BOSTON – Before the game, David Lee was asked a series of questions about moving on from the Warriors’ championship run. Something clearly clicked, because he resembled more Draymond Green than the plodding and struggling Lee from the previous few weeks.
Although Jae Crowder was having a strong game through three quarters, coach Brad Stevens elected to stick with a front court featuring Evan Turner, Lee and Jared Sullinger or Amir Johnson for most of the fourth quarter. It blew open a stagnating game with a 12-6 run in the first 7:16, featuring an ironic blend of high pressure transition offense and incisive drive and kick passing. As the Celtics went back to their starting lineup, while flexing in Crowder as a stretch four, they continued to keep the pace high and execute on offense.
After Jared Sullinger hit a 20-foot pick and pop jumper with a minute left that had him pointing to the rafters for 20 seconds straight, Fred Hoiberg called timeout. The Bulls came back out on fire, with Jimmy Butler scoring 5 unanswered points to cut the lead to four and foul Amir Johnson out of the game. Then Isaiah Thomas drove the lane hard and drew the crucial three-point play with less than a minute left to ice the contest. Thomas finished with 20 points, all coming in the second half.
Pau Gasol showed off some powerful yet patient low-post play, working his back-to-the-basket game on whomever Brad Stevens would throw at him while emptying his bottle of Windex on the offensive glass.
Jared Sullinger continues to rebound like he stole Reggie Evans’ soul, with 16 rebounds, including 5 on offense. His three blocks were icing on the cake that he is no longer eating because he’s on a contract year.
While Evan Turner didn’t put the team on his back, the next President of these United States of America had a play to remember when he stripped Jimmy Butler and went coast to coast with the 360 slam. He also had a crucial play in the early fourth quarter, when he fumbled a drive on the artist formerly known as Derrick Rose, picked up the ball and whipped a no-look over the shoulder pass to a cutting David Lee.
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Does the Kelly Olynyk manbun make him better or worse from downtown?
This poll is closed
Let that hair flow K.O.
Tighter the bun, tighter the pump fake
Don't care. Too distracted by Sully's blonde fauxhawk