Sports

Despite loss, Brad Stevens shows he’s now leader of Celtics

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Overshadowed by Blake Griffin’s Mozgov-like throwdown over Kris Humphries and another flagrant foul by Jared Sullinger was the rare display of enthusiasm by coach Brad Stevens in the second half of Wednesday night’s 111-105 Celtics loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Stevens usually is glued to the bench during games and doesn’t venture too far from his coaching staff.

Yet, when the Celtics decided to play defense in the fourth quarter Wednesday, Stevens was spotted kneeling near halfcourt, clapping his hands, encouraging his team to press. While the Celtics coach of the previous nine years looked on 25 feet away, Stevens appeared officially to assume the mantle of head of the Celtics.

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