Tagged in: Boston Celtics

76ers top Celtics in 1st battle of East Favorites

Joel Embiid was popped in the mouth by an elbow that drew blood, rattled teeth, and stunned the Sixers’ big man.

Embiid shook off the knock after a short stint on the bench, then Philadelphia took off and secured the first round in a bruising matchup between two teams expected to fight for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Embiid had 15 points and 13 rebounds, Ben Simmons scored 24 points and the 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 107-93 on Wednesday night.

The season opener had a May feel from the opening tip.

Boston and Philly roughed up each other, combining for more than 60 fouls. They each showed off their prized free agent assets.

But it was the Sixers who turned in a leading fourth quarter.

”It felt like a playoff atmosphere, already,” Philadelphia guard Josh Richardson said. ”It was ready to pop from the jump.”

Philly’s superstars can only do so much, and the other Sixers were clutch in the fourth when they needed them. Furkan Korkmaz and Tobias Harris buried consecutive 3-pointers – after the Sixers had missed 21 of 24 through three quarters – to stretch the lead to 10.

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Even without that scrutinized jumper in play, Simmons was smooth and sensational as he attacked the hoop for easy baskets. He used a nifty spin move in the paint to hit Kyle O’Quinn for a basket that made it 90-74. The packed house went wild as the backups, a weak spot in the postseason, put the Sixers on the decisive run. Simmons also had nine assists and eight rebounds, though he played his 161st career game without a 3.

”I’m skilled, I’m gifted, I’m pretty good at what I do,” Simmons said.

Gordon Hayward guided the Celtics with 25 points. Jayson Tatum had 21.

Kemba Walker scored 12 points on 4-of-18 shooting in his Boston debut, and Al Horford had 16 points in his first game with the 76ers. Horford spent the last three seasons with the Celtics and was one of the few defenders that gave Embiid fits. Horford signed a four-year deal to come to Philly and quickly became a popular teammate. Walker was signed to a four-year, $141 million deal, the most Boston could offer, but $80 million less than the Charlotte Hornets could have paid him over five seasons.

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Jaylen Brown agrees to 4 year deal with Celtics

Negotiations may have been contentious, but Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics succeeded to get on the same page before Monday’s rookie contract extension limit. 

Brown agreed to a four-year, $115 million contract extension with the Celtics, his agent Jason Glushon confirmed. That deal is a far cry from the four-year, $80 million pact Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Boston was offering. The sides typically start far apart on negotiations like this, but bridging such a large gap so close to the deadline is an impressive feat. Brown’s deal includes no player or team options. 

This is the first rookie extension that Boston has signed any player to in a decade. The last Celtic to extend prior to hitting free agency was Rajon Rondo in 2009.  Brown is now locked in through the 2023-24 season with the Celtics. Assuming Jayson Tatum re-signs next offseason as intended, Boston will have Brown, Tatum, Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart signed for at least three more years in total. For a Boston team that has experienced significant roster turnover during the last several seasons, that kind of continuity is going to be critical. 

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Brown’s numbers declined last season from their heights during the 2017-18 campaign.

His points, assists and rebounds per game all fell along with his 3-point and effective field goal percentages. But Brown was forced to the bench for much of the season in a locker room whose chemistry was notably poor. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reported in June that Brown did not have a strong relationship with Kyrie Irving, and in January he openly refuted comments Irving made that were critical of teammates. 

Irving is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, but having Brown go into the season without a long-term contract could have proven just as destructive in the locker room. Now that he has been taken care of financially, the Celtics have every reason to believe that their team’s camaraderie will be enriched this season. If he returns to the starting lineup on a full-time basis, which will likely be the case with Marcus Morris and Al Horford gone, Brown’s numbers should bounce back. 

If they do, Boston’s bright future is back on track. It may have been a tumultuous year, but with Brown and Tatum in place, the Celtics should be able to contend for a long, long time. 

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Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics

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Atlanta Hawks (51-36) at Boston Celtics (50-37)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 8:00 pm (TD Garden)
The Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics collide in Game 6 tonight at the TD Garden.

