Avery Bradley looks to return before Christmas Day

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Avery Bradley is with the Celtics, cleared to do workouts. He is doing his conditioning.

Which is a long way from contact or playing in games, but after two shoulder surgeries — one on each — that is to be expected. Still Doc Rivers is talking about having the Celtics starting two guard (unless Courtney Lee steals his job) back on the court by the middle of December.

Bradley sounded optimistic talking to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“I didn’t think I would be feeling this good right now,” Bradley said. “Right now, I feel good. I started conditioning today, started lifting with the strength coach today. I feel like I’m moving forward the way I’m supposed to.”

Having him back, with Lee and Jason Terry coming off the bench, would give the Celtics a lot of depth on the wings. It would give them guys who can score and guys who can defend, allowing them to matchup with teams who are strong there. Like, hypothetically, that team in Miami.

On another Celtics note, Chris Wilcox remains out but it’s due to back spasms. Which means there is no timeline for his return. They could use him because keeping Kevin Garnett’s minutes in check is a regular season priority.

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.)