After failing to defeat a Western Conference opponent on the road in their previous 24 attempts, the Celtics won out West for the second straight night.

Evan Turner drilled the buzzer-beater the night before, and Avery Bradley provided the heroics on Friday, sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:24 remaining and making a last-minute jumper to hold off Denver and secure a 100-99 victory. Completing the stoners’ sweep — earning wins over the Blazers and Nuggets on successive nights — the C’s improved to 15-26, moving within two games of the Nets for the Eastern Conference’s eighth seed.

Bradley’s five points in the final 84 seconds gave him a team-high 18 points on the evening. Starting for the second straight night, Brandon Bass collected 18 points and nine points while Jared Sullinger added 14 points and eight rebounds, making up for the absence of Kelly Olynyk (ankle). Evan Turner (10 points, 6 assists) and Tyler Zeller (11 points, 6 rebounds) also reached double figures. Short-lived teammate Jameer Nelson led the way for the Ty Lawson-less Nuggets (18-25) with 23 points and seven assists.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

In a wild finish, the ball ended up in Evan Turner‘s hands in the right corner, and with a single stroke of fortune he ended the Celtic

In a wild finish, the ball ended up in Evan Turner‘s hands in the right corner, and with a single stroke of fortune he ended the Celtics‘ road woes against the Western Conference.

After Jared Sullinger nearly lost the ball in the lane on the final play, he found his fellow Ohio State product beyond the arc, and Turner’s 3-pointer with one second remaining gave the Celtics a 90-89 lead in Portland. On the other end, the Blazers failed to get off a shot, and just like that the C’s 24-game road losing streak against teams out West ended.

The Celtics improved to 14-26 on the season, jumping from the league’s fifth-worst record to the NBA’s eighth-worst winning percentage approaching the midway point.

In his first start of the season, Brandon Bass recorded his only double-double of the year (13 points, 10 rebounds). Sullinger added 17 points and nine boards, and Avery Bradley scored a team-high 18 points. Damian Lillard led the LaMarcus Aldridge-less Blazers (31-13) with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

For a complete box score, click here.

HOT START

Taking advantage of Portland’s tired legs on the second night of the Blazers’ back-to-back, the Celtics grabbed a 23-19 lead by the end of the first quarter. In an attempt to match Portland’s athleticism, C’s coach Brad Stevens inserted Bass into the starting lineup to replace Tyler Zeller. While Bass responded with a couple early buckets, it was Zeller who led the charge off the bench, scoring five points and grabbing a pair of rebounds in the opening frame.

DEFENDING THEIR HONOR

The Celtics entered Thursday’s game with the league’s third-worst defensive rating in January, allowing 108.8 points per game in their previous 10 games. Benefiting somewhat from those same tired legs, the Celtics held Portland to 42 percent shooting in the first half (18-43 FG). The Blazers, who rank among the NBA’s best from 3-point range, shot just 1-of-10 from distance in the first 24 minutes. As a result, the C’s took a 44-42 lead into the break.

TURNER-ING POINT

While the Evan Turner signing over the summer earned little praise, the former No. 2 overall pick has proven well worth his $3.3 million salary. Playing three different positions for the Celtics, he came in averaging 10.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists over 29.1 minutes in 14 starts this season, and his breadth of production against Portland was similarly impactful (10 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds). He’s signed for another $3.4 million next season and would be a nice complementary piece if the C’s could ever surround him with enough talent to contend for a playoff spot.

TURD QUARTER

After holding Portland to 10 percent shooting from beyond the arc in the first half, the Blazers connect on 7-of-9 3-point attempts in the third quarter, including 4-of-4 shooting from Wesley Matthews. Portland scored 21 of its 30 points from distance in the frame, turning a two-point halftime deficit into a 72-67 lead entering the fourth quarter. Showing impressive resolve for a team that had lost three straight, the Celtics again turned up the defense late, holding the Blazers to 4-of-23 shooting from the field (1-9 3P) in the final frame.

INJURY TO INSULT

A pair of Celtics went down hard in separate incidents during the fourth quarter, and while Bass remained in the game after a hard fall on his backside, Olynyk wasn’t so fortunate when he landed on Thomas Robinson’s foot. He suffered a sprained right ankle and did not return to the game. His status for Friday’s game in Denver is in serious doubt.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach
Ben and Sam discuss ways to improve the NBA All-Star weekend, hand out of hardware, and give their Finals predictions

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What's Danny Ainge's batting average as Celtics president? (Getty Images)



Former Duke guard Andre Dawkins will sign a 10-day contract with the Celtics on Thursday, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. RealGM.com’s Shams Charania first reported the deal.

