Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Mi­lano

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY DANIELLA MATAR

The Bos­ton Celtics eased to a 124- 91 vic­tory over Olimpia Mi­lano at the Me­di­olanum Fo­rum on Tues­day, com­fort­ably win­ning the first of a dou­ble- header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

“Our goal is just to get bet­ter and im­prove,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “We’ll be able to look at the film, and see how to do that. The num­ber one thing that pleased me is our energy. I thought we played hard, I thought we made a lot of mis­takes but that’s to be ex­pected.”

Isa­iah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, in­clud­ing nine in his first seven min­utes af­ter com­ing off the bench mid­way through the first quar­ter.

“I think as a team we played re­ally well,” Thomas said. “There were times we didn’t play so well es­pe­cially at the start of the third quar­ter. But I think we should be re­ally happy as it’s the first time we play against another team.

“Ob­vi­ously there were things miss­ing, we’re only at the start of our pre­sea­son, but over­all I think we played a pretty good game.”

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also made four from four three-point­ers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven re­bounds and three as­sists.

Mar­cus Smart pro­vided six as­sists as the Celtic put on an im­pres­sive per­for­mance at the start of their pre­sea­son.

“Hon­estly it sur­prised me be­cause I know they started their camp a few days ago,” Mi­lano coach Jas­min Repesa said. “But they played re­ally well to­gether.

“The way they played, moved the ball, of­fense, de­fense... I’m re­ally sur­prised they can play this sort of bas­ket­ball af­ter just a few days to­gether.”

Alessan­dro Gen­tile — who is re­port­edly wanted by the Hous­ton Rock­ets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old — top scored for Mi­lano, with 19 points.

Charles Jenk­ins had 14 and Rob­bie Hum­mel added 12.

Stevens had said be­fore

the game he wouldn’t play any­one for more than 28 min­utes — and so it proved. Jae Crow­der had the most time on court, play­ing 25 min­utes. Ev­ery­one got on the court apart from Evan Turner, who had a right knee strain.

Mi­lano led only once in the game, as Gen­tile recorded the first points with a driv­ing lay-up shot — to the de­light of a sell­out 11,388 crowd that in­cluded Italy soc­cer great Paolo Mal­dini, AC Mi­lan vice-pres­i­dent Adri­ano Gal­liani and the newly-crowned Miss Italy.

But the Celtics quickly racked up the points and led 34-20 at the end of the open­ing quar­ter.

Bos­ton stretched that to 61-44 at the end of the first half. And although Mi­lano briefly threat­ened a come­back with nine points at the start of the sec­ond, the Celtics swiftly snuffed out the as­sault to stretch their lead to 28 at the end of the third quar­ter.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thurs­day.

“We’ve got plenty of film of be­ing late on ro­ta­tions,” Stevens added. “We were for­tu­nate that they missed a lot of shots. We’ll have to im­prove that as we get ready for Madrid be­cause their skill is out­stand­ing, they make you pay if you’re late.”

AP

Avery Bradley #0 of the Bos­ton Celtics shoots against Krunoslav Si­mon of Emporio Ar­mani Mi­lano as part of the 2015 Global Games at the Me­di­olanum Fo­rum, Arena Sala Pre­mium in Mi­lan, Italy, Tues­day, Oct. 6.

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