The Boston Celtics have lost all three of their away games to the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round playoff series and will try to return the favor by winning their third straight at home in Game 6 on Thursday.

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Despite the fact that the Celtics won Games 3 and 4 by a combined 17 points, they are still listed as two-point underdogs for Game 6 at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark after a 110-83 defeat in Game 5 at Atlanta.

The Celtics looked to have all of the momentum after levelling the series in Game 4, but the Celtics just couldn’t get it going at all in Game 5 and suffered a 110-83 defeat to the Hawks. Evan Turner scored 15 points while Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger and Marcus Smart all chipped in with 10 points each, but what the Celtics desperately needed was one more big game from Isaiah Thomas who scored just seven points in the game before leaving with a mild ankle sprain. Initially it was thought that Thomas would miss this game but the word is that he will indeed suit up tonight for the Celtics in this must-win game.

The Hawks have covered the spread just twice in the series so far, with both times coming in easy double-digit wins at home. The latest came Tuesday, as they trailed Boston 20-15 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the team 74-42 over the second and third to take control.

The Hawks must have been a little worried after squandering their 2-0 series lead, but in the comfort of their own building they regrouped to put together one of their best shooting displays to blow away the Celtics in the second and third quarters where they outscored them by an amazing 74-42. Mike Scott led the scoring with 17 points off the bench while Kent Bazemore and Jeff Teague chipped in with 16 points each. Paul Millsap scored just 10 points after pouring in 45 in Game 4 while Al Horford finished with just six points, but neither player was required to play their usual minutes as this game was over before the fourth quarter.

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Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks

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In what has become a competitive first-round playoff series in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks hope to use their home court to regain an edge against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 on Tuesday.

The Boston Celtics can take control of this series by winning their third straight game and taking a 3-2 lead. The Boston Celtics are averaging 97 points on 39.1 percent shooting and allowing 97.3 points on 40.1 percent shooting. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 28.3 points and 4.3 assists while Evan Turner is averaging 14 points and 5.5 rebounds. Jae Crowder is grabbing 7.5 rebounds and Marcus Smart is dishing 3.8 assists. The Boston Celtics are shooting 29.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. The Celtics are allowing 27.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 47.3 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics have lost five of their last seven road games. Kelly Olynyk is questionable with a shoulder injury.

Boston won Game 4 in overtime 104-95 on Sunday, covering the spread as a one-point home underdog and overcoming a monster 45-point performance from Atlanta power forward Paul Millsap, who connected on 19 of 31 shots from the field and also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.

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 Atlanta is a bigger favorite in Game 5 than either Game 1 or Game 2 at Philips Arena, as the team has failed to cover the spread in three of the first four overall. The lone cover for the Hawks came in Game 2 when they won 89-72 as 6.5-point favorites on the NBA betting lines.

The Atlanta Hawks hope to continue the trend of the home team winning every game in this series. The Atlanta Hawks are averaging 97.3 points on 40.1 percent shooting and allowing 97 points on 39.1 percent shooting. Paul Millsap is averaging 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds while Jeff Teague is averaging 18 points and seven assists. Al Horford is grabbing 9.8 rebounds and Kent Bazemore is dishing two assists. The Atlanta Hawks are shooting 27.6 percent from beyond the arc and 80 percent from the free throw line. The Hawks are allowing 29.7 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 48 rebounds per game. The Atlanta Hawks have won six of their last seven home games.

 

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Boston Celtics At Brooklyn Nets

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The Boston Celtics (18-15) take on the (10-23) Brooklyn Nets tonight  in the second game of a home and home series between the two teams.

The Celtics had won four of five before Saturday’s 100-97 home loss to the Nets. Isaiah Thomas led the team with 24 points and six assists, Jae Crowder added 16 points while Evan Turner had 12 off the bench, but the undersized Celtics simply had no answer for the Net’s Brook Lopez who poured in 30 points on 11 of 24 shooting. Coming off a disappointing loss to the struggling Lakers, the Celtics really wanted to bounce back and get back into the winner’s circle but the second straight loss drops them to 18-15 on the season and 9-9 at home.

