After starting Summer League play 0-2, the Boston Celtics nabbed their first victory with a 95-90 come from behind win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Jordan Walsh led the charge for the Celtics shooting 50% from the floor for a 25-point effort, all while notching eight boards, two assists and a steal.
While the story of the game should’ve been Dalano Banton’s debut after missing the first two games with a finger injury, the real story, for at least the first half, has been Jay Scrubb.
Both teams started the game off slowly, the Celtics looked completely flat as the Lakers found a rhythm behind Max Christie’s 11-point 1st quarter. As the first frame came to a close, Scrubb hit a buzzer-beating 3 to keep the Celtics within a single-digit deficit.
Once the 2nd quarter began, the momentum from Scrubb’s late 3 seemed to carry over as Boston went on an early 10-2 run to cut the Lakers’ lead to 5. However, LA responded and built their lead back up to 11, and the deficit never seemed to go away. As the half came to a close, Scrubb hit another huge bucket that kept the Celtics within 10 going into the 3rd. Scrubb finished the first half with 15 points in 13 minutes.
The story of the second half changed from Scrubb to Walsh after halftime. Walsh struggled to hit anything from distance early in the game but found success when attacking the cup.
Walsh almost single-handedly brought Boston right back into the game due to his efforts on both ends of the floor. On the offensive side, Walsh was nearly automatic. On the defensive end, he helped generate a number of stops and turnovers, which allowed the Celtics to cut into the Lakers’ shrinking lead in transition.
“It’s all been a part of the gameplan. You know Boston. We’re known for being tough, we’re known for fighting, and that’s what we’re doing now.” said Walsh. “We gathered the team at halftime and we told them, ‘hey, us being down 10 at halftime is nothing. Let’s fight through it and get a dub.’”
The 4th quarter was just more of the same from the 3rd, except it felt like the whole team found a rhythm. It seemed like everyone on the Celtics was scoring with relative ease, all while making the Lakers uncomfortable on the other end. The Lakers started making a late push to try and regain the lead, but the Celtics never took their foot off the gas as Walsh hit a vicious slam for the dagger that essentially sealed the win for the Summer Celts.
Aside from Walsh, four other Celtics finished in double digits. Scrubb finished with 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Banton finished his debut with 12 points, three rebounds and six assists. JD Davison finished with a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Last, but not least, Justin Champagnie finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks.