After his team broke out for a 96-78 win over the Trail Blazers Friday night at TD Garden, Doc Rivers credited his team's practice habits over the two days leading up to the game for better results.
“Well, I didn’t do anything," Rivers said when asked about calling his team soft after Wednesday's loss to the Nets. "I mean, we went pretty hard [Thursday] for a short [practice] and we actually went hard today for the shoot-around. Because we’ve got to get our culture right in that way. And we’ve got a long way to go, but we’re getting better. You can see it, for sure.”
Jason Terry scored 17 points and Courtney Lee chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the makeshift backcourt picked up the slack for the suspended Rajon Rondo. But what meant the most to Rivers afterward was the defense the Celtics played in the first half, holding the Blazers to 23 percent shooting, including 2-of-14 shooting in the second quarter. The Celtics built their lead to 27 early in the third quarter and the Blazers never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.
“It was good," Rivers said. "Obviously it’s one game and it was great. Our defense was fantastic. We did a couple things different, trapping, it was great. And then the ball movement was terrific as well in the first half. I thought, second half was, you know how that goes with the score, but overall I just like our focus and how we approached the game.”
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