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Celtics Back In Playoff Picture, But Know Work Is Far From Done

BOSTON (CBS) -- With their win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, the Boston Celtics inched their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

The Celtics now find themselves virtually tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the eighth and final playoff spot, though Boston owns the tiebreaker over the Nets by winning the season series. The C's trail the Miami Heat by 1.5 games for the seventh seed, and are half a game up on the Indiana Pacers, who come to the TD Garden on Wednesday night.

"We're really taking it one game at a time and we understand we have a lot more work to do," forward Evan Turner told 98.5 The Sports Hub following Monday night's win. "It's going to be a big game [Wednesday night] and we have to bring the intensity."

The Celtics brought the intensity Monday night after getting trumped by the L.A. Clippers at home on Sunday. Avery Bradley led the way with 30 points (including 15 points in the third quarter), Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder both chipped in with 14, and Turner filled the stat sheet with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.

With the win, Boston earned their seventh straight victory in the back-end of a back-to-back.

"We usually tank the first night, so we have to make up on the second night," Turner joked. "The biggest thing is just mental toughness, fighting through the fatigue. Sometimes when you're tired you play desperate and bring the force. We just left it all out there."

Turner and the Celtics know their path to the playoffs won't be easy with just eight games remaining in the regular season. After hosting the Pacers on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks (who currently own the sixth seed, three games up on Boston) come to town before Boston hits the road for three straight -- in Toronto, Detroit and Cleveland. Six of Boston's eight remaining games are against teams in the playoffs.

But the Celtics have battled all season, and they're not going to stop with a playoff berth within their grasps.

"It means a lot. It's a testament to our resilience," said Turner. "We definitely stuck with it and kept our head up, even when we started the season off 4-12. To battle back to be in this situation and position, it's definitely a blessing.

"We're glad to be here."

Hear every game of the 2014-15 Boston Celtics season on 98.5 The Sports Hub — the flagship station of the Boston Celtics. Pregame coverage with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell begins 30 minutes prior to every game! Occasionally a scheduling conflict will arise, in which case the Celtics can be heard on our sister station 100.7 WZLX.

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