Celtics win fifth in a row, 94-84 over Bobcats

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Celtics win fifth in a row, 94-84 over Bobcats

BOSTON Even though most of the focus coming into Tuesday night's game was on Paul Pierce and his surpassing Boston Celtics great Larry Bird for the No. 2 spot on the franchise's all-time scorers list, the Celtics did have to actually play a game.

And the Charlotte Bobcats, as bad as they have been all season, were not simply going to show up and get thumped.

Once Pierce and the Celtics got past his record-climbing night in the third quarter, Boston took firm control of the game and came away with a 94-84 win.

Boston (14-10) extended its winning streak to a season-best five in a row. Kevin Garnett turned in yet another stellar game, finishing with 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting along with seven rebounds.

Ray Allen got it going in the second half, which is when he scored 15 of his 17 points. And then there was Rajon Rondo doing what Rondo does best - rack up double-doubles. He had 10 points and 13 assists for his fourth double-double this season.

And then there was the man of the night, Paul Pierce.

He needed 10 points to surpass Bird for the No. 2 spot on the C's all-time scorer's list. Pierce finished with 15 points, and now has a career total of 21,797 points. He also had eight rebounds and nine assists, coming within a play or two of his first triple-double this season.

As for the Bobcats (3-22), losers of 12 in a row now, former UConn star Kemba Walker had a solid return to New England with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

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Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

Celtics forward Jae Crowder talks with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talks about building on a breakthrough season last year, and the love for his head coach Brad Stevens, and for the city of Boston.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about what lies ahead for Crowder in 2016/17.

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Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

WALTHAM – There are a number of NBA players we have seen through the years whose effort level has been questioned.
 
But when it comes to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, that has never been an issue.
 
In fact, Bradley’s all-out style of defense has been a major factor in him being sidelined for an extended period of time in each of his six NBA seasons.
 
Although he’s only 25 years old, Bradley is starting to embrace the idea of less all-out defense might not be such a bad idea.
 
“It’s hard to control my injuries because I play hard every single possession,” Bradley told CSNNE.com following the team’s first practice. “I can’t say that every NBA player doesn’t, but I know there’s not a lot. I play hard every single possession especially on the defensive end. That can take a toll on your body. I just have to make sure I’m taking care of myself and picking my spots a little better.”
 
Prior to the Celtics selecting Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the 2011, he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury. Throughout his five NBA seasons, the veteran guard has a long list of injuries which has sidelined him for at least five games every season in addition to missing some playoff games.
 
Knowing the risks involved in continuing his all-out brand of basketball, the fact that Bradley is even open to the idea of picking when to assert himself defensively and when to be more passive, is progress.
 
“I’m pretty sure someone like (ex-Celtics) Tony Allen …  he’s not going to go hard like every possession,” Bradley said. “He’s going to pick his spots, still play good defense.”
 
Which is exactly what Bradley is striving to do this season, and show that last season’s all-NBA First Team Defense nod wasn’t a fluke.

But as we have seen with Bradley throughout his career with the Celtics, he has a way of coming back every season having made a significant stride in some facet of the game to become closer to being a two-way player.
 
“That’s my goal; I want my teammates to be able to count on me playing well at both ends of the floor,” Bradley said.
 
And as I mentioned earlier, Bradley is still a relatively young guy who turns 26 years old in November.
 
‘I’m still a 90s baby’ just like everybody on this team,” quipped Bradley.
 
Being so young puts a premium of sorts on players to learn all they can as quickly as they can in relation to their respective team.
 
“I feel young; I feel young,” Bradley said. “I feel young. I still haven’t even played a full season yet. This will be my first season playing a whole season.”
 
Listening to Bradley talk about adjusting how he plays defensively, it’s pretty clear that he’s having an internal tug-of-war between continuing to play elite defense and easing up defensively.
 
“That’s just me. Some people can do it. Maybe I could take some (plays) off, play passing lanes,” Bradley said. “But I don’t think I’ll ever change into that. It could help our team out a little bit.”