Around the NBA 12/29: 13 things Celtics fans should know from last night

While the Celtics were home last night preparing for what will be Kobe Bryant's final game in Boston on Wednesday, there were 22 NBA teams in action. Here are 13 things you should know:


1. The Nets moved to 9-23 with a 111-105 road win over the Heat. Combined with the Pelicans loss last night, Brooklyn's lead of the third-worst record in the NBA shrunk to one. The Celtics own the Nets 2016 first-round draft pick.

2. The Timberwolves lost to the Spurs 101-95. With the loss, they are 11-20 and have the fifth-worst record in the NBA, but remain only three games back of the eighth-seeded Jazz. Minnesota will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 13-30. If Minnesota's pick falls between 1-12, they will instead convey their second-round picks in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, this pick would NOT be conveyed if the season ended today because they would be projected to receive the fifth pick in the NBA draft.

3. The Mavericks defeated the Bucks 103-93 last night to move to 18-13 on the year. They currently hold the fifth seed in the West and are a half-game back of the fourth-seeded Clippers. Dallas will convey their first-round pick to the Celtics only if it falls between 8-30. If Dallas' pick falls between 1-7, the conditional 2016 pick will become a 2017 first-round pick with the same conditions. Therefore, this pick would be conveyed if the season ended today because they would be projected to receive either the 18th, 19th, 20th or 21st pick in the NBA draft.


4. The Nets beat the Heat 111-105.

5. The 76ers lost to the Jazz 95-91.

6. The Raptors lost to the Bulls 104-97.

Atlantic Division as of 12/29
Toronto 19-13
Boston 18-13 (0.5 GB)
New York 14-18
Brooklyn 9-22
Philadelphia 2-31


7. WINNERS: Hornets, Pacers, Cavaliers, Bulls and Magic.

8. LOSERS: Raptors, Heat and Hawks.

9. Notable Change: the Celtics took a night off, which is dangerous in the current Eastern Conference. With five other teams in the playoff race winning last night, Boston moved two spots back from the sixth to the eighth seed. However, on the plus side, with the Hawks losing, they are only one game back of the two-seed.

Eastern Conference Standings as of 12/29
1. Cavaliers 20-9
2. Hawks 20-13
3. Pacers 18-12
4. Heat 18-12
5. Raptors 19-13
6. Bulls 17-12
7. Magic 18-13
8. Celtics 18-13
Hornets 17-13
Pistons 17-14


10. Rajon Rondo played 18 minutes in the Kings loss to the Warriors last night and finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

11. Brandon Bass played 21 minutes in the Lakers loss to the Hornets last night. He finished 5-5 from the field, with 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.

12. Paul Pierce started last night as the Clippers defeated the Wizards on the road by 17. He finished 4-7 of the field, with 9 points and 4 rebounds.

13. Kevin Garnett started and played 16 minutes in the Timberwolves six-point loss to the Spurs last night. He finished 5-7 from the field, with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Moreover, Minnesota was plus-10 with him in the lineup and minus-16 without.


Pistons @ Knicks
Hawks @ Rockets
Heat @ Grizzlies
Cavaliers @ Nuggets

Follow Max Sandgrund on Twitter @SotoSpeakz