Celtics find their three-point stroke in Game 4

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Celtics find their three-point stroke in Game 4

BOSTON -- 11.

It is the number of three-point shots the Boston Celtics attempted -- and missed -- in their Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. It is also the same number of three-point shots they made in their critical Game 4 victory to take a 3-1 lead in the first round series.

On Sunday night the Celtics went 11-for-26 from long range in their 101-79 win. Paul Pierce shot 4-for-6 in less 17 minutes while Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, and Keyon Dooling each added a pair. Avery Bradley also made a trey.

The offensive performance was a complete turnaround from just a week ago when the Celtics were outscored 21-0 from beyond the arc. In Game 2, they shot 3-for-14 (21.4) and continued to struggle in Game 3 (4-for-20, 20.0).

When you have Rajon Rondo as your point guard, youre going to get some open looks, said Dooling, who is shooting 4-for-8 in the series. Tonight we were able to knock some down. Obviously its been a problem in the series the first couple games, not being able to shoot the ball from the three-point line. But weve got Ray Allen back now. That always helps.

The Hawks took notice to the Celtics three-point attack. As they look ahead to a Game 5, they will focus on limiting the Cs long-range game as they fight to avoid elimination in Atlanta.

I tell you what, they were struggling but they hit some shots, said Al Horford. Everybody was hitting shots, it seemed like. Thats something that we need to get better at because we cant beat them if theyre shooting the ball from three that well.

Will the Celtics have a difficult decision to make about Isaiah Thomas contract?

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Will the Celtics have a difficult decision to make about Isaiah Thomas contract?

Listen to a jam packed episode of the "Celtics Talk" podcast with Kyle Draper, A. Sherrod Blakely, and special guest Steve Kyler from Basketball Insiders.com

SUBSCRIBE Audioboom | iTunes | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher

Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are back with another episode of the "Celtics Talk" podcast. This week, we start things off by discussing Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier - what their minutes should be...what their TRADE VALUE might be, etc.

Basketball Insiders.com writer Steve Kyler calls in to discuss where the Celtics fit in the East, how the incident DeMarcus Cousins got involved in at a bar in New York City might effect his trade value,  and would the Magic trade Nikola Vucevic.

Finally, a heated debate on will and IF the Celtics will pay Isaiah Thomas max money when his very affordable contract is up in a couple years. Should Brad Stevens limit his minutes to guard against injury?

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

Ainge: Groin injury will 'probably' keep Thomas from playing Friday

There’s still no concrete answer on how long Isaiah Thomas’ right groin injury will keep him sidelined, but the 5-foot-9 guard probably will not play against Toronto on Friday.
 
Danny Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, addressed Thomas’ availability on 98.5 the Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning.
 
“It’s day to day,” said Ainge, who added that Thomas had an injection into his thigh muscle. “He is a warrior; he loves to play. He’ll be back faster than most players would be back after an injury. At the same time, we have to be really careful with Isaiah over the long haul and make sure he doesn’t come back and injure it.”
 
Thomas did not play in Boston’s 117-87 win at Orlando on Wednesday night, his first missed game since the 2014-15 season.
 
He is ranked among the NBA’s top-10 scorers with a career-high 26.0 points-per-game average, in addition to leading the Celtics in assists (6.2) per game.
 
Thomas has been effective while playing through an assortment of injuries during his time with Boston. But a groin injury isn't something that can just be played through,  which is why the Celtics are wisely shutting him down now.
 
“We’ll try and get him as much rest as we can and get him back on the court when he’s ready,” Ainge said.