The Celtics have rallied from 12 or more points nine times to win this season, including last Thursday's come-from-behind victory over the 76ers in London.
Fifteen times in the opening 44 games this season, they have faced deficits of 12 points or more.
The first one came on opening night in Cleveland and the latest one took place last Thursday in London.
The Celtics have had plenty of experience playing from behind, and they have found ways to dig out of holes.
After rallying from 22 points down to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in England, the Celtics are now 9-6 in games in which they were behind by at least 12.
Five of those comebacks have been from 17 or more points down, and the rally against the Sixers was the second-largest of the season, trailing only the 26-point comeback against the Houston Rockets.
The good news is the Celtics can wipe out big deficits. The bad news is they have fallen behind by that many points so often.
“We have to get a lot better,’’ said coach Brad Stevens after putting his team through a practice on Saturday afternoon, 24 hours after returning from Europe. “We were down 22 again (to the Sixers) and we were great in the late second and third quarters, but we can’t play a 30-minute game, a 35-minute and expect to be any good.’’
The Celtics have gotten back into games by picking up their defensive intensity, which has led to spurts at the other end of the court.
“We don’t want to get down like that,’’ said Kyrie Irving, “but when we do, we understand that in order to get out of it we have to stick to our game plan that we’ve prepared best for and then go out and execute.
“It’s concerning when you’re out there. When you look back at the game, you look at some controllable things – the way we start out games, how much we are into the ball and making teams uncomfortable – things we can control on the effort end.’’
The Celtics had a 41-point swing in their game against the Sixers, turning that 22-point deficit into a 19-point lead during the second half.
“Sometimes you take a team’s best shot,’’ said Stevens when asked about falling behind. “I haven’t thought one time with this team that it was not focused going into the game, not prepared individually and collectively.
“I just feel like they’re really locked in on what they’re trying to accomplish. The other team is playing, too. You don’t want to take a hit like that, being down 25 or whatever it was, but you know they’re going to come out blazing.’’
The Celtics have stunned the Rockets and the Golden State Warriors (who led by 17) with ferocious comebacks.
“Celtics pride, man, and what we expect from one another on a day to day basis,’’ said Irving. “We demand excellence and if we’re not getting it, then Brad will bring in the team and have a talk or I’ll say something or Al (Horford) or Marcus (Morris). That’s just holding everybody accountable whether you’re a rookie or in your 11th year.
“It makes it exciting. We have yet to see what the full 48 minutes of consistency actually looks like for us game to game. I think we’ve done it for one game and then something will happen defensively or offensively. It’s just part of developing as a team.’’
The Celtics returned to work with only 10 players available as Jayson Tatum (left knee), Horford (calf) and Shane Larkin (illness) sat out.
Tatum was hurt during the win over the Sixers and was going to have testing done to see what the problem might be.
“We don’t know what’s going on, but it was stiff today,’’ said Stevens. “It stiffened up, swelled up a little bit. He’s going to have further testing down today. They don’t think it’s a big, big thing but certainly we want to be cautious and know exactly what happened.’’
Jim Fenton may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JFenton_ent.