Rivers says expect Avery Bradley to return in December

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At first the reports were Avery Bradley would be back during training camp. Then there were suggestions he could miss even the start of the season following shoulder surgery at the end of last season.

Now Celtics fans, think of him as a Christmas present.

Doc Rivers spoke with the always fantastic Jackie McMullan for ESPNBoston.com and said Bradley would not return for Celtics training camp starting Friday.

“Not even close,” Rivers told ESPNBoston.com. “I don’t like to put a time limit on injuries, but I don’t think you’ll see him before December — and there’s a chance it could be closer to January.”

This is not ideal, but it’s also not that bad. The Celtics went out this summer and got Courtney Lee to come in and he will be a solid replacement at the two, both as a defender and three-point shooter. While the Celtics will miss Bradley, it’s not much of a drop off (if any) to Lee. Bradley may be a more tenacious defender, but Lee brings a veteran presence and about the same three-point shot.

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.)