Generally, Boston Celtics guard Evan Turner isn’t a highlight factory. He isn’t particularly quick or bouncy, and his offensive game is predicated much more on picking his spots and firing up mid-range jumpers than the type of play that brings a crowd to its feet.
Saturday morning (Eastern Standard Time), however, Turner was part of the Team World squad that played in the NBA Africa Game against Team Africa. Appropriately the players involved — which included All-Stars and role players — simply wanted to put on a show for the fans in attendance, so the effort and defensive levels were less-than enthusiastic, while the offense had a chance to shine.
On one particularly memorable play, Turner leaked out in transition and, instead of getting his entire world demolished by a flying Giannis Antetokounmpo, showed shades of Rajon Rondo (you might remember a similar pass from Rondo in the 2010 Eastern conference semis that fooled LeBron James) with a behind-the-back dish to Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal for the slam.
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That wasn’t Turner’s only shining moment — the combo guard packed the box score with 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. It was the type of line the Celtics grew accustomed to seeing from Turner last year, a varied collection of contributions that included several difficult mid-range jumpers.
The Celtics Lowdown collected Turner’s highlights, as well as a few big finishes by former Celtic forward Jeff Green.
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Team World rallied late in the second half to claim a 101-97 win over Team Africa. Everyone appeared to be taking it easy, but — with the exception of Bismack Biyombo, who tossed up several jump shots that would be very ill-advised in a game that counted — everyone largely played to their strengths. Turner’s strengths are handling the ball, getting into the paint and surprising people with his jumper, and he utilized all of them in Team World’s victory.
We say all of that to say this: It’s August 2, the regular season is still months away, and Turner’s performance in the 2015 NBA Africa Game will have to pass as Celtics news for the time being. Late October can’t come soon enough.

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