Fast Moving Solar Flare "burns the sleeves" off the Celtics

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix defeats Celtics 87-80.

1st Quarter  - The Celtics jerseys were horrible looking - as expected. However, the pants were pretty cool I must admit. I'd buy a pair if they were free!! Also as expected, it was a fast paced Suns team that  pushed the ball up the court in what seemed to be the fastest 1st Quarter in Celtic history. Avery Bradley made his first appearance around the 3:30 mark. He looked understandably rusty, but seemed to move without hesitation on those ankles. The quarter ended with the Suns scoring 29 points, with the Celtics putting up only 22 points in a lightning round. Have I mentioned the jerseys looked horrible?

2nd Quarter  - To quote Mike Gorman, most of the 2nd quarter looked like a game played at the YMCA on a Saturday afternoon. Poor shooting,  some faced-paced chaos, and plenty of players on both teams not playing team ball. KO, Hump and Green were however hustling and being aggressive, playing good defense, and running the floor quite well. They managed to keep pace with the Suns through a large part of this quarter despite a faster Suns team. Boston had 7 turnovers in the first half and shot only 37%,. However, despite a lackluster 1st Qtr., the Celtics  did manage to close the gap in the second quarter, and at the halfway point only had a two point deficit at 46-44.

3rd Quarter - Three minutes into the 3rd Qtr, only 2 points have been scored by both teams combined (Suns did the scoring) despite continuing fast-break basketball by the Suns and the Celtics. By the 6:50 mark, the torrid uptempo pace continued by both teams, but the Suns had created an 8 point lead by being quicker on the fast break and a 3 point shot. Hump had a double double by this point in the game. He continues to impress me by his crisp and aggressive play. Former Celtic Gerald Green looked like he did when he played in a green uniform - lost and missing ill-advised shots. The C's are down 4 points at the end of this quarter despite poor shooting and despite any excitement in this game being generated by defensive hustle or great offense.

4th Quarter- Celtics finally take the lead on a Chris Johnson 3-pointer and the 11:10 mark of the final quarter. Sully and KO continue nice rebounding efforts on the offensive boards but it resulted in very few points early in this last quarter. Chris Johnson, while still not  playing "great" plays solid and hustles. At the 4 minute mark Celtics take a 3-point lead off a steal and a subsequent fast break point by Chris Johnson. At the 2:30 mark Suns fight their way back into the lead of 80-78. With the game tied at 80 points apiece at the 1;26 mark, Celtics fail to score. The Suns create a 3 point play off a missed shot via a put back by Len and a foul. Jeff Green fails to connect on a couple of desperation threes and the Suns burn the Celtics for another loss.

Player of the Game for the Celtics, if that matters, was probably Hump. Lottery can't get here soon enough.

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