Despite winning 14 straight games, Celtics coach Brad Stephens said Boston needed to be better. They did in fact get better in one key way Saturday as they earned a 110-99 win over the Hawks.
After dropping the Warriors to extend their winning streak to 14 games Thursday, Stephens said that if they played "offense at the same level that we did Thursday night, we'll get beat."
Stephens was primarily referring to the Celtics' shooting. They went 26 of 79 from the field (32.9 percent) and 7 of 32 from 3-point range (21.9 percent) on Thursday. That's not good enough to win most games. The goal was to get better Saturday, and they did just that, shooting 39 of 82 from the field (47.6 percent) and 16 of 34 from 3-point range (47.1 percent). They also assisted on more than half of their made shots (21 of 39).
The Celtics heard what their coach told them, and they improved. Now they just need to work on not getting down by 15 points, like they did again Saturday after Stephens called them out for falling behind Thursday.
Speaking of getting down, the Warriors fell behind 47-28 after the first quarter to the 76ers, but they didn't panic. They bided their time and came back to win 124-116 over Philadelphia on the road.
Steph Curry scored 20 points in the third quarter, which was more than the 76ers scored as a team (15). He finished the night with a game-high 35 points to go with five rebounds and five assists.
Studs of the Night
Kyrie Irving was incredibly efficient in the the Celtics' win, shooting 10 for 12 from the floor and 5 for 6 from 3-point range on his way to a 30-point, five assist and four rebound night.
Utah forward Derrick Favors also shot 10 of 12 from the field, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the Jazz's 125-85 shellacking of the Magic.
Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews continued the trend of efficiency , going 8 of 14 from the field and 6 of 8 from 3-point range on his way to 22 points in Dallas' 111-79 win over the Bucks. He added eight assists.
Duds of the Night
Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe did not help his team's cause in the loss, going 2 of 10 from the floor with six points, four assists, four rebounds and two turnovers.
Clippers guard Austin Rivers was quiet from the field in Los Angeles' 102-87 loss to the Hornets, going 3-of-14 shooting and 1 of 6 from 3-point range with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
Blazers guard Evan Turner loves playing in transition, as he displayed in his treatment of Kings guard George Hill in Portland's 102-90 win over Sacramento.
Pistons (10-5) at Timberwolves (10-5) 7 p.m. ET — It's the early surprise of the NBA season versus the team many expected to take the next step. The Pistons have been reenergized with the addition of Avery Bradley in their backcourt and a reinvigorated Andre Drummond. They take on a Timberwolves team that started slowly but hit its stride recently, winning 10 of its last 13 games.