Boston Celtics: 2014Game79

Rondo, Humphries uncertain vs. Cavs

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
11:22
PM ET
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo and forward/center Kris Humphries appear to be game-time decisions for Saturday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Rondo was a late scratch from Friday's 106-103 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats due to a bruised left shin, but having sat out the front end of the team's final back-to-back of the season, he has potential to suit up in Cleveland. The game was previously penciled in as a rest day for Rondo given that he has typically taken off the second night of consecutive games while working his way back from ACL surgery this season.

"Obviously, if he feels good he can [play], because it’s not a back-to-back for him," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "But I don’t know. I haven’t talked to [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte]. Ed came in [before Friday's game] and said, 'Rondo is out,' and I went straight to next plan because we only had about an hour and a half before the game."

After missing two games due to right knee tendinitis, Kris Humphries returned Friday and chipped in four points and seven rebounds over 11:26 off the bench. He said he's a game-time decision for Saturday.

"I’m definitely not 100 percent, just the swelling and stuff, but I wanted to get out there," said Humphries. "I had a good workout [Thursday], so I figured I’d come and play [Friday]. We’ll see how it feels [Saturday]."

Jerryd Bayless suffered a hyperextended right knee during the fourth quarter and did not return. He appeared to be walking without issue while departing the Celtics' locker room after Friday's game, but Stevens said Bayless will remain in Boston and undergo an MRI. If the results are encouraging, he could fly to Cleveland on Saturday and meet the team.

Jared Sullinger endured a mild left ankle sprain in the third quarter, but got re-taped and returned to help Boston hold on late. He said he plans to play Saturday in Cleveland.

"There was a wet spot out there," explained Sullinger. "I don’t know where it came from. But there was a wet spot out there, and as I was trying to stop, my foot just kept going and my momentum was going right and I just kind of turned it. As you can see, it’s pretty [swollen]."

Added Sullinger: "We don’t really quit. I know [team physician] Dr. [Bryan] McKeon was like, 'Just call it a night.' I was like, ‘No, I’ve got to play in this game.’ Just something about it."

Asked for his pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, Sullinger suggested he was an 8. It didn't deter him from scoring nine points in the final frame and helping Boston fend off Charlotte's charges.
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2014Game79

Rapid Reaction: C's 106, Bobcats 103

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
9:48
PM ET
BOSTON -- Ping-pong balls be damned. Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens yearned for progress and he got it on Friday night.

Phil Pressey came up big in a spot start for Rajon Rondo and Boston rallied back after kicking away a big fourth-quarter lead en route to a 106-103 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats at TD Garden. The win, coupled with an Orlando loss, will drop Boston in the lottery standings, but Stevens said before Friday's game he's more concerned with building momentum before the offseason arrives.

THE NITTY GRITTY
Rondo was a late scratch due to a bruised left shin, but Pressey produced his second double-double in the past three games by putting up 10 points and 13 assists over a career-high 39 minutes. Jared Sullinger overcame a third-quarter ankle sprain to score 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Avery Bradley scored a team-high 22 points, while Jeff Green and Brandon Bass added 18 points apiece. Al Jefferson scored a game-high 32 points on 16-of-26 shooting against his former team.

TURNING POINT
The Celtics closed out the third quarter on a 9-0 run, then pushed their lead as high as 13 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Nothing comes easy for Boston and the Bobcats responded with a 15-2 run to tie the game at 92 with 5:13 to play. The Celtics were down 1 with under four minutes to play, but put together an 8-0 burst that saw Sullinger and Bradley sandwich 3-pointers around a Green layup for a 104-97 lead with 2:14 to play. The Bobcats got back within 1 on an Al Jefferson floater with 29 ticks to go, but Jannero Pargo missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have forced overtime.