The Celtics and former Duke guard Andre Dawkins have agreed to a 10-day contract, according to RealGM.com’s Shams Charania. Dawkins has been playing in the Miami Heat system since going undrafted this past June.

In four seasons for the Blue Devils from 2009-14, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Dawkins averaged 7.1 points with an impressive 60.8 true shooting percentage (40.7 3P%) in 17.4 minutes over 142 games. Once a top-10 high school recruit at Chesapeake (Va.) Atlantic Shores Christian School, his journey to the NBA is a remarkable one, having redshirted Duke’s 2012-13 season to cope with the depression resulting from the death of his sister during his freshman year.

Since leaving Durham, N.C., Dawkins played summer league games for Miami in Orlando and the Houston Rockets in Las Vegas, averaging 9.8 points (53.9 TS%) in 18.1 minutes over 12 games for the two teams. He signed with the Heat’s D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D., averaging 22.9 points (66.0 TS%), 3.4 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 36.6 minutes over 11 games for the Skyforce. And he played two games during a call-up to Miami, totaling 22 points (7-12 FG) in 38 minutes over two games.

The Celtics currently rank 22nd in points per 100 possessions (105.0), so they could use all they help they can get.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Every two weeks I rank the Celtics based on their recent performance and my personal feelings on the player.

14. Shavlik Randolph

During his last stint with the team in 2012, Yung Lik, as his friends call him, averaged 4.2 points a game. Fans can only hope for the same level of contribution this time around.

13. Gerald Wallace

Team leader and fun party trick.

12. Tayshaun Prince

He may not get much playing time, but this play made a large impression on Brad Stevens, so that’s cool.

11. James Young

With the departure of Jeff Green, I expected Young to get more playing time, yet he remains on the bench. Let’s take this time to remember his greatest moment while he wastes away on the bench of the fourth-worst team in the league.

10. Phil Pressey

Pressey actually made some shots against the Bulls the other night, including some POINTS IN THE PAINT. I still think he is too short to really make a consistent impact, but I love his energy and court vision.

9. Marcus Thornton

“Lil Buckets” continues to shoot the ball well, averaging 11.5 points over his last four games. I will be very dissapointed when Danny Ainge turns him into a second-round pick in 2020.

8. Kelly Olynyk

Jelly Man Kelly has been OK off the bench but continues to struggle defensively. I don’t trust him on the floor against any decent big. And to think we could have drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo. I found this tweet about Kelly O quite interesting.


As GIF king Jay O also noted, Win shares are a bogus stat, the 2013 draft class is pretty bad, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player ever to put on a jersey. He may not have said that last part, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

7. Brandon Bass

Since the Jeff Green trade, Bass, playing around 20 minutes a game, has done an excellent job showcasing himself for Western Conference contenders. If I were the Trail Blazers or Clippers I would have traded for him yesterday.

6. Avery Bradley

Good Avery Bradley made an appearance for about four games. Then the Celtics played the Bulls and Clippers and AB went 4-for-14 from the field. His defense is still great, but with Marcus Smart on the roster, I don’t see what role he fills moving forward.

5. Marcus Smart

Since returning from injury, Smart has shot 40 percent from 3, which is exactly what Smart needs to be doing. If he continues to improve his shooting while playing great physical defense, he may actually emerge into a building block. In addition to his shooting, I would like to see Smart attack the basket more regularly. Currently, Smart is the only untouchable piece on the roster.

4. Bae Crowder

I really goofed on my last rankings when I listed Bae Crowder at No. 12. I was quickly rebuked by my fellow Celtics bloggers and I have seen the error of my ways. Quite simply, Bae is the best thing to happen to the Celtics this season. He hustles, plays great defense, and has an oh-so-sweet sneaky mid-range game.  Crowder does a great job of moving without the basketball, and when the Celtics are playing well he has no problem getting easy baskets at the rim.  I hope Ainge does everything to sign him next summer. You can never go wrong with a Marquette grad.

