Celtics squash Kings, 99-81

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Celtics squash Kings, 99-81

BOSTON The night began with the Boston Celtics seeking answers to how they can move on without Rajon Rondo this season.
It ended with an emphatic 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings which left Celtics Nation another question to mull over.
Are the Celtics (22-23) this good, or the Kings (17-30) that bad?
At this point in the season, it doesn't matter.
With the C's having already given away more games than they can afford, every win -- regardless of the opponent -- is a big one.
And this one was just that in every sense of the word even if the Celtics did what the Celtics seem to always do which is allow the game to get closer than it should be.
After spending a good chunk of the third quarter and early part of the fourth leading by 20 or more points, the Celtics saw their lead down to 82-67 following a pair of free throws by Sacramento's Tyreke Evans with 10:21 to play.
But the Celtics soon increased their lead to 20-plus points and never looked back.
Finishing strong by Boston was similar to how the C's began the game.
Boston opened with an 8-0 run only to allow the Kings to get back in the game and close out the first quarter with a 6-0 spurt of their own to lead, 24-22, going into the second.
That's when the C's went into takeover-mode, completely dominating Sacramento in every phase of play.
Boston wound up scoring a season-high 37 second-quarter points which gave them a decisive 59-38 lead at the half.
Such a dominate showing was nothing new to the C's who delivered a similar first-half pounding to the Atlanta Hawks recently only to give the lead away in the third quarter and ultimately lose in double overtime.
But the Kings and Hawks are nothing alike, as the Celtics proved in maintaining firm control of the game in the third quarter which ended with the C's ahead 80-60.
About the only thing that worked against the Celtics was Jared Sullinger having to leave the game in the first quarter with what team officials described as back spasms.
Sullinger, drafted by the C's with the No. 21 pick in last June's NBA draft, was projected as a top-10 pick but fell to the C's due to medical concerns that his back might shorten his playing career.
Wednesday's game was the first time this season that Sullinger's back forced him to the bench.

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.


 

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown still undecided on All-Star dunk contest

WALTHAM, Mass. – To dunk or not to dunk with the best in the NBA?
 
That is the question Celtics rookie forward Jaylen Brown is grappling with these days.
 
The 6-foot-7 Brown confirmed that he has been invited to be part of the league’s Slam Dunk competition at All-Star weekend, but hasn’t made up his mind as to whether he will participate.
 
Brown said he’ll likely make a decision about it sometime this weekend.
 
While he certainly understands that is indeed an honor for any player to be asked to participate in All-Star weekend, Brown said his trepidation about being part of the slam dunk competition has a lot to do with its potential impact on his body and how that may affect his ability to recharge over the weekend and get ready to finish out his rookie season strong.
 
If he decided to enter the contest, he would be facing some really stiff competition from last year’s winner Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, whose battle last season put their slam dunk competition among the best ever.
 
Facing tough competition is not something that concerns Brown.
 
“I’m not worried about anybody or anything,” Brown said. “I think I have a lot to offer. Just like your rookie year, your body and everything … it’s a lot. All those dunks, they look cool but it takes a toll on your body for sure. I want to put myself in the best position to help the team.”
 
While his focus has been on the Celtics, Brown acknowledged he has been getting a few tips on the competition from teammate Gerald Green, who is also a former Slam Dunk champion.
 
“[Gerald] Green has been coaching me up, giving me a lot of good ideas I wouldn’t have thought on my own,” Brown said. “If I do decide to do it, it’ll be some stuff [nobody] has seen before.”