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Warriors next up to try to stop Celtics’ 13-game win streak

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BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics like the kind of basketball they’ve been playing during their 13-game win streak.

They also know it could easily end on Thursday night when the defending champion Golden State Warriors visit the Garden.

Boston’s prospects for the season took an obvious hit following Gordon Hayward‘s gruesome leg injury on opening night, but the Celtics have exceeded expectations thus far without him, becoming the first team in NBA history to win 13 straight after starting the season 0-2. Kyrie Irving has been a scoring force, while Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum have taken advantage of their increased roles.

Toss in veteran Al Horford‘s consistent play and the recent return of offseason pickup Marcus Morris, and suddenly the preseason buzz that surrounded this team has returned.

Still, Horford laughed Wednesday at the notion that Thursday’s game could be an NBA Finals preview.

“I’m sure that people are going to float that around,” Horford said. “But we understand we have a long ways to go. And it still is only November.”

Coach Brad Stevens said his biggest concern is making sure his team zeroed in on where it could improve during Wednesday’s video study and walkthrough session.

“Otherwise, we’ll really get exposed,” Stevens said. “There’s a reason why they haven’t played a lot of close games. And it’s because they’re awfully freaking good.”

Boston and Golden State split their two meetings last season, but Golden State was only at full strength for one of those games. The Warriors blew out the Celtics 104-88 last November in Boston, getting a combined 67 points from Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. The Celtics beat the Warriors on the road in March when Durant was out with a knee injury.

The Warriors come in riding a seven-game win streak of their own. Coach Steve Ker likes what he’s seen of the new-look Celtics.

“They’re motivated,” Kerr said. “This is a team that’s been on the rise the last couple of years. … They want to win a championship. And it looks like it.”

He said he relishes the opportunity to get early-season glimpses at potential challengers from the Eastern Conference. And he expects Boston to contend for years to come.

“It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East,” Kerr said. “That looks like a team that is gonna be at the top of the East for a long time. Whether their time is now or in the future, that’s to be determined.”

Stevens is more concerned about his team’s present.

“The future’s hard to predict and we’ve gotta stay in the moment to become the best version of ourselves,” Stevens said. “And we’ll see what the future holds.”

 

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.