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Meanwhile, the had lost seven of nine before beating the Celtics on Saturday. As mentioned earlier, Lopez dominated the paint but he also had plenty of help as Joe Johnson snapped out of his shooting slump to add 20 points while Thaddeus Young had 16 points and 10 rebounds in a much-needed win for the Nets. Unfortunately, Jarrett Jack’s knee gave out on him during the win and while it was orginally called just a sprain, further analysis has confirmed that he tore his right ACL meaning he will miss the remainder of the season.

In ATS trends, the Celtics are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven road games against a team with a losing home record, while the Nets are 5-0 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.

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Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics

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The Cleveland Cavaliers (15-7) and the Boston Celtics (14-10) finally meet for the first time this season in what should be an emotion-filled contest this evening. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. (ET) from the TD Garden.

Cleveland (15-7) opened their road trip with a 111-76 win at Orlando on Friday. The 35-point win was Cleveland’s biggest of the season and their largest margin of victory over the Magic in team history (previously 32 on November 24, 2014)

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The Cavaliers have a NBA-high four road wins by at least 30 points since February 20, 2015 (regular season only). Prior to that, the Cavs had just two 30-point road wins in their entire franchise history. (STATS, Inc.)

Boston (14-10) enters Tuesday’s contest having won three of their last four with that one loss coming in a 124-119 double-overtime loss to the Golden Stat Warriors this past Friday.

The Celtics are led by their dynamic backcourt tandem of Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. Thomas averages team-highs in points (20.8) and assists (6.7) per game while Bradley chips in 16.3 points per.

Cavaliers’ probable starting lineup: 6-3 Matthew Dellavedova (8.7 ppg, 5.4 apg), 6-4 Jared Cunningham (3.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg), 6-8 LeBron James (26.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 6.4 apg), 6-10 Kevin Love (17.8 ppg, 11.2 rpg) and 7-2 Timofey Mozgov (7.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

Celtics’ probable starting lineup: 5-7 Isaiah Thomas (20.8 ppg, 6.7 apg), 6-4 Avery Bradley (16.3 ppg, 43% 3-pt), 6-7 Jae Crowder (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg), 6-10 Amir Johnson (7.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and 6-10 Jared Sullinger (12.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg).

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Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings

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The Boston Celtics will continue their five-game road swing Thursday night with a date in Mexico City against the Sacramento Kings, where they will look to post their first straight-up road win over the Kings in their last five attempts.

The Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings square off Thursday night at the Sleep Train Arena.

The Boston Celtics look for a strong road victory after splitting their last eight games. The Boston Celtics are averaging 102 points on 43.1 percent shooting and allowing 97.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 20.8 points and 6.2 assists while Avery Bradley is averaging 16.1 points and 2.5 rebounds. Jared Sullinger is grabbing 9.3 rebounds and Evan Turner is dishing 3.6 assists. The Boston Celtics are shooting 31.7 percent from beyond the arc and 78.5 percent from the free throw line. The Celtics are getting 41.1 points from their bench, which is nearly eight points above league average. The Boston Celtics have won 10 of their last 14 regular season road games

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The Sacramento Kings need this victory for consistency after splitting their last 10 games. The Sacramento Kings are averaging 105.3 points on 45.4 percent shooting and allowing 108.5 points on 46.9 percent shooting. DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 28.2 points and 11 rebounds while Rudy Gay is averaging 18.5 points and 2.1 assists. Rajon Rondo is dishing 10.7 assists and Kosta Koufos is grabbing 6.8 rebounds. The Sacramento Kings are shooting 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 72.3 percent from the free throw line. The Kings have topped 100 points in eight of their last 11 games and are 6-6 overall this season when that’s the case. The Sacramento Kings have won four of their last five home games. Caron Butler is questionable with an ankle injury.

The Celtics are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games and 18-8-1 ATS in their last 27 vs. Western Conference. The Kings are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games and 21-46-2 ATS in their last 69 games playing on 2 days rest. The Celtics are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Sacramento and 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings overall.

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