Doc Rivers wants Celtics to throw first punch. Figuratively.

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The Boston Celtics won banner 17 in part because of their size — there are a big, physical team.

Doc Rivers wants his Celtics to start showing it again, he told the Boston Herald.

“We’re just not there yet as a team,” Rivers said after yesterday’s practice. “I think we’ve got a tough group of guys; we just haven’t all bought in yet. It’ll come. I’m not that concerned by it. I just know we need it.

“We’ve got to be a hit-first team, and we’ll get there.”

While there isn’t really a stat for toughness, it’s worth noting that the Celtics have been a below average rebounding team this season (21st in the league overall in percentage of available rebounds grabbed). That was particularly evident against the Pacers the other night when Indy seemed to outwork Boston for a lot of boards.

They’ve also been a below average defensive team, 21st in the league giving up 101 points per 100 possessions.

They are better than that, but with an older Kevin Garnett and no Kendrick Perkins it is going to have to be much more of a team effort.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook go head-to-head, literally (video)

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This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.

The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.

Harrison Barnes banks in game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer (video)

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With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.

Emphasis on “almost.”

The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.

Heat snap Celtics’ 16-game winning streak

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.

After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.

The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.

Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.

The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.

Serge Ibaka gets dunked on by Enes Kanter, hit in face by ball (video)

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Is Enes Kanter mad Serge Ibaka rifted with his family?

(No, not this family. That family.)