LOOSE BALLS
Sullinger limped off in the third quarter after suffering a mild left ankle sprain. He got re-taped and returned in the fourth quarter. ... Jerryd Bayless departed with a right knee sprain in the fourth quarter and did not return. ... Boston turned the ball over 20 times for 23 points, but Charlotte couldn't capitalize despite limiting its own giveaways (12 turnovers for 14 points). ... The Celtics shot 51.9 percent overall (41 of 79), including 47.8 percent beyond the 3-point arc (11 of 23).

WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (24-55) snapped a nine-game losing streak while winning for only the second time in 16 tries. Boston now owns the fourth worst record in basketball, moving a game ahead of Orlando. The Celtics could be tied for that fourth spot pending how Utah fares versus Portland. Boston travels to Cleveland on Saturday night to close out their final back-to-back of the season. A visit to Philadelphia looms on Monday before the 2013-14 season wraps up Wednesday with a visit from the Washington Wizards.
BOSTON -- Both the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats will be without their starting point guards for Friday's tilt at TD Garden.

Rajon Rondo was a late scratch for Boston with a bruised left shin and will be replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Phil Pressey. Kemba Walker is out for Charlotte with a groin injury and Luke Ridnour starts in his place.

Rondo was scheduled to play Friday and, sticking to his plan of resting on the second night of back-to-backs this season while returning from ACL surgery, sit out Saturday's visit to Cleveland. Depending on his shin injury, Rondo could be back in play for Saturday's game.

The Celtics will get a body back on Friday as Kris Humphries returns in a reserve role after missing the last two games due to knee tendinitis. The Celtics took another MRI of Humphries' ailing knee on Wednesday, but found no structural damage.

"It’s the tendinitis, and that was good," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "We were a little bit concerned there may be more to it because he’s played through that for quite a while. But, no, it looked structurally really good and I think he feels good about it. You could tell, even though we went pretty light as far as shootaround this morning, he had a little bit of an extra bounce in his step."
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2014Game79

W2W4: C's vs. Bobcats (Game 79 of 82)

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
10:00
AM ET
The Boston Celtics (23-55, 15-24 home) host the Charlotte Bobcats (40-38, 17-22 away) on Friday evening at TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

  • MOTIVATED CATS: The Bobcats are playoff-bound, but they've got plenty of motivation to play hard to the regular-season finish line. Charlotte and Washington currently own matching 40-38 records, but with help from an overtime triumph on Wednesday, the Bobcats own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Avoiding a bottom seed ensures not seeing the likes of Miami or Indiana in the first round, while landing the sixth seed would produce a first-round matchup with the Atlantic Division-winning Toronto Raptors if the season ended today. Then again, if the red-hot Bulls surge to the third seed, Charlotte might rather see slumping Indiana.

  • SCOREBOARD WATCHING: With their ninth straight loss on Wednesday in Atlanta, the Celtics moved into a tie with Orlando for the third worst record in basketball. Boston players and coaches still want to finish the season strong -- even at the expense of possible ping-pong balls -- but Celtics fans will be keeping an eye on the out-of-town scoreboard as the Magic host the Wizards on Friday night. Orlando has won two straight to add some intrigue to the lottery standings. Other tanktastic tilts to keep an eye on: Utah (a game in front of Boston) hosts Portland, while the Los Angeles Lakers (two games in front of Boston) welcome Golden State.

  • LOOSE BALLS: This is the third and final meeting of the season between the two teams, who split the first two meetings in November with each team winning on the other's home turf. ... STATS LLC puts the two teams' current streaks in perspective: The Bobcats are trying to win six straight for the first time since March 5-14, 2010, while Boston is trying to avoid losing 10 straight for the first time since dropping a team-record 18 in a row during the 2006-07 campaign. ... Old friend Al Jefferson got his first win as a visitor during Charlotte's last trek to Boston.

(Read full game preview)
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2014Game79

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
18.8 1.7 0.9 33.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 7.9
AssistsJ. Nelson 7.3
StealsJ. Nelson 1.7
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8