Brad Stevens is obviously a historian of buzzer-beaters.

His Butler Bulldogs almost pulled out the most dramatic last-second shot in NCAA tournament history when Gordon Hayward’s bank shot from half-court went off the front rim and out in the 2010 NCAA tournament final.

More recently, he’s seen Evan Turner do the trick for and against his team many times. There was the game-winner against his Celtics for the Sixers last season at TD Garden in a 95-94 Philly win. Later that season, Turner did it again against the Nets. That late-game magic may have been one of the reasons Danny Ainge wanted to bring Turner to Boston this season.

It’s worked pretty well. Three times this season, he’s beaten the buzzer at the end of regulation. Twice it won games, and once it sent the game into overtime. Against two of the top teams in the NBA, it provided the winning margin, as the Celtics beat the Trail Blazers and Hawks this season.

So naturally, with Sunday’s game against the Pistons tied, 88-88, at the end of regulation, Stevens looked to ET for another otherworldly end to a game.

“We just wanted to do a little misdirection for Evan to drive and let him create space,” Stevens said. “I thought if he gets that shot off, that’€™s his shot. I felt good about it to be honest, it didn’€™t end well because it got knocked out of his hand or maybe it even slipped out of his hand; I haven’€™t seen the replay. I thought he had separation and I thought he was going to get a good look and when the clock was winding down I felt pretty good about our chances.”

As it turned out, fate was not on Boston’s side Sunday night. Turner couldn’t get a clean shot off because he could never get a grip.

“Part of the ball just slipped out of my hand and I knew Reggie [Jackson] was going to try and contest it. I tried to put a little arc on my shot. When I came up with it, it just slipped. He drew up a good play. Kelly did what he was supposed to do down there. I felt confident but the ball slipped. I felt confident going to the right baseline and doing a pull-up. I’ve done that shot a million times but unfortunately the ball slipped and we couldn’t [regroup].”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Marcus Smart may insist that his shot to the groin of Matt Bonner Friday night was an accident. But the NBA didn’t see it that way. His coach didn’t see it that way and, as it turns out, his teammates didn’t exactly see it that way.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Gerald Wallace played just 12 minutes and scored just two points in Boston’s dreadful 105-97 overtime loss Sunday night to the Pistons at TD Garden.

But what he told the team afterward could prove to be his most important contribution. The Celtics were coming off two losses in Oklahoma City and San Antonio but appeared back on track when they went up 10 points twice in the third quarter.

But the Pistons got hot in the fourth quarter to tie the game and the Celtics went ice cold in overtime. The result the Celtics fell to 30-39 and out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics are now tied with the Pacers in the East, each team a half game behind the 30-38 Charlotte Hornets for the eighth and final spot.

It was time for the 32-year-old Wallace to speak to his teammates.

“I told the guys that we have to more serious because giving away games like this or losing games like this, we don’t have the length of the schedule [remaining] to kind of make up games,” Wallace said. “Every game counts right now. We have to take it one game at a time and take care of those games.”

What was the reaction to Wallace’s message?

“I think everybody understood by the way everybody felt,” Wallace said. “They kind of felt this loss. They know that we weren’t supposed to lose this game. We already had two tough games on the road. Coming home, with the way our schedule is, this was a game we had to win, we needed to win. I think they understand we gave this game away and we have to take advantage of them.

“We have [13] games left. Probably out of those 13 games, nine or 10 of those games are [against] playoff teams or teams that are fighting us for that playoff position. They’re competing and they’re fighting just as hard as we are. We’ve got to understand that we just can’t anticipate just showing up and expecting to win the ballgame.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

At the trade deadline, the Celtics received the hidden gems of Luigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko from Detroit. Sunday night, the C’s returned the favor, giving away the game to the Pistons.

BOSTON-At the trade deadline, the Celtics received the hidden gems of Luigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko from Detroit; tonight, the C’s returned the favor, giving away the game to the Pistons.

After leading for the majority of the game, the Celtics (30-39) struggled down the stretch especially offensively, as the team scored 19 points in the forth quarter and only 9 in overtime. Evan Turner led the Celtics with 23 points, while the rest of the starters Jae Crowder (19), Brandon Bass (13) Tyler Zeller (10), and Avery Bradley (10) all finished in double-figures.

In the victory, Reggie Jackson almost had a triple double, contributing 17 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebonds for the Pistons (24-44). Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a game-high 27 points and Andre Drummond had a double-double, grabbing a 22 rebounds and 18 points.

See the full box score here.

EVAN TURNER RUNS THE POINT
With Marcus Smart serving a one-game suspension, Evan Turner was listed as the starting point guard. Turner had a very balanced and proficient performance, finishing with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. The polarizing guard, who Jackie MacMullan brilliantly described on the broadcast as an ‘€œacquired taste,’€ even limited his turnovers, only coughing up the rock twice in 38 minutes. Despite the good performance, Bad-Evan reared his ugly head, as the ball slipped out of his hands on the game-winning attempt at the end of regulation.

