|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET23:30 GMT7:30 4:30 PM MST6:30 PM EST3:30 UAE (+1)00:3019:30 ET5:30 PM CTNaN:� , March 15, 2017
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts Attendance: 18,624
Big 2nd half helps Celtics to 117-104 win over Timberwolves
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
BOSTON (AP) Injuries have prevented the Celtics' core starters from spending much time on the floor together this season.
With everyone finally healthy with 14 games to go, they plan to make the most out of the games they have left before the postseason.
So far, they like what they see.
Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points to lead Boston past the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-104 on Wednesday night.
Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Celtics, who earned their 11th straight home win over Minnesota. Boston also increased its lead to 1 1/2 games over the Washington Wizards for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
"I think we need to understand the sense of urgency," Horford said. "It doesn't matter who we play, what their record is. We're playing for bigger things. So we have to make sure that we start to build these habits."
Boston's opening night starters of Thomas, Avery Bradley, Horford, Jae Crowder, and Amir Johnson improved to 21-7 together this season. They are 5-3 since Bradley returned to the lineup from a right Achilles injury late last month.
"As a mature team, you have to respect every opponent and that's what we did tonight," said Bradley, who finished with 18 points.
Ricky Rubio had a season-high 23 points to lead the Timberwolves, who dropped to just 10-21 on the road this season.
Boston led by eight entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Minnesota 32-27 in the final 12 minutes.
With the loss, Minnesota is now a full four games out of the final playoff spot in the West.
"Every game is putting us closer and closer or putting us farther and farther," Rubio said. "We took a step back today."
Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns (17 points, 14 rebounds) posted his 51st double-double of the season. ... Namanja Bjelica left the locker room on crutches and boot on his left foot. Coach Tom Thibodeau said he will be evaluated Thursday. ... Lance Stephenson was helped to the locker room after being injured early in the fourth quarter. ... Were held to just 17 points in the third quarter.
Celtics: Thomas extended his streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 44 games. ... Thomas scored 14 points in the second quarter. ... Wore special gold-trimmed green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick Day on Friday since they'll be on the road.
Minnesota began the night 3 1/2 games out of the final West playoff spot, but Thibodeau said establishing a routine for his team is more important right now.
"If you look ahead and skip over steps, that's how you slip," he said. "I don't want that. I want them to understand where we are and what goes into winning each game."
Guerschon Yabusele, who Boston selected with the 16th overall pick in last June's draft, was at the Garden for Wednesday's game.
Yabusele, from France, was one of two players the Celtics chose to "draft and stash" in leagues overseas last year. The other was Croatia's Ante Zizic, the 23rd pick last year.
Yabusele sprained his left ankle while concluding a season in the Chinese Basketball Association this month, and will be evaluated before the Celtics decide whether he'll get any time with its Maine D-League affiliate this season. He said nothing's been discussed about when he'll join the Celtics.
"We didn't talk about anything yet," Yabusele said. "I hope I can make the team and just play with those guys."
Timberwolves: Continue road trip Friday at Miami.
Celtics: Begin two-game road trip at Brooklyn on Friday.
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower
Updated March 15, 2017
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.
Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?
The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.
Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.
Final two hours of Dale and Holley with Keefe for a Friday.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss a variety of topics for the first two hours of Freestyle Friday.
We close out the week with another edition of the madness and LAROY!!!!!!!!!!! takes you into the weekend.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben and Alex talk to Charlie Stillitano, the man responsible for the International Champions Cup. He has created tournaments for the biggest teams in the world to be played in the US every summer. This year he will bring Juventus and Roma to play in Foxboro on July 30th.
Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
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