After a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat last night, the team indicated that Kemba Walker would not be available on the second night of the back-to-back. Sluggish and sloppy vs. the Heat sans Jimmy Butler, postgame Brad Stevens preached the greater need for defensive cohesion. However, it was Boston Celtics who called an early timeout trailing 11-14 after a Jaylen Brown missed an open dunk in transtion which in turn led to a Tyler Johnson transition 3-pointer, before Jayson Tatum missed and ISO fadeaway jumpshot.
Romeo Langford was the first Celtic off the bench and immediately pressured Caris LeVert into a turnover. Gordon Hayward also got up into the passing lane with the great help D, to strip the ball from Jarrett Allen who had the seal on Daniel Theis. Jaylen Brown looked strong on both ends and fuelled the C’s attack with a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter.
With the Boston Celtics playing twice in two days, it was Robert Williams who was the first big off the bench who immediately made an impact getting his hands on the ball for a dunk on a great feed from Romeo Langford. As the bench settled in, it was Marcus Smart who found big Rob for the massive alley-oop as Boston took a nine-point lead to end the quarter 34-25.
Gordon Hayward lead the bench unit into the second quarter as Jayson Tatum had to sit with 3 fouls. It was Rookie Romeo Langford who was a standout with a team high +22 in a stretch that saw Boston extend the lead to 18 at one point. Brad Stevens gave 11 players playing time as the deep bench and Carsen Edwards got some run as the C’s ended the half 72-52.
Off the back of a much improved defensive effort, the Celtics had the ball wizzing all over the court as Jaylen Brown (21 points, 5-9 on 3pts) was the recipient of some great looks as he logged an eight point third quarter. Jayson Tatum also sprang to life in the quarter behind some nice shooting (19 points, 5-8 on 3pts in 18:25 mins). Gordon Hayward was solid, and despite not shooting great, he did have 7-8 from the charity stripe on his way to 18 points, 7 rebs and 3 assists. With Kemba out, Marcus Smart was tasked with spending more time on the ball on his way to 12 pts, 5 rebs, 3 stls and 6 asts.
It was garbage time for the entire 4th quarter as both benches cleared with the younger guys getting some burn. Javonte Green had a few high flying buckets and Robert Williams had his best game ever, ending with 18 points, 5 rebs and 3 blks in 18 minutes. Williams would finish with a perfect 100% from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line.
The Celtics would cap the night with 6 players in double figures and all active players scoring. The hot shooting C’s would end the game shooting a stellar 20-39 from three and next face the Toronto Raptors on Friday at 9pm ET.