breaking news

Third person hit by Brightline train since debut last week

No Hayward, no Thomas, plenty for Celtics, Cavs to play for


When Brad Stevens studied the video of Boston's last game against Cleveland, he skipped over a handful of plays and put the sound on mute.

"I didn't want to watch the injury or what happened after it," the Celtics coach said on Tuesday, a day before his team was to play the Cavaliers for the first time since Gordon Hayward broke his leg in the season opener. "I just didn't want to rehash that moment, obviously."

Boston's top free agent acquisition last summer, Hayward went down in a heap in the first quarter of the first game and is expected to be lost for the season. The gruesome injury cast a pall on the opener and upended the Celtics' plans to supplant the Cavaliers as Eastern Conference champions.

"It was the first game of the season," forward Jaylen Brown said. "When Gordon went down, it was a traumatic moment for everybody."

But the game — and the season — went on.

The demoralized Celtics erased an 18-point, third-quarter deficit in the opener before losing by three. After falling to 0-2 with a loss in their home opener, they ran off 18 wins in a row, and now enter the new year 30-10.

"This team's really getting after it, really playing well," Al Horford said. "We never expected this after Gordon going down. It's really a good surprise."

Boston held a four-game lead over Cleveland in the race for the conference's No. 1 seed, pending the Cavaliers' matchup with Portland on Tuesday night, when former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas was scheduled to make his season debut after missing the first seven weeks with a hip injury.

"He's a special guy," Stevens said. "It's great to see him back on the court tonight."

Thomas is not expected to play on back-to-back nights this early in his return. Celtics spokesman Christian Megliola said there would be no tribute video for Thomas "at his request"; Thomas said on Twitter that he wanted to hold off until he was ready to play, and have his family there.

The team will honor Thomas some other time, Megliola said. The Cavaliers also visit on Feb. 11, a night that has been set aside to retire Paul Pierce's No. 34. The teams have met in the playoffs two of the last three years, and are the favorites to match up in the conference finals for the second straight year.

"They're the team to beat. Everybody knows that," Stevens said. "They haven't even had Isaiah yet, and we all know how special he is."

___

More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship
Woman dies after falling from balcony of Carnival cruise ship

A woman died Friday after falling from the balcony of a room on the Jacksonville-based Carnival Elation cruise ship. The woman fell from the balcony to several decks below, Carnival said in a statement. Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville on Thursday for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Carnival sent the following statement to Action News Jax:"...
Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans
Scientists worry brain-wasting 'zombie deer' disease could spread to humans

Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animals’ nervous systems. And scientists are concerned that the infection could make its way to humans.  Chronic wasting disease — or “zombie deer disease” — was first observed in 1967 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has since...
5-foot tapeworm wiggles out of California man after eating sushi
5-foot tapeworm wiggles out of California man after eating sushi

A sushi-loving California man with a habit of consuming raw salmon recently pulled out a 5-foot tapeworm from his own body. According to Dr. Kenny Bahn, who treated the man in August and revealed the case on a Jan. 8 episode of the medical podcast “This Won’t Hurt a Bit,” his patient thought he was dying. "He asked me for...
Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says 
Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose, family says 

Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications, the family for the legendary rock star said Friday.  Petty, who suffered emphysema, knee problems and more recently a fractured hip, was prescribed various pain medications including Fentanyl patches, his family said.  “On the day he died he was informed...
‘Ramp of Mystery’ in middle of nowhere was drone test site
‘Ramp of Mystery’ in middle of nowhere was drone test site

If you search on Google Maps for “Ramp of Mystery,” a curious Southeast Austin landmark appears. It’s a concrete structure that leads to nowhere, sitting in an overgrown field. It’s a steep ramp with too much of an incline to walk up easily. To the side, an aging and precarious set of wooden steps goes up to the top...
More Stories