BOSTON -- His team's ability to give away a double-digit lead might eventually give Boston Celtics first-year coach Brad Stevens an ulcer, but for at least one game, he was able to keep his sense of humor about the issue.
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
The Cavs outscored the Celtics 34-18 in the fourth quarter, but Brandon Bass blocked Dion Waiters' shot attempt with 8 seconds left to ice Boston's win."I was telling [team president] Rich Gotham it should have been promoted as part of our holiday [ticket] package: 'Every game is an adventure,'" deadpanned Stevens after the Celtics almost gave away a 22-point lead before fending off the Cleveland Cavaliers at the finish line of a 103-100 triumph in a Saturday matinee at TD Garden.
The Celtics had previously kicked away a 21-point lead while losing to the Detroit Pistons and an 18-point lead in falling to the Washington Wizards last week at the Garden.
"And that would have been, you know, Green Runs Deep, hashtag Every Game is an Adventure," cracked Stevens, referring to the team's 2013-14 slogan Green Runs Deep, which is often attached in hashtag form to its tweets. "That would be a great thing to promote. Maybe we can work on that. Can we get that on the website?"
The Celtics entered the fourth quarter Saturday with a 19-point lead but watched the Cavaliers get the ball back down two with 19.3 seconds to play. Fortunately for Stevens, his team displayed the defensive focus that he's been imploring them for while twice denying the Cavaliers the chance to win or force overtime over their final two possessions.
Showcasing that same sense of humor, Stevens opened Saturday's postgame news conference by noting, "I thought we did a really good job and played exceptionally well in the fourth quarter, for [19.3] seconds."
Boston may be undersized up front, but it showcased its defensive versatility during those two final plays, its ability to switch highlighted as Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley came up with key stops in what should have been mismatch situations.