Semi Ojeleye

Marcus Smart leaves game after collision (VIDEO); Celtics rally to beat Knicks

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NEW YORK โ€” Jayson Tatum scored 30 points, Jaylen Brown added 28 and the Boston Celtics rallied past the New York Knicks 113-104 on Sunday.

That was the good news. The bad news is Marcus Smart had to leave the game after a collision trying to take a charge on Kevin Knox. Smart was grabbing his oblique as he lay on the ground, a concern because last season he missed about a month with an injury to that area. There is no update yet on his status going forward.

Kemba Walker had 15 points and 10 assists, Enes Kanter contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Brad Wanamaker also scored 11 points for Boston.

Julius Randle led the Knicks with 26 points. Dennis Smith Jr. scored 17 and R.J. Barrett had 16 for New York, which has lost six straight.

The Celtics trailed by as many as nine points in the third quarter. Kevin Knox’s long jumper put the Knicks ahead 72-63 with 7:20 left in the period, their biggest lead of the game.

The Celtics responded with an 8-1 run and pulled within 73-71 on Walker’s 3-pointer with 5:16 left.

The Knicks were still up 93-87 in the fourth, but the Celtics went on a 17-2 run to take the lead for good. Semi Ojeleye‘s 3-pointer tied the score at 95-95, Brown followed with a steal and layup, Tatum hit a free throw, and Walker and Tatum hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap the run.

Brown’s bucket with 1:39 left gave Boston its biggest lead of the game, 110-99.

The score was tied 58-58 at halftime after a back-and-forth first two quarters.

Knox finished with 11 points and Damyean Dotson added 10 for the Knicks.

Celtics fans wanted to boo Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker drops 39 to show them what they have

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BOSTON (AP) โ€” Kemba Walker returned from a neck injury to score a season-high 39 points โ€” to the delight of the crowd that came to taunt the person he replaced โ€” and Boston beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-110 Wednesday on a night the fans seemed more interested in taunting former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving.

Missing one game after leaving the court on a stretcher wearing a neck brace following a head-to-torso collision with Semi Ojeleye, Walker had 13 points in the third quarter, when Boston scored nine straight to turn a one-point deficit into a 91-83 lead. Jaylen Brown added 22 points and 10 rebounds and Jayson Tatum had 16 points and nine boards for the Celtics, who improved to 7-0 this season at home.

Garrett Temple scored 22 points and Joe Harris had 21 for Brooklyn, which made a season-high 21 of the 56 3-point shots it attempted. Jarrett Allen had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Spencer Dinwiddie had 16 points and 11 assists.

Brooklyn led 83-82 with just over 3 minutes left in the third when the Celtics scored the next nine points before Temple made a 3 to close out the third quarter. Boston led 104-101 in the fourth before scoring 17 of the next 24 points โ€” nine of them from Walker โ€” to put away the game.

The crowd might have bought tickets to heckle Irving on his return, but earlier in the week it was reported that he wouldnโ€™t play in the game. Irving did not make the trip, but that didnโ€™t slow down the Celtics fans that came to let him know how they feel.

Posters branding him as a coward decorated the entrance to the Boston Garden. A few fans who showed up wearing his No. 11 Celtics jersey with the words โ€œWhere is?โ€ written on tape above his name. During the introductions, with Irving nowhere to be seen, the first โ€œKyrie Sucks!โ€ chant broke out; it was repeated about a dozen times throughout the game. (There was also a โ€œYankees Suck!โ€ chant, just because.)

The Nets, like the Celtics before them, are doing better without him.

They came into the night with a 5-1 record since Irving went out with a sore shoulder, climbing above .500 for the first time this season. The Celtics made it to the Eastern Conference finals two years ago when Irving was injured, and lost in the second round last season with him.

Kemba Walker released from hospital, rejoins Celtics

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Kemba Walker and the Celtics are fortunate, this could have been so much worse.

Hours after a scary head injury that had Walker taken off the court in Denver on a stretcher, he has been released from the hospital and has rejoined the team, the Celtics announced.

Walker had concussion-like symptoms following the play, where he had his head down and ran into teammate Semi Ojeleye. Walker immediately fell to the floor and did not move.

Walkers’ play at the point โ€” and, more importantly, his we-are-in-this-together leadership style โ€” is a central reason the Celtics are off to a fast start this season. Walker is averaging 22.9 points per game this season. Boston is off until Monday when they face Sacramento in The Garden. If Walker is out for some games it will mean more minutes for Carsen Edwards and Brad Wanamaker.

Kemba Walker taken off court on stretcher after injury to head

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Fortunately, this did not appear to be as bad as it looked at the time.

Boston’s Kemba Walker โ€” one of the guys at the heart of the Celtics’ fast start to the season โ€” was strapped to a backboard, with a neck brace on, and stretchered off the court in Denver Friday night after a collision with teammate Semi Ojeleye.

He was taken to a local hospital with concussion-like symptoms. It appears he escaped a serious neck or other injuries and has been released from the hospital already and rejoined the team.

Here is a video of the play where it happened.

That is a football-style, head-down collision (and this injury is one reason that sport bans those hits). There is no official report yet on the injury.

Our thoughts are with Walker, who is playing again at an All-NBA level this season averaging 22.9 points per game.

Report: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George to play first game together on Wednesday

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images
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The way they tell it, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard wanted to play together on the Spurs in 2017.

They’ll finally share the court as teammates tonight.

The Clippers signed Leonard and traded for George this summer. But alternating injuries have prevented the forwards from playing together. That’ll change against the Celtics tonight.

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN:

George dominated three games without Leonard, scoring like crazy and hitting a game-winner against the Thunder. Leonard excelled before his knee injury.

It’s scary to imagine how Leonard and George will perform together.

Boston could provide a stiff first test. The Celtics have plenty of wings โ€“ Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Semi Ojeleye โ€“ to throw at the Clippers stars.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an adjustment period for Leonard and George. They have similar styles, and that can create complications. But Leonard and George are so versatile and talented. I expect them to thrive together in the long run.

There’s certainly excitement surrounding tonight’s game, but it’s only one night in what should be a long season in L.A.