Celtics end European tour with 111-96 win at Real Madrid
MADRID (AP) Avery Bradley scored 17 points and the Boston Celtics ended their two-game European tour with a 111-96 victory over Real Madrid on Thursday night.
Two days after a 33-point victory over Italy’s Olimpia Milano, the Celtics looked good again, this time against a much more experienced Real Madrid team playing in front of its raucous fans.
Isaiah Thomas had 15 points for Boston, Terry Rozier added 14 points, and David Lee finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The Celtics led by as many as 25 points at the Barclaycard Center.
”That was a great test for our team,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. ”They made us pay for a bunch of mistakes as we knew they would. I thought our guys did a pretty good job throughout the whole night. It was a good atmosphere and a good game to have to play. Hopefully that will be a game that will help us move forward.”
Boston played short-handed because of illnesses and personal matters. Amir Johnson sat out because of a respiratory illness that affected many of the players after the team arrived from Italy, and Perry Jones had to return to the United States because of a death in his family. Evan Turner sat out because of a right knee strain.
Many players were under the weather and got limited playing time, giving Stevens a chance to test new rotations and take a closer look at his backups.
”I thought that Amir’s absence was obvious in some of the stuff where we came up a little bit short on the defensive end,” Stevens said. ”But I thought it was good that we got to see a bunch of different guys play and I was pretty pleased with the way our young guys played at the end of the game.”
Bradley shot 7 of 14 from the floor and added three rebounds.
”I felt very comfortable out there,” Bradley said. ”I think it comes from my teammates. All those guys were making the right plays and I was there to make the shots. It shows how deep our team is.”
Former Los Angeles Clippers center Trey Thompkins had 21 points and eight rebounds for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, a nine-time European champion and a 32-time Spanish league winner, shot only 37.6 percent from the floor.
It was the first time the teams met since 1988, when Boston won 111-96 in a tournament in Madrid.
The Celtics beat Olimpia Milano 124-91 in Milan on Tuesday in the first game of the NBA Global Games tour.
”I think the biggest thing we can take from (this tour) is that we made some technical errors but we played pretty hard for 96 minutes and we can build off that,” Stevens said. ”If we play with kind of a hard-hat mentality and show up every single day with that kind of energy, we will have a chance to be a good team.”
Boston continues its preseason Oct. 14 at the Brooklyn Nets. It will open the regular season at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct. 28.
Boston’s young team finished 40-42 last season and was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni