Bass overcomes dislocated finger to help C's to victory

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Bass overcomes dislocated finger to help C's to victory

CHICAGO Although he won't admit it, the best thing for Brandon Bass on Monday night might have been suffering a dislocated right ring finger.

It allowed him to focus his mind on something other than his play, which seemed to be just what both he and the Celtics needed in Monday's 101-95 win over Chicago.

Boston delivered what was as close as a team victory as they've had this season. But there was no mistaking the impact made by Bass, who finished with 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and a pair of blocked shots.

And those numbers don't even begin to account for what he provided the C's in terms of his defense.

He has had bigger games scoring the ball and rebounding-wise since he has been in Boston. But Monday's performance was about as a complete a game as the Celtics have had from him since he's been a member of the Green team.

And to think that it came on a night in which he had to overcome playing with a injury to one of his fingers on his shooting hand, too.

"It probably made me stop thinking about my game so much," Bass said. "Just thinking about going out there helping the team anyway."

Did he ever.

"That's the Brandon we need every night," said C's coach Doc Rivers. "I told him, 'it doesn't matter if his shot is going in or not. When you play with that intensity defensively, good things are always going to happen.'"

That's why Rivers was especially pleased that the play that pretty much sealed the Celtics victory was a dunk by Bass with 22.4 seconds to play which put the C's ahead 99-93.

"He was rewarded for his effort," Rivers said.

Bass has repeatedly said that expanding his game to be more than just a pick-and-pop scorer was a priority this summer.

"I just feel I have to, defensively," Bass said. "This team, before I got here, when you came to Boston you worried about them defensively. You worried about them offensively. I just wanted to do my part, and do it to the best of my ability."

His efforts, both in terms of his play and how he fought through the dislocation of his right ring finger to keep playing, did not go unnoticed by his teammates.

"That was just another test," said Boston's Jason Terry. "Throughout the course of a season and a game, there's going to be situations ... are you going to man up, and tough it up, and fight through it? And Brandon showed tonight that he is obviously one of the toughest players on this team."

Kevin Garnett also viewed Bass' play as being instrumental in the Celtics (4-3) moving past the .500 mark for the first time this season.

"B.B. played well tonight," Garnett said. "From an energy standpoint, I thought we followed his lead tonight. Not just that, but I thought his defense fueled his offense. I'm happy for him."

All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

All-Stars, studs and duds: Westbrook's reign as MVP comes to an end

NEW ORLEANS – You don’t rack up triple doubles at a historically ridiculous rate the way Russell Westbrook does without being able to dish out an assist from time to time.

The biggest assist he made in the 66th annual NBA all-star didn’t make its way on to the stats sheet.

But it was historical in so many ways.

Westbrook’s advice to Anthony Davis on how to win the game’s MVP award was indeed taken to heart with Davis winning the award following the Western Conference’s 192-182 win over the East All-Stars.

Davis finished with a game-high 52 points, shattering the previous mark set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Davis won the MVP award after Westbrook had won it each of the two previous All-Star games.

Prior to the game, Davis said he did do a little lobbying among his fellow all-stars in the locker room.

“I stressed that, I think more than enough, to the guys in the locker room before the game that I wanted to get the MVP for this crowd, for this city, and I ended up doing it.”

Following the game, Westbrook acknowledged that he did speak with Davis about how to win the MVP award.

When asked about what he said, Westbrook replied, “I’m not going to tell you, but he did a good job and got it done.”

Despite not winning the MVP award, Westbrook had a dominant game of his own as he tallied 41 points which was one point shy of the previous record.

But after the game, it was clear that he was more pleased with the performance of Davis.

“It was great,” Westbrook said. “It’s definitely always a great thing to do, especially here where he plays in front of his fans, his family. It’s a great experience and definitely happy for him.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the 66th annual NBA all-star game.

 

STARS

Anthony Davis

The hometown team’s best player delivered a scoring night for the ages, finishing with an All-Star record 52 points on 26-for-39 shooting to go with 10 rebounds. The previous record of 42 points was set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962.

Russell Westbrook

His All-Star reign as the game’s MVP came to an end after having won the award the previous two All-Star games. He finished with 41 points.

 

STUDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo

He was an above-the-rim monster, scoring 30 points primarily on a dozen dunks.

Kevin Durant

He was filling up the stat sheet in several categories for the West, finishing with a triple-double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Kyrie Irving

Arguably the best performer for the East, Irving had 22 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds.

Isaiah Thomas

There were others who had a more prolific night shooting the ball, but Thomas’ impact off the bench was indeed felt. He led all East reserves with 20 points.

James Harden

The bearded one had a triple-double as well, although not the kind he would prefer. Along with scoring 12 points, and dishing out 12 assists, Harden also racked up a game-high 10 turnovers.

 

DUDS

None

There were some guys who didn’t do much statistically, but with this being such an exhibition-like event, putting too much stock in any player’s performance is a waste of time. They are among the top 24 or so players in the NBA. No amount of missed shots or turnovers will change that fact.

Talking Points: Bruins get win in return from bye week

Talking Points: Bruins get win in return from bye week

Joe Haggerty hands out his superlatives following the Boston Bruins victory over the San Jose Sharks

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