Terry makes good on second chance vs. Bulls' Belinelli

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Terry makes good on second chance vs. Bulls' Belinelli

BOSTON If Jason Terry didn't see the replays on television that night, he saw them in his head in the days and weeks that followed.

It was the final moments of Boston's late-game loss to Chicago last month, a game in which Bulls guard Marco Belinelli came up with a loose ball and scored over Terry for the game-winner.

Fast forward to Wednesday, where Belinelli once again had the ball in his hands with a chance to tie the game or put the Bulls ahead.

There would not be a sequel on Wednesday as Terry swatted away Belinelli's shot to help preserve a 71-69 Celtics win.

While the Celtics pride themselves on taking each game as it comes, Terry's teammates acknowledged that this was a game he has been hyping up for a while now.

"Jet's been talking about this game, probably since the last time we played them, every single day he's been saying something about it," said Boston guard Avery Bradley. "He's been wanting this game so bad."

Said Terry: "I just didn't like it. I didn't like ... seeing that last shot go in over me. And I watched it again (Tuesday) night. I watched it again (Wednesday) before the game. And lo and behold, ball ends up in this guy's hands again."

And once again, Terry comes up with a big defensive play down the stretch, similar to how his late-game pestering of Andre Miller on Sunday eventually helped the C's escape with a triple overtime win over the Denver Nuggets.

Making Terry's play even more improbable was that he was only in the game at that point because Avery Bradley had fouled out - a first for Bradley this season, second time in his career.

"It goes to show you, hard work and dedication, you never know when you're going to be thrust into a similar situation," Terry said. "Every experience is a learning one. This time, I learned and it worked out for me."

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Celtics-Heat preview: Do C's need to bounce back from a win?

Celtics-Heat preview: Do C's need to bounce back from a win?

BOSTON – The final score on the Jumbotron Friday night said the Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 130-120.
 
But there was a clear and undeniable sense of loss on the part of the Celtics, even if Friday’s victory was their third in a row and sixth in the past seven games.
 
The Celtics (47-26) hope to continue on their winning ways tonight against a Miami Heat team currently among a handful fighting for one of the last playoff slots, but are doing so without Dion Waiters (ankle) who has been instrumental in their surge after an 11-30 start to the season.
 
Beating the Heat (35-37) will require Boston to play better than they did against the Suns, a game Boston won, but in many ways had the feeling of defeat.
 
Yes, Devin Booker’s career-high 70 points was very much a blow – a huge blow – to the pride of a team that takes tremendous pride in its defense.
 
But the sense of a loss came in the form of purpose while playing as close to their potential as possible.
 
The Celtics fell short on both fronts Friday night.
 
Being just one game behind Cleveland (47-24) for the best record in the East, the Celtics understand getting as many wins as possible is the mindset right now.
 
But coach Brad Stevens knows that while winning is important, how the team plays is even more valuable.
 
“Like I’ve said before, I’m surprised at where we are record-wise because we’ve got to play at a higher level for 48 minutes,” Stevens said. “We just don’t do it.”
 
Is this Stevens’ way of trying to motivate his players after a not-so-great performance?
 
Or is he seriously concerned that his team isn’t as good as their record?
 
The Celtics, by their own standards, and to those of us on the outside looking in, know they are a better team than the one we saw on Friday night.
 
Not having Avery Bradley (sick) certainly hurt Boston’s efforts defensively.
 
Still, a Friday night’s game wore on, Booker’s confidence only grew and the Celtics’ desire to shut him down or at least slow him down, began to dissipate like an ice cube in hell.
 
And that’s a problem - a big problem - for a team that has to be connected at both ends of the floor for an extended period of time in order to play at the level their capable of and, most important, give them the best shot at emerging victorious in the postseason.
 
That’s why Stevens isn’t too caught up in the team’s chances of catching Cleveland, or whether they go into the playoffs riding a fat winning streak.
 
“I’m not going to get caught up in winning a couple of games in a row and all that stuff,” Stevens said. “I want to get caught up in playing well. We’ve shown ourselves capable of playing well, we have not sustained it throughout a game. And it’s been pretty consistent.”