The Cavs moved everything they received from the Kyrie Irving trade with the Celtics this past summer except Ante Zizic and the Nets’ first-round pick.
It would be incorrect to say the Celtics did nothing in the run-up to the deadline, in that they were able to officially add Greg Monroe to the roster. The free agent had agreed to sign for the rest of the season after being bought out and waived by Phoenix, but the sides held off on the actual deal until after 3 to maintain flexibility for the C’s on other potential deals.
But as far as trades are concerned, nothing materialized. And the Celts don’t seem disturbed in the least by the lack of a transaction.
“We had a lot of conversations leading up to today over the last couple of weeks, but you never know for sure what’s going to happen. We’ve had deals in the past where we hadn’t talked for a month and all of a sudden it came alive an hour before the deadline.
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“So you never know and you’re always prepared for something to happen at the deadline,” added the Celtics president of basketball operations, “but we didn’t go into this trade deadline feeling like we had to do something.”
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According to league sources, the Celtics were hoping to land scoring help for their bench, but Tyreke Evans wound up staying with Memphis, and Lou Williams was pulled off the market and signed to a three-year contract extension.
“There were some things that we would have been tempted by for the right deals, but the right deals didn’t appear,” said Ainge. “And, by the way, some of those deals that we were trying to get, those deals didn’t happen for any teams that were looking for the similar players.”
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In the case of Evans, the Grizzlies were seeking a first-round pick, but the Celtics (and others) weren’t willing to part with one for a player who can be a free agent this summer.
“We had discussions with Memphis today and throughout the last week or two,” Ainge said. “I think there were a handful of teams that had interest and they (the Grizzlies) just didn’t get what they wanted.”
This should be a game Washington wins with ease, but by all means, they should do it in a way that gives Beal as much rest as possible. He’s averaged over 40 minutes per game in the last three contests, and we saw how it started to affect his performance down the stretch against Boston on Thursday.
While the Celts could be reasonably comfortable sitting a game ahead of Toronto atop the Eastern Conference at the deadline — and expecting their younger players will get better with more experience between now and the postseason — the Cavaliers were on a salvage mission as they try to make something out of what could be the last season of LeBron James’ second stint in Cleveland.
“They did what they felt was best,” said Ainge. “Time will tell. I paid attention to what they were doing, but it didn’t have any impact on what we were doing. We’re just trying to improve ourselves. I’m aware of how they are, and, sure, it could make them better.”
And just because the trade deadline has passed, the search for deals goes on for NBA teams. In the longer term, the Celtics will be keeping an eye on Gordon Hayward’s rehab to see if he can return to the floor this season, and they, like other clubs, will be watching the waiver wire closely for players who get bought out.
“We’ll keep our eyes open for players we think may be able to help us,” said Ainge. “But at the same time, we have a full roster and we like our guys.
“And just because a guy has a big name, we’ve seen year after year after year that the name guys in buyouts don’t always help. As a matter of fact, most of the time they don’t help the teams down the stretch. But I don’t know if this year will be different.
“People are reporting that this year’s buyout market will be bigger and better, and I don’t know the answer to that. We’re certainly keeping an eye open for it.”
But even if nothing transpires, Ainge insists his feathers won’t be ruffled.
“I like our team,” he said. “I’m excited to see our team play in the playoffs. I think we can get better in the next 25 or 30 games.”
Otto Porter goes for 27 points, 11 rebounds as Wizards fall to Celtics in overtime
The Warriors had lost their last two games and three of their previous four.
They trailed Dallas by as many as 12 points, but took control in the second half to improve their league-leading record to 42-13.
Durant drained a three-pointer to cap an 8-2 run late in the third quarter that gave Golden State a 93-85 lead.
Boston’s win Thursday was its fifth in the last six games and came in the Celtics debut of Greg Monroe. The big man signed with his new team earlier in the day and logged 20 minutes. He had five points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and was a plus-9 while also earning his first Celtics technical foul (three minutes into his debut).
They turned it into a rout in the fourth, pushing the advantage to as many as 21 points.
There were some sloppy moments to be sure, as the Warriors coughed up 20 turnovers.
“Obviously, I want to wish a speedy recovery to (injured Pelicans big man) DeMarcus (Cousins). He went down and obviously they had a need there at my position. I definitely analyzed going there. It’s home for me, so it was definitely a tough decision. But it was hard to pick against here.”
There was also another technical foul for Draymond Green, who was fined $50,000 earlier Thursday for “inappropriate and offensive” remarks to a referee over a non-call after he took an elbow to the face in Golden State’s embarrassing 125-105 loss to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
With a league-leading 14 technicals this season, Green is two away from an automatic suspension.
Celtics Survive to Remain Atop East
Durant is second in technicals and head coach Steve Kerr fourth among coaches — numbers that prompted Kerr to say before the game it’s an area that needs attention.
Klay Thompson added 18 points, Green contributed 12 points with 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocked shots and two steals, and David West scored 10 as the Warriors put themselves a game up on the Houston Rockets atop the Western Conference.
The Boston Celtics maintained a one-game advantage over Toronto atop the East with a 110-104 overtime victory over the Wizards in Washington.
Marcin Gortat moved his pivot foot for a travel. Porter made a backward pass to no one in particular. And Tomas Satoransky, who had only committed three total turnovers over the previous three games, matched that total in about one minute at the start of the third quarter. And as Washington fumbled these possessions, Boston capitalized and eventually established a 75-70 lead.
Kyrie Irving scored 13 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Celtics bounced back from a loss to the Raptors on Tuesday.
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Trailing at halftime, they emerged from a tight third quarter with a five-point lead and stretched it to as many as 10 in the fourth.
But they needed three clutch free throws from Irving, who was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all the foul shots to knot the score at 98-98 with 9.8 seconds left in regulation.
It went to overtime when Bradley Beal’s tough jump shot contested by Irving at the buzzer missed.
Jaylen Brown scored five of his 18 points for Boston in overtime, when the Celtics out-scored the Wizards 12-6 to finally put the game away.
His three-pointer with 1:43 remaining put the Celtics up 108-103, and the Wizards wouldn’t get the deficit below four points from there.
“The shot clock was going down so I took my time and shot a shot that I’ve been practicing,” Brown said of the step-back three. “I’ve been working on it a lot, and it showed itself in the game.”
The Portland Trail Blazers won in overtime, too, stretching their home winning streak to nine games with a 109-103 triumph over the Charlotte Hornets.
It was close in Orlando, where Evan Fournier’s 22 points led the Magic in a 100-98 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Magic were also boosted by 18 points and nine assists from point guard D.J. Augustin — newly arrived from Phoenix in a trade-deadline deal.
Wizards beat Pacers 111-102 to win 5th straight without Wall
The Los Angeles Lakers, still awaiting the arrival of their trade-deadline acquisitions from Cleveland Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, defeated the under-manned Oklahoma City Thunder 106-81.
Kyrie Irving beats Wizards in OT thanks to drawn fouls on 3-pointers (VIDEO)
It was their second win in five days over the Thunder — who were without injured Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, leading five Lakers in double figures. Paul George scored 29 points for Oklahoma City.
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Lakers coach Luke Walton was pleased to see his young team dig in against the Thunder on a day when many were unsettled by the departure of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. in the deal with Cleveland.
Walton noted that it was the first time some of the Lakers had teammates shipped out suddenly.
“It was pretty quiet in the film room,” he said. “I didn’t know how long it would take, but the energy before the game was already better.”