BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Celtics made some franchise history on Monday night, though it’s not the kind of history you would expect a team that often dons a green jersey to make on St. Patrick’s Day.
With their 94-89 loss to the Mavericks in Dallas, the Celtics finish the season 0-15 on the road against Western Conference teams. It’s the first time in the franchise’s storied history they didn’t squeak out at least one victory against a Western Conference foe on the road.
Back in 1997, when the Celtics finished with the second-worst record in the NBA at 15-67, they went 1-14 on the road against the West. Back in 2007, the last time the Celtics were this far down in the lottery talk, the C’s went 4-11 against the West on the road, and even ended a 17-year winless drought in San Antonio (which fittingly came on St. Patrick’s Day).
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There was no such luck on Monday, but the Celtics still put up quite the fight. They came back from two double-digit deficits in the second half, and were within one point of Dallas in the final 21.6 seconds after an Avery Bradley steal and layup. This came just 24 hours after an overtime battle against the New Orleans Pelicans, and in a game when Boston did not have point guard Rajon Rondo.
But like so many other times this season for the never-quit Celtics they just couldn’t finish off their opponent, and now they’re in the history books.
“It’s not something you shoot for,” head coach Brad Stevens told reporters in Dallas. “It’s not something you’d like to do. The West is clearly better than the East; I don’t think anybody would argue that. At the same time, we’ve had our chances in a couple of those games.”
“I’m frustrated, obviously, by our lack of success, but I’m not frustrated by our effort,” said Stevens. “It was at a pretty high level again, and they’re giving it everything they have.”
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To find Boston’s last road win against a Western Conference foe you have to go back to last February, when they quieted the Jazz in Utah.
Overall, the Celtics are 4-26 against the Western Conference this season.
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