Celtics hold off NuggetsDec 7, 2013 - 6:30 AM Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jordan Crawford had 22 points and eight assists as the Boston Celtics topped the Denver Nuggets 106-98 on Friday night.
Avery Bradley and Kris Humphries netted 18 points apiece for Boston, which has won five of its last seven games.
"[Kris] played great all night; he's done a good job for us, and again, I think that speaks to his professionalism too because this hasn't been always easy for him. But he's always been a pro about everything," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
Denver trailed by as many as 27 in the first half and faced a 64-44 deficit at the break, but Ty Lawson nailed a 3-pointer and converted a runner on back-to- back Nuggets possessions to cap a 16-4 run and claw the visitors within 66-60.
"No excuse tonight. We can't continue to put ourselves at a deficit and spot a team a 24-point lead in the first half and expect to be able to win the game," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "We have to expend so much energy to get back into the game and we do that, and then we just turn around and just give it away. But it just takes too much energy to expend and try to get back into it."
Randy Foye sunk a pair of free throws to whittle the gap to 74-71 with 4:12 left in the frame, but the Nuggets never got any closer.
Humphries netted the first six Boston points during a 9-2 sprint, which Bradley concluded with a triple to increase the margin to 83-73. Boston headed into the final period with an 87-77 advantage and led comfortably throughout the fourth.
Lawson had 20 points before exiting with a strained left hamstring for the Nuggets, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a seven-game winning streak.
Earlier, Bradley poured in six points as the Celtics raced out to a 14-0 start. Boston closed the opening period on a 12-1 run as Green nailed a trey at the buzzer to make it 39-15.
Vitor Faverani's 3-pointer early in the second extended the margin to 42-15.
Brandon Bass had 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Boston ... J.J. Hickson finished with 17 points and seven rebounds for Denver ... The Celtics shot 51.8 percent (43-of-83) from the field.
Dec 6 9:58 PM
- DENVER: 77
End of 3rd
Dec 6 9:24 PM
- DENVER: 44
Dec 6 8:42 PM
- DENVER: 15
End of 1st
Dec 6 8:07 PM
- DENVER: 0
1st Quarter - 11:45
Dec 6 7:41 PM
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