This is a surprise only because this game has meaning. Boston and Atlanta are an almost certain first-round playoff matchup and going into Friday night’s meeting the Hawks are half a game ahead of the Celtics for home court in that series.
But both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are going to sit out Friday night’s game for rest, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Coach Doc Rivers left himself some wiggle room by saying he would “probably” rest the All-Star duo, but unless you plan to rest them you don’t put it out there.
Combine that with Rajon Rondo (back), Ray Allen (ankle) and Mickael Pietrus (knee) and pretty much everyone is out. Which means it’s Greg Stiemsma against the world.
Rivers is right in thinking that rested and healthy players matters more than home court. Particularly to a veteran Celtics team that has been through the wars before — home, away, outdoors at the local park with chain nets, it’s not going to really matter to Boston where the game is played. They will be themselves.
Hassan Whiteside defends himself when questions about his maturity early in his career with the Kings arise:
“That was a long time ago,” Whiteside said. “If they want to think about things that happened four, five years ago, that’s up to them.
“I don’t think it’s something that should follow me, but I really don’t know right now. That was years ago. Things didn’t work out in Sacramento. I worked my way to get back here. I could’ve easily gave up and went back home and just chilled. But I put in the work, and I feel like I’m a hard worker or I wouldn’t be here.”
But then he does something like this.
Rodney Hood got the Jazz to overtime.
Gordon Hayward took it from there.
This extends Utah’s win streak to eight games and snaps a 10-game losing streak in Dallas. The last time the Jazz won in Dallas? Mavericks guard Deron Williams started – for Utah.*
*Those Jazz brought Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews off the bench. Dang
Up three points and the final seconds winding down, the Mavericks had a great chance to intentionally foul Trey Lyles (a 62% free-throw shooter) with his back to the basket.
Instead, they allowed Rodney Hood to hit this shot and get the Jazz to overtime.
The Bucks led the Celtics led the Bucks by 19 in the fourth quarter and four in the final minute.
But Boston completed its comeback when Jerryd Bayless committed a boneheaded foul on Kelly Olynyk with a second left, shoving Olynyk in the back on the inbound. Olynyk sunk both free throws to tie the game.
Then, Khris Middleton got Bayless off the hook.
Middleton drew a foul on Avery Bradley, who was trying to contest the game-winning shot. The Milwaukee wing made one free throw then intentionally the second, and Jae Crowder couldn’t replicate this.