Celtics pull away from Nets in second half, 89-70


Celtics pull away from Nets in second half, 89-70

BOSTON We've seen plenty of times when bad teams like New Jersey bring out the worst in the Boston Celtics.

But even a bad-playing Celtics squad was better than the injury-riddled Nets as Boston pulled away in the second half for an 89-70 win.

The Celtics (4-3) have now won four straight, a streak that began with the return of Paul Pierce to the lineup following a right heel injury.

And Pierce, who readily admits he's not in great basketball shape, is very much rounding into the kind of form the C's need from him.

Wednesday was another step in that direction, as Pierce poured in 24 points along with six rebounds and five assists.

He wasn't the only standout performer for Boston, as they played without Ray Allen (cold) for the first time this season. Filling in for Allen was Keyon Dooling, who had five points and an assist.

Brandon Bass continues to play a vital role off the bench, scoring 15 points to go with 13 rebounds for his second double-double this season.

The final score was indicative of how close the action was on Wednesday. At the half, Boston trailed 35-34.

After Nets center Mehmet Okur tied the game at 40, the C's closed out the third with a 23-7 run.

From there, the C's continued to have their way with the Nets (1-6) who were led by former Providence star and Celtics draft pick (he was traded to the Nets on draft night) MarShon Brooks. He had 17 points for New Jersey.

The Nets were noticeably short-handed, as they played without Deron Williams (ribs), Brook Lopez (foot) and Kris Humprhies (shoulder).

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

It’s not the craziest thing someone has said on Twitter, but Evan Turner tweeted Monday that the Celtics should retire his number. 

It was a joke, of course, as the former Celtic was reacting to news that Isaiah Thomas had said he liked the No. 11 and would change his jersey number if so many people in Boston hadn’t already purchased his No. 4 jersey. 

After Turner joked that No. 11 was going to be retired, Thomas joked back that he would wear No. 11 as a tribute to the current Trail Blazer. 

Prior to being traded to Boston, Thomas wore No. 22 for Sacramento and No. 3 for Phoenix. 

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 


The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.