Wilcox (back), Milicic (wrist) return to practice

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Wilcox (back), Milicic (wrist) return to practice

WALTHAM The Celtics were back in action on Wednesday -- all of them but Avery Bradley.

Both Chris Wilcox (back) and Darko Milicic (wrist) returned after time off and look to be doing fine.

Wilcox hasn't participated in practice since the team left for Turkey, and didn't play in any preseason games. That said, Rivers was impressed with what he saw out of the 6-foot-10 forwardcenter.

"He went through the whole practice," Rivers said. "He looked like Chris Wilcox exactly. I say that jokingly, but he did what he does, you know what I mean? He ran the floor, rebounded, turned the ball over that's what I've been getting on him about so he did all those things. But he looked pretty good. I was surprised, his conditioning was a lot better than I thought it was going to be."

Wilcox's ability to run the floor on the break made him one of Rondo's favorite targets last season. For that reason, his conditioning is also key. With his back and conditioning issues on the mend, Wilcox is easing into things again.

"It felt good, my first day out there," Wilcox said. "It's tough because you kind of have to feel out what's going on but I felt great out there today."

Not being out on the court was a hard thing for Wilcox to watch everyday. Now, though, he's finally able to help.

"Definitely a big release," Wilcox said when asked about finally getting back out on the court. "Just sitting back there working out everyday in the sideline and seeing thee guys go up and down, I want to be a part of it, you know? We're out there grinding and getting ready for this year and I couldn't be part of it. So today was a great challenge for me. I went out there and worked hard. I mean, it's the first day so I didn't expect too much but I think I did well."

So what does he want to improve on? The list is long.

"Everything, you know what I mean? I'm coming from scratch right now so everything I do I'm trying to improve and trying to get better," Wilcox said.

As for Milicic, Rivers didn't have much to say, but the news sounded somewhat encouraging.

"He was great. Had his wrist heavily taped, but he was fine," Rivers said.

Bradley steps up to lead Celtics to 117-87 blowout win over Magic

Bradley steps up to lead Celtics to 117-87 blowout win over Magic

It was one of Tacoma, Washington’s finest carrying the scoring load most of Wednesday night for the Boston Celtics. 
 
But it wasn’t the Celtics’ leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
It was his backcourt mate and fellow Tacoma, Wash. native Avery Bradley picking up the slack in Thomas’ absence as Boston pulled away in the second half for a 117-87 blowout win over the Orlando Magic. 
 
Wednesday’s victory was Boston’s first in Orlando since Nov. 8, 2013. 
 
Bradley led seven double-figure scorers for Boston (13-9), with a team-high 23 points.
 
Thomas missed his first game of the season with a right groin injury that will sideline him for a yet-to-be-determined period of time. 
 
The 5-foot-9 guard ranks among the NBA’s leaders in scoring (26.0) in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game. 
 
But Bradley was up to the challenge of filling the void left by Thomas, which isn’t all that surprising when you consider the game was away from the TD Garden. 
 
Bradley has been good this year, but has really stood out in road games where he has averaged 19.0 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field compared to 15.8 points on 41.3 percent shooting at the TD Garden. 
 
The first half was a tightly contested game with neither team leading by more than eight points. 
 
After Orlando scored the first basket of the third quarter, the Celtics went on a furious 18-2 run to lead 67-54 which had five different scorers for Boston that spoke volumes about the balanced offensive attack the Celtics came with to make up for Thomas’ absence. 
 
Boston’s defense picked up its intensity in the second half, but just as important was the renewed emphasis on ball movement that was simple, crisp and highly effective. 
 
And it came against an Orlando team that came in having won four of its last five games – all on the road – which included beating the always-challenging San Antonio Spurs on their home floor. 
 
But as important as it was for Bradley to help fill the enormous scoring void that exists without Thomas, Boston also needed a strong game from their bench. 
 
That’s exactly what they got, and it wasn’t just one or two guys, either. 
 
Jaylen Brown had arguably the best game of his still-young NBA career coming off the Celtics bench, finishing with 13 points which included a powerful, rim-rattling dunk over Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic
 
Boston also got great play out of Terry Rozier (career-high 16 points, five rebounds) who saw a few more minutes than usual because of Thomas’ injury. 
 
Not only was the victory important to pad the win total, but it also provides a nice boost of confidence for the Celtics as they hit what will be arguably the most difficult stretch of the season in terms of quality opponents. 
 
The Celtics have 12 games remaining this month, with the teams having a combined record of 152-105, or a winning percentage of .591.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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