Madrid - The Celtics looked to win two-in-a row to conclude their 2015 Europe tour after an impressive outing in Tuesday's preseason opener. Avery Bradley continued to display some great shooting that led the way to a Boston 111-96 win over Real Madrid on Thursday at the Barclaycard Center.
Both teams kept it competitive in the first 24 minutes but it was Bradley's 17 points (14 at halftime) that helped secure the win for the Celtics. Isaiah Thomas finished with 15 points in his usual sixth man role, while rookie point guard Terry Rozier took advantage of an injured Evan Turner (DNP, knee) and added 14 points, 4 assists (zero turnovers) and 2 steals in 16 quality minutes off the bench. David Lee chipped in a double-double of his own with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in his second start.
Trey Thompkins led all scorers with 24 points to go along with 8 rebounds for the reigning European champs Real Madrid. Sergio Llull added 15 points and 6 assists, while Felipe Reyes scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the lost.
By halftime the C's led 54-43 after a back and forth first quarter where there were several lead changes, however Real Madrid never climbed out of the hole in the second half after still trailing 85-72 to start the fourth quarter. All three of the Celtics rookies played together in the final 12 minutes and finished the game with a combined 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting to hold on for the win.
David Lee, who was under the weather, was questionable to start, but an hour before tip-off it was announced by coach Brad Stevens that the forward was good to go.
"I'm a gamer," Lee told Comcast SportsNet's after the game. "I was happy to get out there and play."
The C's were also without Amir Johnson (illness), Perry Jones (death in the family) and Turner.
"Hopefully that will be a game that will help us moving forward," said Stevens when asked about the absence of Johnson and how it effected his team in the middle.
Boston heads back to the states 2-0 on their NBA preseason/Global Games, they look to keep the momentum going when they head to Brooklyn next Wednesday to take on the Nets. Tip-off is at 7:30 PM EST from the Barclay Center.
The Celtics returned to Spain for the first time to take on Real Madrid since the McDonald's Basketball Open Championship in 1988. Larry Bird and the NBA champs beat the European club 111-96 (same as Thursday's result 27-years later) as Bird was named most valuable player.
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