Joseph rallies reserves past Knicks, 109-98

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Joseph rallies reserves past Knicks, 109-98

ALBANY, NY Kris Joseph spent four years at Syracuse University, just a two-hour trek away from the Times Union Center in Albany.

The 6-foot-8 rookie indeed looked at home on Saturday in helping the Boston Celtics rally for a 109-98 win.

After trailing most of the game, Joseph provided a much-needed spark early in the quarter.

Joseph completed a 3-point play to tie the game at 83.

On the ensuing possession, Joseph blocked a shot and was rewarded with a lay-up while drawing a foul.

He completed yet another 3-point play that gave the C's a 3-point lead with 11:17 to play - their largest of the night at that point.

Joseph's opportunity to play was enhanced by Boston's decision to give Paul Pierce the night off.

Within minutes, Joseph had company as Jeff Green, Jason Terry and others began to chip in at both ends of the floor in catapulting the C's to victory.

Although Boston's strong play in the fourth was instrumental in the comeback, the C's began to step their play up back in the second quarter.

"Let's go and see if we can get it!" C's coach Doc Rivers said to his team during a second quarter time-out.

That's exactly what they did, chipping away at a 20-point deficit to make it a competitive game.

Capping off Boston's strong second quarter play was Terry, whose 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining in the quarter cut New York's halftime lead to 52-47.

The 3-pointer gave Terry a team-leading 10 points at the half, followed by nine from Jeff Green and another nine points and six assists from Rajon Rondo.

Boston was playing without a number of core players, including Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett who were each given the night off.

In addition, the C's were without Brandon Bass (right knee bruise) and Darko Milicic (right wrist) who were both held out as a precautionary measure.

New York opted to keep some of its core players out as well. Among them were all-stars Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler.

With superstars for each team sitting this one out, it afforded some lesser-heralded players an opportunity to play and with that opportunity, potentially play their way on to the roster this season.

Among those was New York's Chris Copeland, who had a big game in the fourth quarter in the C's 98-95 overtime loss to the Knicks last week.

He was at it again on Saturday, hurting the C's by rolling to the basket on pick-and-roll plays on his way to 23 points in the first half. He finished with a game-high 34 points.

Boston spent the entire third quarter trailing, but continued to show signs of breaking through.

They had a chance to go into the fourth tied up, but Jeff Green's desperation 3-point heave rimmed in and out as time expired with the C's trailing 83-80, going into the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards

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Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards

NEW YORK - Russell Westbrook was voted NBA MVP on Monday night after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles last season.

Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season, and he broke Robertson's single-season record set when he had 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62.

The point guard beat out Houston's James Harden and San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard to succeed Stephen Curry, who had won the past two MVP awards.

Earlier, Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon became the first player not picked in the first round to win NBA Rookie of the Year in the common draft era.

Brogdon was the No. 36 overall selection out of Virginia. The common draft era began in 1966.

"I think it's an example for guys that are told they are too short, they are not athletic enough, they are not real point guards, they are not real shooting guards," Brogdon said. "I just think it's an important message for people to see, and it can be done. It just takes a lot."

Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Most Improved Player award.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni won his second Coach of the Year award, and the Rockets' Eric Gordon was Sixth Man of the Year after setting a record for most 3-pointers off the bench in his first season as a reserve.

The NBA formerly gave out its individual awards at various points throughout the postseason before switching to the awards show this season and presenting them all at once in front of the league's top players and stars from the entertainment world.

Two of the best moments came during segments that didn't include the NBA's six individual awards.

Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The 11-time champion as a player and the league's first black coach first pointed at them and joked that he would have kicked their butts, then told them: "You have no idea how much respect I have for you guys."

Former Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams was given the SagerStrong Award for the strength he showed after his wife was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season.

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi: People in Paul George's camp think Celtics are a great fit

Mike Giardi reports that there are some people in Paul George's camp that think the Boston Celtics would be a great fit, both short and long-term.

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