the series 3-2 and can earn a trip to the East finals on Wednesday. Toronto outscored Boston 28-25 in the third and it already didn't matter; the Celtics' lead was 87-63 going into the fourth. The Celtics scored more points in the second quarter (37) than they allowed in the first half (35). The Raptors went 1-0 last season in win-or-else games, that being the Game 7 triumph over Philadelphia in the East semifinals.
NBA will allow team staff to bring guests to Disney bubble
Those guests could then enter the so-called bubble at Walt Disney World on Sept. 21, about a week before the scheduled start of the NBA Finals. Some players were able to bring family into the bubble following quarantines and other health certifications starting on Aug. 31. Other coaches, such as Denvers Michael Malone and Miamis Erik Spoelstra, have spoken out publicly about their hope that the league would allow team staff to have the opportunity to bring family into the bubble. The cost, $550 each day for each guest, would have to be covered by the team or individual staff member. And as is the case with player guests, including children, none of the staff guests will be able to leave the NBAs bubble.
Raptors beat Celtics 100-93 to even East semifinals at 2-2
Two days after winning Game 3 on OG Anunobys 3-pointer as time expired, the Raptors didnt need any big shots. Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. 7-UPWhen Lowry and Brown fouled each other, it caused some headaches for the public address announcer, who mixed up his No. When Brown fouled Lowry in the first quarter, he announced the foul was on Lowry, saying my bad after a moment of confusion. Lowry hacked Brown in the second and it was announced as a foul on the Celtics player.
Celtics keep Grizzlies from clinching spot in play-in series
The Grizzlies missed another chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the Western Conference play-in series, and could fall out of eighth place if Portland beats Dallas later Tuesday. The Grizzlies arrived in Florida with 3 1/2-game cushion over their nearest competitor for the eighth seed in the West. But their struggles have guaranteed the need for a play-in game for that final spot with Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix all still in contention. Memphis will head into its final seeding game against Milwaukee on Thursday needing a win to earn a place in the play-in game. Boston held the Grizzlies to 33% (17 of 51) shooting in the half, including 1 of 13 (7.7%) from the 3-point line.
Celtics build 40-point lead, roll past Raptors 122-100
And Celtics coach Brad Stevens is already making it clear if that happens, a blowout win over the Raptors now won't mean anything then. Jaylen Brown scored 20 points, Jayson Tatum added 18 and the Celtics never trailed on the way to an emphatic 122-100 win over the Raptors on Friday night. It was 91-57 entering the fourth, and the Raptors went with subs the rest of the way. Raptors: Toronto needs one win in its final four games for a fifth consecutive 50-win season. The Raptors missed nine of their first 10 shots on the way to a 12-2 early deficit, setting the tone.
Tatum has 34 as Celtics beat Trail Blazers 128-124
That was a playoff-level energy that we had to play with at the end of the game, Boston coach Brad Stevens said. Jaylen was open and those were the right reads.Damian Lillard had 30 points and 16 assists for Portland. Jusuf Nurkic added 30 points in his second official game back after breaking his leg in March 2019. UP NEXTTrail Blazers: Play Houston on Tuesday night. Celtics: Play the Heat on Tuesday night.
NBA teams at Disney had tough travel-party decisions to make
Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are reopening Saturday, while Epcot and Disneys Hollywood Studios will follow four days later. (Gabrielle Russon/Orlando Sentinel via AP)The 22 teams participating in the NBA restart were all at the Disney campus together for the first time Friday. Some teams left player development coaches behind, some even left assistant coaches, and all teams traveled with only one media relations staffer and one equipment manager. In normal circumstances, some teams travel with as many as three people to handle media requirements and two for equipment. That left 20 spots for coaches, assistant coaches, player development, video, security, strength and conditioning, athletic training, media relations and content creators.
Asterisk on the NBA title? Coaches, players say not a chance
To the teams in the NBA, this championship might be the toughest one ever claimed. And only one of the 22 teams headed to Disney will be able to say it was absolutely worth the trouble. You win an NBA championship anytime, its a hell of an accomplishment. This NBA season will see the 22 remaining teams all play between 71 and 75 games before the playoffs, and the leagues plan is for a full four-round, best-of-seven-throughout postseason. If you think about the mental toughness its going to take ... its going to come down to talent.