Talking Points: Celtics 107, Nets 94

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Talking Points: Celtics 107, Nets 94

Hot shot: Paul Pierce scored just 33 seconds into the game, and continued to pour on the points in just about every way imaginable. By the end of the night, Pierce had a team-high 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting, in addition to grabbing four rebounds and doling out eight assists.

"Paul Pierce tonight, that's why his jersey is going to be hanging from the rafters one day," said Nets coach Avery Johnson. "Just tough to cover. He beat our traps, he beat single coverage, we fronted him and he still beat us."

In-n-out: This was not one of DeShawn Stevenson's better games, for sure. Known primarily as a defender, Stevenson had no answer for Pierce. And offensively, he was even worse. He finished with three points, missing five of the six shots he took from the field.
Super sub: If the Celtics keep winning like this and Chris Wilcox continues to play well, he may soon enter the conversation as a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. After tallying double-digit rebounding numbers in the two games prior to Friday night's matchup with the Nets, Wilcox had 14 points against New Jersey in addition to grabbing seven rebounds.

Turning point: In the second quarter, a free throw by Brook Lopez cut Boston's lead to 3430 with 7:02 to play in the half. From there, Boston went on an 181 run to take a commanding 21-point lead. Boston would lead by at least 13 points for the rest of the game.
By the numbers: 9. That would be the number of double-digit rebounding games Kevin Garnett has this season. The rest of the Celtics have combined for 10.
Quote to note: "It's like deja vu. It's just part of life." Celtics' Rajon Rondo on the trade rumors.

Shots don't fall for Celtics in frustrating 114-98 loss to Hawks

Shots don't fall for Celtics in frustrating 114-98 loss to Hawks

BOSTON – You hear coaches and players often refer to the NBA as a make-miss league.

When summing up what happened in Boston’s 114-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, sadly it was that simple.

Dennis Schroder led the six double-figure scorers for the Hawks with 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

Boston got many of the shots that they have been getting throughout this run in which they came into Monday’s game having won 11 of their previous 14 games.

The Celtics (38-22) have now lost three of their last four games. Life won’t get any easier for them with defending NBA champion Cleveland coming into town on Wednesday.

We have seen the Celtics make some miraculous comebacks under fourth-year coach Brad Stevens, but Celtics fans understandably began hitting the exits with more than three minutes to play and Boston looking up at a 108-84 deficit.

Credit the Hawks defense which played with a greater sense of urgency, the kind you would expect from a team that had come in riding a three-game losing streak.

Meanwhile, Boston looked like the team that we have seen most of this season which relies heavily on their perimeter shooting to win games.

That’s not all that surprising against the Hawks whose interior defense is anchored by Dwight Howard.

Howard, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds, also had a pair of blocked shots and altered many others.

But the Celtics spent a good chunk of the second half with Howard out of the game.

Howard, an absolute unstoppable force for the Hawks all game, picked up his second technical foul (an automatic ejection) for hanging on the rim following a put-back dunk with 4:03 to play in the third and Atlanta ahead 74-65.

He had picked up his first technical foul for shoving Al Horford earlier in the game.

But with Howard out, the Celtics still couldn’t take advantage of an Atlanta team that was much more vulnerable to dribble-drive penetration.

In fact, Atlanta began to pull away and took their biggest lead up to that point of the game, 84-69, following a 3-pointer by Tim Hardaway Jr. late in the third quarter which ended with the Hawks ahead 84-71.

And Boston’s struggles stemmed from their inability to make open shots.

For the game, the Celtics shot 39.1 percent from field which is a somewhat inflated figure considering the mini-run Boston's backups went on in the final minute or two of play.

Not even the usual high-scoring exploits of Isaiah Thomas could save the day.

The NBA’s leading scorer in the fourth quarter, Thomas had another sub-par night in the game’s final quarter of play.

He led the Celtics with 19 points, but only two came in the fourth quarter. And by failing to reach 20 points, Thomas’ franchise-record of consecutive games with 20 or more comes to an end at 43 straight.  

Reports: Blues trade Kevin Shattenkirk to Capitals

Reports: Blues trade Kevin Shattenkirk to Capitals

The Kevin Shattenkirk-to-Bruins rumblings are done for the remainder of the season.

Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Dispatch is reporting that the Blues have traded defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to the Washington Capitals.

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the “main parts” the Blues will receive in the deal are 2017 first-rounder, a second-rounder in 2018 and Zach Sanford 

More to come. . .