BOSTON -- Celtics forward Brandon Bass endured an injury scare while chasing a rebound in overtime Wednesday, but said after the game it was a mere hyperextension of his left knee and he was able to finish out the game, chipping in 21 points and 10 rebounds in Boston's 88-86 overtime triumph over the Hawks at TD Garden.
Bass, who stumbled backward over the baseline as he chased a loose ball in front of the Boston bench, admitted he was pretty worried when he first hit the floor.
"I felt like I was a little kid, I was just scared, man," Bass said. "It hurt so bad, I think because I was so tensed up. Once I breathed and relaxed, everything started calming down."
Bass immediately grabbed his left knee and teammates gathered around him to check his status. Rivers in particular had a "here we go again" look on his face, reflecting a season in which his team has been absolutely battered by injury.
Once the Celtics realized the injury was minor, they started busting Bass' chops.
"I told him to get up," Rajon Rondo joked. "I said it a couple times -- just told him to get up. He got right back up."
Rivers exhaled when Bass got up, walked around and ultimately stayed in the game.
“I thought he was hurt," Rivers said. "I’ve had [an ACL] injury -- we know the one I’m talking about, I don’t even like saying the word. And where he was grabbing, I didn’t think it was going to be a good thing, so [for him to get up] was great. ... The guys were laughing that he was exhausted and he needed some rest."
Told that his teammates were hip to his plan to get additional rest, Bass feigned exasperation, "What!? They said a bunch of things. Some said I was tired, some said I was acting, that I was going Hollywood. But, man, I was scared. It was hurting too. But I didn’t want to let the team down."
Bass connected on 10 of 17 shots and fueled Boston's attack on the glass, a rare game in which the Celtics outrebounded their opponent, finishing with a 56-39 edge over the Hawks. Bass started fast with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the first quarter, then produced the first bucket of overtime as he played more than 42 minutes.
The Celtics simply were glad he finished the game.
"Scary moment," Kevin Garnett said. "He’s a tough guy, man. We’ve known that since Day 1 though. We're glad that he was able to overcome that and be healthy."