3. Tyler Zeller

I apologize #GodZeller for cursing you. I never should have ranked you the best player on the team, you weren’t ready for that kind of responsibility. Zeller and his tremendously soft hands still have their moments, but they haven’t been as dominant as they were earlier in the season. Zeller has yet to be completely exposed defensively, but this trip out west may do exactly that. If Zeller even had an ounce more personality, this  incredibly frustrating team would be a thousand time more fun to watch. Tito, I need cellies after every made basket!

2. Evan Turner

I like Evan Turner. There, I said it and I am not ashamed. Since taking over as the starting point guard, he has averaged six assists and six rebounds a game. He still needs to limit his turnovers, but his presence on the court is generally productive. He has positional versatility and would be a perfectly cromulent bench piece on a halfway decent team.

1. Jared Sullinger

The fact that Sullinger has been the best player on the Celtics is indicative of the low level of talent on the roster. He is a solid NBA player who can rebound and score the ball a little bit, but by no means is he a top-15 power forward. This is a gratuitous sentence about his gratuitous hind parts. I always forget that he is only 22 years old and thus still has tremendous upside, but I would not be the least bit upset if Ainge shipped him out of town.

Early ’90s rap song that illustrates my current feelings about the Celtics:

Follow Sam Packard on Twitter @SPacShakur

Blog Author: 
Sam Packard

With a 102-93 victory agains the visiting Celtics on Monday afternoon, Clippers coach Doc Rivers improved to 3-0 against his former tea

With a 102-93 victory agains the visiting Celtics on Monday afternoon, Clippers coach Doc Rivers improved to 3-0 against his former team.

The Boston bench scored 59 points — including double-digit production from Brandon Bass (17 points), Marcus Thornton (15 points), Marcus Smart (14 points) and Kelly Olynyk (11 points) — but the Celtics never led after falling behind by double figures in the first quarter. At least the recently traded Austin Rivers (2 points) didn’t make much of a difference for L.A.

The loss marks the C’s third straight and 12th in their last 15 games. They currently own the fifth-worst record in the NBA, leading only the Knicks, Timberwolves, 76ers and Lakers in the wins department with 13.

The Clippers’ victory keeps them in the sixth seed out West, seven games out of the lottery — an important distinction, since the Celtics own their first-round selection in June as a result of Doc’s departure.

SLOW START

After Celtics center Tyler Zeller made a baby hook shot to tie the game at two apiece 63 seconds into the game, the Celtics missed their next 10 shots and committed a trio of turnovers over the next six minutes, digging themselves an 11-2 hole against a championship-caliber starting lineup.

Meanwhile, Clippers center DeAndre Jordan dominated on both ends of the floor in the first quarter, scoring 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting offensively while collecting five rebounds and a pair of blocks defensively in the frame.

BENCH PRESS

While the triumvirate of Jordan, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul gives the Clippers an overwhelming advantage at the top end of their rotation, their bench stands between another second-round playoff exit and the franchise’s first conference finals appearance. The Celtics took advantage of that weakness, closing the gap to four behind Bass and maintaining a single-digit deficit until a Jamal Crawford triple gave L.A. a 47-37 halftime lead. Still, without the C’s reserves scoring 17 first-half points, the score midway through the first game of a two-week trip out West could’ve been a lot worse.

SMART DECISION

The Celtics have been working with Marcus Smart to square his feet under his body and not fade on his jump shot, and the rookie has made significant improvement from the perimeter in his first NBA season, knocking down four more triples against the Clippers. After struggling from 3-point range to start the season, Smart entered Monday’s game shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc in January — this after connecting on a respectable 38 percent of treys last month. Considering he entered the league an above-average defender, the Celtics now must encourage Smart to attack the rim more often.

SILENCING THE CROWDER

Since scoring 22 points in a 108-100 win over the Pelicans last week, netting double figures for the sixth time in nine games and earning a starting spot in the process, Jae Crowder’s contributions have fallen off a cliff. The newly acquired forward was underused in a loss to the Hawks two nights later, when he had seven points on four attempts, and then finished with just two points in 21 minutes in Friday’s four-point loss to the Bulls. Against the Clippers, he went scoreless and committed as many turnovers (2) as he had combined rebounds and assists in 13:26.

FRONTCOURT FAILURE

The C’s young frontcourt trio of Zeller, Olynyk and Jared Sullinger continue to get outworked on the defensive end. Jordan and Griffin are a tough matchup for any opposing big-man combination, but the Clippers duo combined for 41 points on 27 shots, 21 rebounds, seven assists, six blocks and three steals in a game-deciding effort.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach