Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

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Bass' hard work paying off in sixth man role

BOSTON -- Brandon Bass turned heads when he scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in his debut with the Boston Celtics.

In the short time since then, he has established himself as a reliable contributor off the bench who can not only score, but also exemplify the Celtics foundation of defense.

On Wednesday night, in just the seventh game of the season, Bass recorded his second double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 rebounds in a win against the New Jersey Nets.

There is no doubt Bass is fitting in with the Celtics. After being traded from the Orlando Magic in the deal for Glen Davis, his teammates and coaches are happy to have him around.

Brandons efficient, said Kevin Garnett after the Celtics 89-70 victory. He knows his game, he doesnt come out of that. Hes playing with a group of guys who are rooting for him and I dont think hes ever been rooted for like this. We sort of parade each other, we praise each other, but at the same time we push each other and hes no different from that. Hes falling right in to being a Celtic.

Garnett is one of the players who can benefit directly from Basss presence. Bass allows for him to take a breather while hes on the court. He also gives the Celtics a different look at the four spot -- a power forward who can both shoot a jumper and drive to the basket.

Its rare you can come out of a timeout and run a pick-and-roll for a pop for the big, said Doc Rivers. Its actually an iso for him to take someone off the dribble. Thats just nice to have. I dont think Ive ever had that.

Whether its scoring or playing defense, Bass has accepted his sixth man-type role on the Celtics. He talks of energy and bringing it each game. With that comes continuing the hard work the Celtics are seeing pay off on the court.

Before the season really kicked off I was doing two-a-days, coming back, getting extra shots up, and conditioning, Bass told CSNNE.com. Now on game days Im doing two-a-days, kind of like after our walkthroughs I put some shots up.

But thats what got me here, just hard work, consistency, and determination. Thats what got me here so Im going to continue to do that the rest of my career.

DeRozan has career-high 43, Raptors beat Celtics, 107-97

DeRozan has career-high 43, Raptors beat Celtics, 107-97

TORONTO - DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 107-97 on Friday night.

DeRozan shot 15 of 28 from the floor as he surpassed his 42-point effort against the Houston Rockets on March 30, 2015, helping the Raptors overcome the absence of fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry. Lowry sat out with a right wrist injury.

Serge Ibaka, acquired by trade from the Orlando Magic last week, scored 15 points in his debut, while fellow newcomer P.J. Tucker, picked up from the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, had a game-high 10 rebounds and nine points in his first game for his new team.

Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points for Boston, which also got 19 points each from Jae Crowder and Marcus Smart.

Down 91-88 with 4:11 to play, the Raptors went on a 9-1 run to lead by five with 2:01 to play. Though Crowder cut that lead to three with a jump shot with 1:46 remaining, DeRozan drilled a jump shot with a minute remaining to put the Raptors up by five.

Tucker was unable to convert either free throw after being fouled by Al Horford with 47 seconds left, but Thomas missed the next time down the court, and after being fouled by Smart, DeRozan converted both free throws with 33 seconds to play. He then followed up with two more after a three-point play from Smart to take the game away from Boston with 27.5 seconds to go.

The Celtics found their range early, connecting on 55 percent of their shots from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range in the first quarter. The Raptors could only hit 40 percent and went 0 for 3 from beyond the arc, and while DeRozan topped all scorers with 10 points, they were trailing 29-18 after 12 minutes.

Boston pushed its lead to 17 on a 3-point shot from Jaylen Brown with 1:29 to play in the half, but Toronto closed on a 7-0 run following a flagrant foul by Thomas on DeRozan.

The Raptors continued their comeback effort in the third quarter, with Ibaka's 3-pointer with 5:58 to go capping a 27-8 Toronto run to give the Raptors their first lead since the 3:54 mark of the first quarter. Smart's 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining handed Boston a 77-74 edge entering the final 12 minutes.

Mannix: Celtics going to be in best bargaining situation this summer

Mannix: Celtics going to be in best bargaining situation this summer

Chris Mannix helps break down what the Boston Celtics could do with all the cap space this offseason in hopes that they can build a championship team to compete next season.