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BOSTON – The Celtics participated in an officially sanctioned scrimmage with the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday, in which the Celtics won a mind-numbing 117-78. Isaiah Thomas led the way with 17 points and one scintillating drive-and-kick that evoked memories of Rondo past.
The Celtics started with a 9-0 run to open the game that was capped off by a Tyler Zeller Tomahawk Zlam, but Cleveland came back quickly and eventually won the quarter 22-21. That would be the end of Cleveland’s day, as the Celtics went on to eviscerate the Cavs 34-9 in the second quarter and never looked back.
The lead eventually ballooned to 41 in the fourth quarter as David Blatt’s B-team failed out of school and took the semester off to find itself backpacking through Europe.
Isaiah Thomas was the game's high scorer with 17 points and six assists, which was no surprise considering his mindset coming into this game.
"This is bigger than just tonight," Isaiah Thomas said before the game. "It doesn't matter who's on the floor. It could be my kids playing tonight."
It was a good thing his kids didn't play, as they would've needed a big Christmas gift to make up for that shellacking.
With 20 steals, the Celtics set an NBA-high for the 14-15 season and proved the point that nobody was making that Iman Shumpert should not be running point. The Celtics forced 24 turnovers in total, while committing three in the first half and four in the second.
There were seven players in double figures Sunday for Boston, while Jae Crowder scored nine points himself. It was the best example yet of the Celtics maturation into a legitimate playoff team.
In months past – and especially last season – the Celtics rarely rose above their competition, getting stuck in tight contests against teams missing their key players. But with a chance to clinch a playoff spot Sunday, they hit hard early and kept punching until the opponent was down for the count.
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