NBA

Celtics having fun again after fourth win in a row

By Sports Desk December 07, 2018

The Boston Celtics are back to having fun again after their fourth win in a row, a 128-100 victory over the New York Knicks in the NBA on Thursday.

Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 22 points and spoke after the game about the reason for Boston's recent success.

"I think the important thing to take [off] our shoulders early on was just how much of the fun we weren't having. It just wasn't fun," Irving said, via MassLive.com. "I know certain guys would probably be fearful to talk about it, but it goes on in every NBA locker room."

Boston have won five of their last six games and matched a season-high by moving to four games over .500 at 14-10. Irving said the Celtics have heard the criticism about the team's slow start from around the NBA.

"I still remember certain players on other teams asking us what was going on with us when we were 10-10," Irving said.

The Celtics have victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans during their winning streak and have a chance to really go on a run with three of their next four games against teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

So over the next few games, Boston have a lot of chances to have more fun, which is exactly what Irving wants his team to do.

 

Brilliant Brown

Celtics wing Jaylen Brown made his first appearance of the year off the bench and promptly scored 21 points on seven-of-10 shooting.

Crawford crumbles

Suns guard Jamal Crawford went 0-of-seven shooting, 0 for three from three-point range and the team were minus-25 with him on the court in a 108-86 loss to the Trail Blazers.

 

Marvellous Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell seemingly does something special for the Utah Jazz every single game.

Thursday's results

Boston Celtics 128-100 New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers 108-86 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 118-91 Houston Rockets

 

Warriors at Bucks

The Bucks (16-7) demolished the Warriors (17-9) the last time these two teams played. Stephen Curry got hurt in that game, which set off a chain reaction putting the Warriors into the roughest stretch of Steve Kerr's coaching career (by his own admission). But Curry is back from injury and looking like an MVP again. However, so is Giannis Antetokounmpo.

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  • Lakers' Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical Lakers' Stephenson to repeat air guitar despite technical

    The Los Angeles Lakers were left bemused on Saturday as Lance Stephenson was called for a technical foul following his air guitar celebration.

    Stephenson was running back down the court after making a three-pointer late in the third quarter of the Lakers' 128-100 win over the Charlotte Hornets when he mimicked a guitar in the direction of opposing rookie Miles Bridges.

    The seemingly harmless celebration attracted the attention of the referees and Stephenson was called for a foul, but that will not stop the frustrated Los Angeles star in future.

    "I guess the refs don't like my little air guitar celebration," the forward said. "Of course [he would do it again] - especially if I'm feeling it."

    Luke Walton and LeBron James both came to Stephenson's defence, with the former adding: "You can't take that away from Lance; it's part of who he is.

    "I tried [to stop him] once earlier this season and he just keeps doing it. That's what makes him really good, his competitive greatness, and that's part of who he is."

    James, who scored a triple-double in the dominant victory, said: "I don't know why he received a technical for that. That's what he does. It's part of his repertoire."

  • Thunder's Westbrook: 'When we defend like that  — best team in the league' Thunder's Westbrook: 'When we defend like that — best team in the league'

    Russell Westbrook believes the Oklahoma City Thunder are the best team in the NBA when they defend like they did against the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Thunder claimed a 110-104 victory over the Clippers, with Westbrook's defensive energy pivotal as Oklahoma City prevailed just a day after losing to the Denver Nuggets.

    Westbrook only had 13 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists, but he was unconcerned by his underwhelming offensive showing.

    "When we defend like that — best team in the league," Westbrook said. "We know what we have to do to win games."

    Thunder coach Billy Donovan was full of praise for Westbrook's all-action defensive showing, saying: "We need him pushing the ball with pace. We need him playing defense at a really, really high level.

    "When he does all the things that he did tonight, regardless of how he's shooting, I think his fingerprints are always all over the game."

    Though back-to-back games are often a bone of contention among NBA players, Thunder star Paul George believes being on a second night of one helped the Thunder on Saturday.

    "I think we get the best out of ourselves [on a back-to-back] because we know we can't mess around," George explained. 

    "We know we need every little bit of energy. We know we're the team that's disadvantaged in a way, because the other team is fresher. I think it heightens our alertness and it forces us to play up to a certain standard."

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