Update: The Celtics are saying that the injury to Kevin Garnett is related to a leg muscle, possibly in his calf, and is not a knee injury. Garnett hurt himself going up for a dunk late in the first quarter against the Pistons and went to the locker room in obvious pain. He did not return to the game. X-rays came back negative and Garnett will undergo an MRI Thursday. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the game that Garnett would likely miss a few games, but the injury does not appear to be serious.

 

In 2008, the Celtics won 19 straight games before going to Los Angeles for a Christmas day showdown with the Lakers. They lost that one, starting a run of losing seven of nine games. In 2009, the Celtics capped off a 14-1 stretch with a win over the Magic on Christmas.



PAUL FLANNERY

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It wasn't a vintage Celtics performance, but it was good enough in a 95-83 win over the Pacers Tuesday night. The Celtics trailed by double digits in the first and second half, but rallied behind ex-Pacer Marquis Daniels, who had his best game of the season. Daniels finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Ray Allen (17 points) and Paul Pierce (21) took turns leading the Celtics offense. 

 

Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal has been fined $35,000 by the NBA for criticizing the referee Bob Delaney following his team's 86-78 loss to the Magic in Orlando on Christmas Day. Following the Celts' loss, O'Neal was quoted as saying, "“We have two premier big men out there.  He is pushing, I’m pushing. Let us play. I guess they [fans] come out to see No. 26 [Delaney] play. He was a great player out there today. They paid all that money to see No. 26 come play. My thing is, if you’re going to call it, call it the same way every time.

The Celtics 14-game winning streak came to an end in the final three minutes and 20 seconds against the Orlando Magic, but it had been brewing ever since Rajon Ro



PAUL FLANNERY

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The Celtics' 14-game winning streak is over. It ended in the final minutes against the Magic on Christmas Day, 86-78 when the absence of Rajon Rondo finally caught up to Boston, who had controlled the game for most of the afternoon. But on a day when Nate Robinson shot 2-for-15, the Celtics couldn't get into an offensive groove and blew a six-point lead with three minutes left. 

 

The Celtics remained atop the WEEI.com NBA Power Rankings this week, edging out two Western Conference contenders (not even named the Lakers), the Mavericks and Spurs. The list's author, Ben Rohrbach, has the Heat slipping by the Lakers into the fourth spot with the once-feared Thunder dropping to No. 7. Sacramento (with it's five wins) sits at the bottom at No. 30. For Rohrbach's complete list, click here.

In his weekly interview with The Big Show, Celtics president Danny Ainge said he thinks this season's team is better than last year because of improved depth and healthy seasons from Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. "I think this just a better team," Ainge said. "I like this team much better. I like the depth better. I feel more more confident in this team and what we're capable of doing. Last year we came very close. We're playing now without Delonte [West] and Rajon [Rondo], which makes it very difficult, and we're still finding ways to win." 

Celtics coach Doc Rivers joined guest hosts Bob Ryan and Chris Mannix on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday to talk about his team's 14-game winning streak, the upcoming battle with the new-look Magic, the health of Kendrick Perkins as well as other news from around the league.

 

Rivers was asked about Wednesday night's sloppy 84-80 win over the 76ers. The coach said he wasn't surprised by the performance of his team but will take the end result.

 

The Celtics won their 14th straight game on Wednesday night by beating an angry but overmatched Philadelphia 76ers team, 84-80 at TD Garden.



PAUL FLANNERY

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