Bucks Celtics Basketball

Interim coach Joe Mazzulla and his Celtics staff will coach Team Giannis in the NBA All-Star game. Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

Joe Mazzulla was having dinner on Monday night when he learned that he would be coaching in the All-Star Game. But it didn’t exactly spark a celebration for the Celtics interim head coach.

“I was just like, ‘Whatever,’ ” Mazzulla said. “I was at dinner with my wife and a few friends, so I had more important things going on at the time.”

Mazzulla – who, along with his staff, was named the head coach for Team Giannis at the All-Star Game after the Celtics clinched the best record in the East through games played on Feb. 5 – didn’t change that tune after a night of sleep.

What does the honor mean for Mazzulla?

“Nothing,” Mazzulla quipped before Tuesday’s practice, before he praised his staff and players for the Celtics being in this position, and said that the experience will be great for his family.

While Mazzulla may or may not care about the All-Star Game itself, it still represents something significant for the Celtics after how the season began four months ago. Mazzulla, of course, was suddenly thrust into the Celtics’ head coaching chair just days before the start of training camp after Ime Udoka was issued a season-long suspension for violating team policies.


The Celtics, largely, haven’t skipped a beat under Mazzulla, who was a second-row assistant at this time last season and whose only prior head-coaching experience came at Division 2 Fairmont State.

Mazzulla is the eighth coach in Celtics history to coach the All-Star Game and first since Brad Stevens in 2017. It also marks just the third time in the last 24 seasons that a first-year coach was selected for the All-Star Game.

THE CELTICS may be getting some reinforcements Wednesday for their showdown against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden. The team announced starting center Robert Williams (sprained ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for the contest. Marcus Smart will remain out for the fifth straight game with a bone bruise in his ankle.

Williams was a late scratch for the Celtics ahead of Saturday’s win over the Lakers due to the injury but he’s improved in recent days according to Mazzulla.

Smart’s absence is likely to extend at least through the week as he has not tested the ankle yet after suffering the injury two weeks ago in Toronto.



LAKERS 129, KNICKS 123: LeBron James moved within 89 points of breaking the NBA’s career scoring record and climbed into fourth place on the assists list, finishing with a triple-double in his return to Madison Square Garden as Los Angeles beat New York.

James had 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, with the points giving him 38,299 for his career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the leader with 38,387.

But James’ game has always been about more than scoring, as he proved again Tuesday. He fed Dennis Schroder for a 3-pointer that snapped a 118-all tie with 3:13 remaining, grabbed his 10th rebound later in the extra period and then powered to the basket for a 127-121 lead with 19 seconds to go.

He had earlier moved ahead of Mark Jackson and then Steve Nash into fourth place on the assists list during his first game at Madison Square Garden in three years.

CLIPPERS 108, BULLS 103: Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and Norman Powell added 27 to help Los Angeles win in Chicago.

Paul George added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who’ve won six of seven.


Nikola Vucevic had 23 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bulls, who dropped the first of a four-game homestand. DeMar DeRozan added 20 points and Zach LaVine finished with 18 points and 14 boards.

Los Angeles led 85-84 after three quarters and never trailed in the fourth but couldn’t shake the Bulls until the final seconds. With the Clippers ahead 106-103, Leonard stole the ball from LaVine and made both free throws with 5.2 seconds left to close the door.

Chicago had 20 turnovers, two off its worst mark of the season.

HEAT 100, CAVALIERS 97: Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and Miami showed its experience down the stretch in a win in Cleveland.

Caleb Martin scored 18 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds, and Tyler Herro also scored 18 for the Heat, who moved within 1 1/2 games of the fifth-place Cavs in the Eastern Conference standings.

Butler, who has been slowed by injuries much of the season, hit a short jumper to put the Heat up 98-93 with 1:23 left, and his free throw kept the Heat up by five with 12 seconds left.

But Darius Garland hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cavs within 99-97 with 8.7 seconds remaining.

The Cavs fouled Butler with 7.3 seconds left. He split his free throws, giving Cleveland a chance to tie, but All-Star starter Donovan Mitchell’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was short.

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