Celtics Experience First Home Loss Since March 2023 to Knicks

‣ The Boston Celtics suffered their first home defeat of the season, losing 102-100 to the Denver Nuggets, ending their 20-game home win streak, the second most in their franchise history.
‣ Despite the loss, the Celtics remain the front-runners to win this season’s championship according to several NBA betting sites, with the Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks also showing great odds.
‣ Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets posted 34 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists in 39 minutes of action, dedicating his performance to the late Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.

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Well, the Boston Celtics had a bit of a rough one on Friday night. They lost 102-100 to the Denver Nuggets, marking their first home defeat this season.

This was also their first loss since a grueling 131-129 double-overtime match against the New York Knicks on March 5, 2023. Quite a while back, huh?

The Celtics had been on a roll, no doubt. They had 20 straight home wins this season, the second most in their franchise history without a loss. Their best regular-season home record? That’s 40-1, set back in the 1985-86 season.

They even had a 33-game winning streak in Boston from Dec. 17, 1986, through Nov. 18, 1987. That’s still the longest streak in franchise history.

Remember the Celtics’ 127-120 overtime victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday? That win made them the 13th team in NBA history to start a season 18-0 at home. Impressive, right?

Despite the recent loss, a few NBA betting sites still see the Celtics as the front-runners to win this season’s championship. And the Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks? They’re still getting some pretty good odds at the sportsbooks.

Let’s not forget, the San Antonio Spurs set the NBA record of 39-0 in the 2015-16 season. That same season, the Golden State Warriors started 36-0 at home, until the Celtics ended that streak with a win at Oracle Arena.

During Friday’s loss, the Celtics were leading 61-55 at halftime. They even outscored Denver 29-24 in the second quarter and led by as many as 12 points. But the Nuggets fought back, outbounding them 47-38 and shooting 42-of-81 (51.9%) from the floor.

The Celtics? They finished just 38-of-89 (42.7%) shooting from the field. The missed one-legged fadeaway off the rim by Jayson Tatum, contested by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left Boston at 20-1 at home and 32-10 overall.

After the game, Tatum confessed he wasn’t sure if Denver would use its final foul to give. This would have forced the Celtics, who were out of timeouts, to inbound the ball. “I think I kind of rushed it, and that’s on me,” he admitted.

The Celtics’ coach, Joe Mazzulla, made a costly mistake by not double-teaming Nikola Jokic for most of the game. Jokic posted 34 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists in 39 minutes of action. He also shot 14-of-22 (63.6%) from the floor, 2-of-4 (50%) beyond the arc, and hit all four free throws.

Nuggets coach Michael Malone was pretty proud of how well his stars played against a Boston defense that entered this matchup ranked third in the league in defensive efficiency.

Jokic dedicated his performance to the late Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic, who passed away Wednesday afternoon at the age of 46 after suffering a heart attack in Salt Lake City. Milojevic coached Jokic in their native Serbia.

“As I mentioned to our team after the game, I couldn’t be more proud of Nikola for playing the way he played with the tragic passing of Deki,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Looking ahead, this was the first of two regular-season meetings between the Celtics and Nuggets this season. They’re set to play again in Denver on Thursday, March 7.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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