JAE CROWDER’€™S EXCELLENT SECOND QUARTER
After missing his first five shots of the game, Jae Crowder decided to attack the rim and ended up having a terrific second quarter. He scored half of the Celtics 24 points, drawing two fouls by making aggressive cuts towards the basket. He went 3 for 4 from the charity stripe and also knocked down an open three.

HACK-A-DRUMMOND WORKS BRIEFLY
In his short career, Andre Drummond has already established himself as one of the worst free-throw shooters in NBA history. Brad Stevens used this to advantage, deciding to foul the big man early and often. The poorly named strategy paid off, as Drummond went 2 for 11 from the charity stripe. Despite his struggles from the line, the Pistons center finished with an impressive 18 points, 22 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The Celtics went away from the strategy in the final frame, but it would not have helped their poor offensive performance.

NO REVENGE FOR GIGI AND JONAS
There was some talk heading into this game that Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko had something to prove against their old team; Especially Datome, who only saw 17 minutes on the floor during his time with the Pistons. Jerebko was maybe trying too hard tonight, only hitting 3 of his 11 shots, although he did contribute 8 rebounds. Datome didn’€™t register on the box score, only playing five minutes.

GERALD WALLACE: ORIGINAL GANGSTA
Playing 12 minutes, Wallace added much needed energy off the bench. On one possession, the OG out-hustled a pair of Pistons to grab two offensive rebounds before finishing with a put-back. Wallace finished with 7 rebounds and 2 points.

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

A cheap shot to the groin will cost Marcus Smart – and the Celtics – one game.

A cheap shot to the groin will cost Marcus Smart – and the Celtics – one game.

The NBA announced Saturday that it has suspended the Celtics point guard for Sunday’s game against the Pistons for a flagrant-2 foul committed in Friday’s loss in San Antonio.

Smart hit Spurs forward Matt Bonner in the groin area midway through the fourth quarter and was automatically ejected.

Smart said after the game that he was trying to rip through a Bonner screen and had accidentally hit him. Video replay clearly shows Smart winding up and punching him as he’s trying to fight through.

This was the second time this month that Smart was ejected for a flagrant foul. With injured guard Isaiah Thomas still out, Phil Pressey is expected to get more playing time.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

It was a wasted trip to the Midwest.

Following on the heels of Wednesday’s 122-118 loss to Oklahoma City, the Celtics came out flat, and a late charge fell short in a 101-89 loss to the Spurs Friday night in San Antonio.

It was a wasted trip to the Midwest.

Following on the heels of Wednesday’s 122-118 loss to Oklahoma City, the Celtics came out flat and a late charge fell short in a 101-89 loss to the Spurs Friday night in San Antonio.

For a complete box score, click here.

But thanks to some help from the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics (30-38) remain tied for the eighth and final spot of the Eastern Conference. The Cavaliers beat the Pacers, 95-92, in Cleveland, dropping Indiana to 30-38 on the year. Miami won their game, 108-91, over Denver, increasing its lead to two games over the Celtics.

After winning five straight games, the Celtics have lost two straight as they fight desperately for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics host Detroit on Sunday night at 6 p.m. at TD Garden.

ICE COLD START

The Spurs raced out to a 19-4 start and the Celtics never recovered. Two issues plagued the Celtics. After Avery Bradley hit Boston’s first jumper of the game, the Celtics missed six of their next seven. They also committed three turnovers in the first five minutes. The Celtics allowed the Spurs to shoot 60 percent in the first quarter and race out to a 32-19 lead after the first quarter.

MARCUS SMART EJECTED

For a second time this season, Marcus Smart was ejected from a game. He punched Matt Bonner in the crotch trying to fight his way through a screen at the top of the key in the fourth quarter.

BRADLEY BRIGHT SPOT

Avery Bradley led the Celtics early on with 16 points. Bradley scored nine of his 16 points in the first quarter and made half of his shots (7-of-14) on the night.

TURNER GREAT LATE

Evan Turner scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics made their charge.

LATE RUN

Thanks to some poor shot selection and turnovers by the Spurs and some shotmaking by Evan Turner, the Celtics went on a 16-0 run to cut the San Antonio lead down to seven, 91-84, with just over four minutes left. The Celtics held the Spurs without a field goal for over four minutes. A Tony Parker tear drop shot with 3:45 left ended the Celtics’ run and put the Spurs back up, 93-84. Tyler Zeller missed a dunk and Tiago Splitter hit a baseline turnaround with 3:10 left to give the Spurs a double-digit lead again, 95-84. Avery Bradley missed a three and Parker hit a layup with just over two minutes left to give San Antonio a 99-85 lead.

JEREBKO HITS GLASS

Jonas Jerebko helped the rebounding effort, as he hauled in a team-high 12 rebounds.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia