Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley nonchalantly mentioned after Sunday's game that he had a small fracture in the thumb on his non-shooting hand. Bradley shrugged off the severity of the injury and suggested it was unlikely to affect his availability moving forward.
Wearing a protective sleeve over the thumb on Tuesday night, Bradley erased any concerns about how the injury might hinder him as he scored a team-high 26 points on super efficient 11-of-14 shooting while helping Boston to a 108-97 triumph over the New York Knicks.
Bradley made his first seven shots -- his first miss coming when he tried to dunk in traffic -- and seemingly could not miss from his preferred midrange distance.
Lineup swap works: Early returns on the Celtics' lineup shuffle were encouraging. Boston moved rookie Marcus Smart (13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) to the starting point guard spot and the Celtics responded with an offensive flurry to start the game, scoring 14 of the game's first 16 points. What's more, Jae Crowder thrived in a reserve role, putting up 13 points over 29 minutes.
Loose balls: The Celtics stuck firm with a nine-man rotation, while leaning particularly hard on the starters and Crowder. ... Rookie James Young played 17 minutes, while Tyler Zeller (3-for-3 shooting, 9 points, 5 rebounds) was particularly efficient during his 11 minutes of floor time. ... Andre Dawkins, Phil Pressey and Gerald Wallace were healthy DNPs. ... Tayshaun Prince sat out his second straight game due to a hip flexor. ... The Knicks were without Andrea Bargnani (calf), Stoudemire (ankle/wrist), Pablo Prigioni (hip) and Cole Aldrich (shin). ... Boston never trailed and led by as many as 16.
What it means: The Celtics snap a three-game losing streak while improving to 17-30; the Knicks fall to an East-worst 10-39. Boston closes out a back-to-back on Wednesday night with a visit from the Denver Nuggets.