Celtics 91, Pistons 81 — What a difference two weeks make, especially for Andre Drummond

Celtics 91, Pistons 81 — What a difference two weeks make, especially for Andre Drummond

Here’s something you have to love about these Celtics — they respond to a challenge. Gordon Hayward out for the year? No problem. They’ll rip off 16 straight. The defending-champion Golden State Warriors leading by double-digits? Time for a season-defining rally. The winning streak in jeopardy in Dallas? Give it to Kyrie Irving and get out of the way. On Sunday, the Celtics faced another challenge, and they once again responded. Two weeks ago in Boston, the Celtics were outclassed…

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Spurs 105, Celtics 102: These games are going to happen

Spurs 105, Celtics 102: These games are going to happen

Here’s how the Celtics lost … A 40-year-old Manu Ginobili made a three-pointer with five seconds remaining, getting it off just inches away from the outstretched hand of Al Horford. Then, as he usually does, Celts coach Brad Stevens managed to get a clean look for his best player, Kyrie Irving, for a three-point attempt from the corner. That bid, however, went in the hoop and then out as the buzzer sounded. And so it was. A 105-102 loss to…

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Celtics 97, Mavericks 90: Wins somehow come easy for this group

Celtics 97, Mavericks 90: Wins somehow come easy for this group

There’s one thing you can without fail count on happening in today’s NBA: Similar to the way great teams find ways to win even when in improbable circumstances, garbage teams will always find a way to be a garbage team when it matters most. And the Mavericks, a team that came to Boston with a West-low seven wins this season, most definitely fit the bill and looked the part in the fourth quarter of their 97-90 loss to the Celtics on…

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Kyrie Irving vs. Dennis Smith Jr. poses exciting matchup for present and future

Kyrie Irving vs. Dennis Smith Jr. poses exciting matchup for present and future

In a battle of the established versus high-potential talent, point guards Kyrie Irving and Dennis Smith Jr. duked it out on the TD Garden parquet in a 97-90 Celtics victory over the Mavericks on Wednesday night. And we learned that this matchup — while limited in exposure given their out-of-conference situation — could be fun for a long, long time. At just 25-years-old, Irving is in his seventh NBA season and first in Boston. To put Irving’s career in context, he…

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Brad Stevens gives Daniel Theis credit for adapting to NBA

Brad Stevens gives Daniel Theis credit for adapting to NBA

Just 24 games into his Celtics career, NBA rookie forward Daniel Theis has proven himself to be a microcosm of coach Brad Stevens’ system. The consummate “energy guy,” the 25-year-old German displays an infectious garbage man mentality every time he steps on the floor. Whether it be a putback dunk, swatting an opponent’s shot to the stands, or swiping the ball from an opposing big, Theis seems to know what he needs to bring on a nightly basis to play for the…

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Brad Stevens reflects on Jayson Tatum's first pre-draft workout

Brad Stevens reflects on Jayson Tatum's first pre-draft workout

When Jayson Tatum entered his first pre-draft workout with the Celtics, Brad Stevens noticed something about him that he didn’t see in the other 2017 draftees. Much like we’ve seen from him throughout the first 25 games of his NBA career, Tatum’s confidence in his shot was the first thing that jumped out to Stevens and his coaching staff. It wasn’t solely because the 19-year-old rookie made one shot after another, but rather because he made it look so easy….

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Celtics 111, Bucks 100: Kyrie Irving puts Giannis Antetokounmpo in his place in another win

Celtics 111, Bucks 100: Kyrie Irving puts Giannis Antetokounmpo in his place in another win

It was just a minor exchange in the grand scheme of things, but it told us so much about Kyrie Irving. Late in the third quarter on Monday night, Irving broke into the lane for a wide-open layup. Bucks MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo soared for the obvious goaltend after the ball had already rolled around the rim, landing on Irving’s back and giving him a little stare in the process. Irving didn’t take kindly to the gesture. He harassed Antetokounmpo…

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Celtics 116, Suns 111: Marcus Morris emerging as weapon off bench for Brad Stevens

Celtics 116, Suns 111: Marcus Morris emerging as weapon off bench for Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens may have found his go-to starting lineup. The Celtics head coach insists he hasn’t decided on a fixed starting five for the regular season. Through the first 25 games, Stevens has made tweaks to the his frontcourt, swapping big men Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris on a night-to-night basis while the rest of the members of the starting lineup — Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Jayson Tatum — remain intact. The Celtics are at their best offensively…

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Celtics 108, Sixers 97: Kyrie Irving is unstoppable

Celtics 108, Sixers 97: Kyrie Irving is unstoppable

There are nights where Celtics guard Kyrie Irving makes being a legitimate NBA superstar look almost effortless. Thursday night at TD Garden, the stage on which the C’s beat the Sixers by a 108-97 final, turned out to be one of those nights. It was in 32 minutes of play that Irving tallied a team-leading 36 points (the second-most he’s scored as a Celtic), and converted on 12 of his 21 shot attempts (a 57.1 field goal percentage), including five…

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Pistons 118, Celtics 108: A new challenger emerges for Celtics

Pistons 118, Celtics 108: A new challenger emerges for Celtics

The Celtics began and ended Monday night still very much in control of the Eastern Conference by way of their 18-4 record, but they may have found a new legitimate threat in the Pistons, who defeated them by a 118-108 final at TD Garden. This is not something I expected to say about the Pistons, a team that the Celtics had defeated in four of their last five head-to-head meetings, but that was before seeing the impact of Celtic-turned-Piston Avery…

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