Bayless, Rondo helps Celtics snap five-game losing streak

Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless (11) puts up a shot past Atlanta Hawks point guard Shelvin Mack (8) in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Hawks 115-104 Wednesday night.
David Butler II | USA Today Sports
Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless (11) puts up a shot past Atlanta Hawks point guard Shelvin Mack (8) in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Hawks 115-104 Wednesday night.
Posted Feb. 26, 2014, at 10:20 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 26, 2014, at 10:47 p.m.

BOSTON — Guard Jerryd Bayless scored 21 of his season-high 29 points in the second half, and the Boston Celtics snapped a five-game losing streak with a 115-104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Guard Rajon Rondo had 22 points and 11 assists, and Jeff Green scored 17 as Celtics topped 100 points for the first time since beating the Milwaukee Bucks 102-86 on Feb. 10, which was also Boston’s last victory. The Celtics (20-39) held Atlanta to one rebound in the fourth quarter while pulling down 17.

Forward Brandon Bass added 14 points and center Kris Humphries scored 10 as all five Boston starters scored in double figures. Forward Gerald Wallace added 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench.

Bass and Green pulled down eight boards apiece for Boston, which outrebounded Atlanta 46-29.

Guard Jeff Teague had 26 points to lead Atlanta, which lost for the 10th time in 11 games and is 1-5 since the All-Star break. The Hawks (26-31) are clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Forward DeMarre Carroll added 24 points, guard Kyle Korver scored 17 and forward Elton Brand finished with 10 points and seven rebounds for Atlanta.

Both teams were short-handed because of injuries. Boston used just nine players and Atlanta dressed only 10, but the Celtics seemed to have more depth at the end as the Hawks tried to rally.

The Celtics led 81-79 entering the fourth quarter and opened it with a basket by Humphries and a 3-pointer by Bayless to pull ahead 86-79.

The Hawks pulled within 92-91 when Mack made one of two foul shots with 6:43 remaining.

Atlanta’s struggles from the line. Carroll also went 1-for-2 from the line with 4:49 left, and guard Lou Williams missed on an opportunity for a four-point play after drawing a foul while making a 3-pointer with 3:31 left and Boston leading 103-97.

The Celtics pulled away late as Bayless added a jumper to extend the lead to 113-102 with 50 seconds left. Bayless posted his highest point total since joining the Celtics in a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 6.

The Hawks opened the game on an 11-2 run and led 23-8 before Boston rallied at the end of the period to trail 27-25 entering the second quarter. The Celtics shot 56.5 percent in the second quarter and led 58-56 at halftime.

Rondo played despite skipping Boston’s loss at Sacramento last week in the second game on back-to-back nights.

NOTES: Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Ted Ligety received a standing ovation and chants of “U-S-A!” when he was introduced in the first quarter. … Hawks F Kyle Korver extended his streak of games making a 3-pointer to 126 by going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc in the first quarter. … Boston C Kelly Olynyk (sprained toe), F Jared Sullinger (concussion) and G Avery Bradley (ankle) all sat out for the Celtics. … F Paul Millsap did not travel with the Hawks because of a right knee contusion.

Magic 101, 76ers 90

PHILADELPHIA — Veteran guard Jameer Nelson scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night as the Orlando Magic beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-90 to snap a 16-game road losing streak.

Center Nikola Vucevic, an ex-Sixer, had 21 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Magic (18-42), who improved to 4-27 on the road. Their 16-game skid was a franchise single-season record.

Guard Victor Oladipo added 17 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

Forward Thaddeus Young had 19 points and guard Tony Wroten 15 to lead the Sixers (15-43), who lost their 12th straight. It was also their 11th straight defeat at home. They finished the month of February 0-11, their first winless month of four games or more since they went 0-13 in March 1973. That was the final month of their 9-73 season.

In a game featuring the teams with the NBA’s second- and third-worst records, Nelson, a native of nearby Chester and product of Saint Joseph’s University, made five of his nine shots in the fourth quarter, after going 2 of 7 in the first three. He also handed out four of his 12 assists in the final period.

Nelson snapped a 67-67 tie when he nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the circle 20 seconds into the fourth quarter. He added a jumper, a layup and another triple over the next 4:18 as Orlando outscored Philadelphia 21-10 to take an 88-77 lead with 7:22 left.

Guard E’Twaun Moore and forward Andrew Nicholson also hit 3-pointers in that run — the latter after Nelson found him in the right corner — and guard Doron Lamb sank three free throws while attempting another triple.

The Sixers closed within six, at 92-86, on Young’s fast-break conversion with 4:12 remaining, but Oladipo nailed a 3-pointer and jumper as Orlando rattled off the next seven points to go up 99-86.

The lead changed hands 13 times during a dismal first half. The Sixers shot 34.7 percent but nonetheless established a 44-40 lead, largely because the Magic made just 33.3 percent of its attempts. It was the first time Philadelphia had led after two quarters since a Feb. 7 loss to the Lakers.

Young scored 10 points in the half for the Sixers, who outscored the Magic 12-4 over a five-minute stretch late in the second quarter to move in front.

Two of the players acquired at least week’s trade deadline were also effective. Center Henry Sims, making his first start for Philadelphia, had eight points and six rebounds, and backup point guard Eric Maynor contributed six points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.

Vucevic generated 13 points and seven rebounds in the half for Orlando.

The Sixers extended their lead to eight early in the second half, only to see the Magic storm back behind Vucevic. He had a dunk, a layup, a tip-in and a block of Michael Carter-Williams’ dunk attempt as Orlando outscored Philadelphia 25-10 to take a 67-60 lead with 2:22 left in the third quarter.

The Sixers then rattled off the period’s last seven points — on Maynor’s 3-pointer, a dunk by forward Byron Mullens and Wroten’s two free throws — to tie it.

 

SEE COMMENTS →

View stories by school

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Sports