Celtics Try to Reset Their Championship Aspirations

Also think of the wizards who suddenly find themselves one of the 13-20 most dangerous teams. Led by Bradley Beal, an all-star starter and league top scorer, they had won seven of their last eight games before losing to the Celtics after finding some rhythm after nearly a two-week hiatus in their season caused by a coronavirus outbreak. Nothing about this season is normal and no team is immune to its challenges.

“It’s good to get a win on a day that just ends in a ‘Y’,” said Stevens after the Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, which ended with a three-game loss. “That’s all I can say.”

Against Sunday’s Wizards, the Celtics developed some late game magic after being up to 5 points behind in the last minute. Tatum made three direct layups, and Beal’s 19-foot run on the buzzer missed the target after Tatum helped him double it in the corner.

In a way, Stevens said, the comeback felt like good karma for him after “the luck” his team met in Dallas last week when Luka Doncic of the Mavericks made two 3-pointers in the final 15.8 seconds to push his team to a 110-107 win – a particularly traumatic result for the Celtics after closing a 12 point deficit late in the fourth quarter.

On Tuesday, optimism came in the form of more evidence of Walker’s improved game. He finished with 25 points and 6 assists. And the ball was moving: six players scored at least 13 points.

“We played hard and we didn’t let small things affect us as we played,” said Walker. “We encouraged each other and took up each other.”

For those things, the win may have been tagged with an asterisk as the Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard, who left the pitch during the warm-up after suffering from back cramps. But every game this season seems to have an asterisk: someone injured, someone restricted, someone absent due to contact tracing. The curiosities are endless. Stevens said he was just glad his players had the chance to sleep in their own beds this week, a ray of sunlight from normal.

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