Bobcats end Celtics' winning streak, 94-91

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Bobcats end Celtics' winning streak, 94-91

CHARLOTTE, N.C. The fatigue that typically comes with a triple-overtime game caught up with the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter, dropping a 94-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.

A mid-range jumper by Ramon Sessions put the Bobcats ahead 92-91 with 25.7 seconds to play.

After a Kevin Garnett miss, former UConn star Kemba Walker made a pair of free throws to give the Bobcats a three-point lead with less than 15 seconds to play.

Following a Celtics time-out, Paul Pierce and then Avery Bradley each missed potential game-tying 3s.

Charlotte grabbed the loose ball and ran time out.

The C's may have lost more than just a game on Monday. Leandro Barbosa went down late in the third quarter with a left knee injury. He could not put any weight on the injury and had to be carried off the court by teammate Fab Melo and team trainer Ed Lacerte.

Barbosa's injury makes an already short-handed roster that much thinner with his injury coming on the heels of the Celtics losing Rajon Rondo (torn right ACL) and Jared Sullinger (back surgery) for the season.

Compounding the matter was that head coach Doc Rivers came into Monday's game wanting to limit the minutes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who logged 54 and 47 minutes, respectively, in the C's triple overtime win over Denver Sunday night.

Pierce and Garnett didn't spend a ton of time on the floor in the first half as they played about half of the first quarter and the second half of the second quarter before tallying six and eight points, respectively. Pierce finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Garnett tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Even with them seeing limited action, Boston still managed to take a 48-42 lead into the half.

Well aware that the C's dynamic duo of Pierce and Garnett would be limited, it afforded Jeff Green to be a more featured part of the Celtics game plan.

And to his credit, Green delivered.

At 6-foot-9, the Bobcats struggled to find a matchup that limited his effectiveness.

When they put 6-5 Gerald Henderson on him, Green took him on the block and scored in the post.

Charlotte tried to go with more size and that didn't work, either. He just beat them down court or off the dribble in half court sets.

It all set the stage for an 11-point first half for Green who has now scored in double figures in eight of the C's last nine games. He finished with a team-high 18 points.

But the Bobcats are known for being a competitive bunch, and Monday was no exception.

Early on, it was Byron Mullens (11 first-quarter points) keeping them afloat. It didn't take long before their leading scorer, former UConn star Kemba Walker got going. Mullens led all scorers with 25 points while Walker chipped in with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists.

Celtics work out Finney-Smith, five others on Wednesday

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Celtics work out Finney-Smith, five others on Wednesday

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Boston Celtics brought in six players for workouts on Wednesday. Here’s a glimpse at each player, all of whom are considered potential second-round selections or prospects likely to go undrafted.
 

Dorian Finney-Smith

6-8, 220, Florida

Position: Forward

Summary: Was second-team All-SEC by coaches and third-team all-conference by the AP. Led Gators in scoring (14.3) and rebounds (8.3) for the second and third consecutive seasons, respectively.

Projected draft status: Second round.

 

Quincy Ford

6-8, 225, Northeastern

Position: Guard/Forward

Summary: Averaged 16.4 points, 7.0 rebounds while shooting 34.8 percent on 3s. Underwent season-ending back surgery that sidelined him for the 2013-2014 season. Bounced back with a pair of solid seasons, the last of which earned him a spot of on the NABC All-District Second team as well as the All-CAA Second team.

Projected draft status: Late second, undrafted.

 

Marcus Georges-Hunt

6-5, 216, Georgia Tech

Position: Guard

Summary: Averaged 16.7 points, shooting 45.4 percent from the field while dishing out a team-high 3.3 assists per game. Has a knack for getting to the free throw line, evident by him ranking 13th in free throws made and 18th in free throw attempts.

Projected draft status: Undrafted, maybe late second round.

 

Sheldon McClellan

6-5, 200, Miami

Position: Guard

Summary: A transfer from Texas, McClellan averaged 16.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists for Miami this past season while shooting 50.4 percent from the field and 40.6 percent on 3s. Has a lot of tools that are intriguing to the NBA, but consistency and decision-making are areas of uncertainty about where he’ll eventually land.

Projected draft status: Second round pick.

 

Mike Tobey

7-0, 260, Virginia

Position: Center

Summary: Turned a few heads during Portsmouth Invitational when he averaged 12 points per game. Appeared in all 37 games this season with Virginia, but only had seven starts. Shot a team-best 60.1 percent from the field and was second on the team with 22 blocked shots.

Projected draft status: Undrafted.

 

Jameel Warney

6-8, 260, Stony Brook

Position: Power forward

Summary: The best player in Stony Brook history, Warney was a double-double machine this season in which he averaged 19.8 points and 10.8 rebounds to go with 3.0 blocked shots. An Honorable mention All-American, Warney was the America East Player and Defensive Player of the Year. Does not have much of a face-the-basket game but does provide a nice strong presence defensively.

Projected draft status: Second round to undrafted.

Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

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Draper: Better financial option for Durant to stay in OKC one more year

A. Sherrod Blakely and Kyle Draper discuss the chances the Boston Celtics land Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins.

Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

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Celtics begin working out draft prospects Wednesday

BOSTON – The Celtics’ practice facility will become a basketball port-of-call in the coming weeks as some of the best young talent passes through, all with the goal of doing their best to impress the Celtics’ brass.

Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel, said Boston will begin working out players on Wednesday with the first group consisting of six players - two guards, two forwards and two big men.
 
“We’ll put them through a lot of different situations,” Ainge, who declined to identify the six players working out on Wednesday, told CSNNE.com. “We’ll see how bigs are at guarding guards, and guards defending bigger players, some of the roles they would have to play if they were Celtics…We’ll get a good look at what they can do in a lot of different scenarios.”
 
With eight draft picks [three in the first round and five in the second], the list of players making the rounds will likely be longer than usual.
 
Ainge said he anticipated the Celtics will work out 80-100 players, which is slightly more than they usually do.
 
“With trades, you just never really know,” Ainge said. “So we try to work out players all the way through 60.”
 
Speaking of trades, Ainge anticipates the Celtics will be on the phone more than past years because they have so many picks and, by all indications, do not plan to use them all.
 
If Boston can’t package some of their picks to acquire more talent, the Celtics will look even closer than usual at drafting players from overseas with the intent that they don’t join Boston’s roster for a couple of years.
 
Because Boston has so many picks, you would think they would be in position to be more selective than past years when it came to who they brought in for workouts.
 
“With our picks, it is in a player’s best interest to work out for us,” Ainge acknowledged. “But for us, we want to see as many players as possible so that we can draft the best fit, the best player that’s available.”
 
The draft lottery later on May 17 will determine exactly where the Celtics will be selecting with the pick they acquired as part of the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade with Brooklyn in 2013.
 
Boston acquired three picks as part of the trade. They used the first one to draft James Young two years ago.
 
This past season, Brooklyn (21-61) finished with the third-worst record, which gives Boston a 15.6 percent chance that the Nets pick it receives will be the No. 1 overall selection. 
 
If Boston lands one of the top-two picks, a workout with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram – the consensus top-two players in this year’s draft – is likely. And if the Celtics wind up with the No. 2 pick, they might work out Dragan Bender who is the top overseas prospect in this year’s draft.
 
In addition to the Brooklyn pick, which will be no worse than the sixth overall selection, Boston has another pair of first-round picks (16th and 23rd overall), along with five second-round picks (31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th), at their disposal.