UPDATE 7:35pm EST: What was only likely earlier today is now official. From Doc Rivers:
However, in a bit of a surprise it’s not Garnett’s strained abductor that is keeping him out tonight but rather his bout with the flu:
Garnett is expect to travel with the team to New Orleans for the Celtics’ match up with the Hornets on Wednesday. That, however, is of little consolation tonight as they face a Heat team that has won 22 straight games.
1:03pm EST: If you win 22 games in a row, you need to catch a few breaks. Like teams not being healthy and not being at their best when they face you.
The Heat could get win 23 that way Monday in Boston — Kevin Garnett did not go through shootaround with the Celtics on Monday, and while he is officially a game-time decision I wouldn’t bet on him playing. A. Sherrod Blakely has the details at CSNNE.com.
Garnett has a left adductor strain and missed the Celtics Bobcats game Saturday because of it.
The problem for Boston is twofold. First, the Heat are really good.
Second, The Celtics defense falls off a cliff when Kevin Garnett is not on the floor. On the season, the Celtics allow 100 points per possession when Garnett is on the floor and 109 when he sits (stats via 82games.com). That’s the difference between a top five in the league defense (the Celtics are fourth overall right now) and a bottom six defense.
Combine those two problems and the Celtics have a real challenge on their hands Monday.
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.