Pelicans 95, Celtics 92 - Boston, MA
By Marc D'Amico, January 3, 2014

Key Moment

Brad Stevens said on Tuesday, after a 92-91 loss to the Hawks, that he’ll let his guys play in transition without calling a timeout “every time” when they need a basket in crunch time.

Stevens stuck to his guns Friday night.

Well, sort of.

The Celtics forced a critical turnover with 20.3 seconds remaining in Friday’s game against New Orleans. That bucket set up yet another potential game-winner for Boston in the final 30 seconds of the game, as they trailed New Orleans 93-92.

Boston’s ensuing possession didn’t begin in transition, as it needed to inbound the ball after the turnover, but Stevens still elected not to call for a timeout. He let his guys play freely on a play that may have decided the game.

Avery Bradley wound up taking the potential game-winning shot. He drove to the basket and forced up a shot over several defenders that missed. Brandon Bass attempted to tip in the miss, but his attempt was errant as well and Anthony Davis hauled in the loose ball.

Though many may question Stevens’ decision to not call for a timeout, the coach stated after the game that he was pleased with Bradley’s look at the basket.

“I did (like the shot by Bradley),” Stevens said after the game. “We went quick and we went aggressive. We had a chance to get a rebound if it bounces right. We got to the middle of the court. That’s pretty good.”

Following Davis’ rebound, Brian Roberts was fouled and cashed in on two free throws to put New Orleans on top 95-92 with 6.4 seconds left. Boston then called for a timeout, but the ensuing play resulted in a missed 3-pointer by Jared Sullinger.

Key Box Score Line

Boston fell to the Pelicans Friday night at TD Garden, but no one can put the loss on Brandon Bass’ shoulders. The Celtics’ starting power forward put forth one of his best performances of the season.

Bass was phenomenal in two categories Friday night. He shot the ball at a ridiculously high rate, making eight of his 10 field goal attempts, and he also came one rebound short of the game high with 11 boards. Bass finished the contest with 16 points, which tied for the second-highest total on the Celtics. He also contributed a blocked shot and did not commit a single turnover.

Box Score Nuggets

  • The contest featured 14 lead changes and nine ties.
  • Neither team led by more than eight points.
  • Boston scored 20 or fewer points in the first and fourth quarters, but scored at least 26 in the second and third quarters.
  • Anthony Davis scored a game-high 23 points and also blocked a game-high three shots.
  • Boston outrebounded New Orleans 49-45. This was the second straight game in which the Celtics outrebounded the opponent but still lost.
  • Jordan Crawford dished out a season-high 11 assists while committing just two turnovers.
  • New Orleans scored 46 points in the paint to Boston's 30.
  • Avery Bradley led the Celtics with 22 points.
  • Three Celtics grabbed at least 11 rebounds, with Kris Humphries hauling in a game-high 12 and Brandon Bass and Sullinger grabbing 11.
  • All of Boston's starters attempted between 10 and 17 shots.
  • Four of New Orleans' reserves scored in double-figures, led by 16 points from Tyreke Evans.
  • Boston made more free throws (23) than New Orleans attempted (22).
  • The Celtics shot just 34.8 percent from the field.

Quote of the Night

Focusing on the right things. Focusing on the things you can control. It’s frustrating. It’s three one-point losses here in the last three weeks. Brad Stevens on how he'll keep Boston's morale up as it heads into a West Coast road trip
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