BOSTON (CBS) – Not only did the Boston Celtics blow another double-digit lead on Tuesday afternoon in a 92-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, two of their star players appeared to have lost their cool.
Boston forwards Jeff Green and Brandon Bass were seen exchanging words on the Celtics bench during the third quarter on Tuesday, and neither played the final 18 minutes of the game. That was likely in large part to their struggles (the two combined for 17 points 6-for-16 shooting) and the struggles of the starting five, who head coach Brad Stevens warned multiple times to play better or find their way to the bench.
“I think it was pretty obvious that the guys that were playing at the end were the guys that played well today,” Stevens said after the loss.
Kris Humphries put up 18 points and 10 rebounds while Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 21, allowing Stevens to rely heavily on his reserves in the second half. That left Green and Bass (along with Jared Sullinger, who hurt his hand during the lost) on the bench, though Green didn’t do much sitting. He stood at the end of the bench after the minor dust-up, arms crossed as the Celtics let another game slip away.
After the game, Stevens downplayed the spat between Green and Bass, saying what happens next is what is most important.
“Disagreements are part of the game, it’s part of team basketball,” he said. “But how quickly you move on from there says a lot.”
Hopefully this is just a minor blip for the Celtics, who don’t have much time to dwell on the spat or their most recent loss with a tough stretch ahead. They take on the Bulls in Chicago on Thursday night before hosting the New Orleans Pelicans, and then hit the road for a tough five-games-in-seven-nights West Coast road trip beginning in Oklahoma City on Sunday.