After two horrible losses on the road against the Suns and Clippers, the Boston Celtics go into Oracle Arena and defeat the Golden State Warriors 99-86. Hordford was back in the lineup for this game; who didn’t have much of an impact on the game itself, but his presence on the court seemed to help the Celtics’ defense. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics in scoring with 25 points.
For most of this game was a back and forth battle. It wasn’t until the 7 minute mark in the 4th quarter that the Celtics really started to pull away. Going on a 15-0 run led by Thomas and Crowder; who had 9 points in the game, but made 2 critical 3 pointers during that 15-0 run.
The Warriors, without Kevin Durant, had Steph Curry and Klay Thompson leading the team; Curry scoring 23 and Thompson scoring 25. The team as a whole shot 20% on 3 point attempt and committed 18 turnovers; a reason why the Celtics went on a 15-0 run.
The Celtics should be proud of this win, this was a win they desperately needed to stay at in the hunt for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and to stay ahead of Washington that shows no sign of slowing down. This wins builds confidence and hopefully causes a spark to play competitively moving forward. The Celtics were lucky that Kevin Durant was not in this game due to injury, otherwise this may of been a different story.
Moving forward they need to keep playing like this; play competitively and turning opponents mistakes into points, especially teams like Golden State or Cleveland. It always seems like the teams they face who aren’t “playoff contenders” play conservative and really don’t perform well. But when the spotlight is on them and millions are watching them, they play like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals. They can’t be doing that; they have to push themselves and play like they did tonight, every game until the final buzzer goes off.
Brad Stevens is a phenomenal coach and knows how to coach a team; but the players have to do better. Isaiah Thomas can’t be the only one scoring; Crowder is a great player, Bradley is a great player, Olynk had a great game tonight but you rarely see that from him. Thomas is the only consistent player on that team that scores game after game; if they had maybe one or two players who could keep up with him, we’d be a threat in the East. It could be Bradley, or Crowder, or Hordford, it can be whoever; it’s during this stretch on the schedule that players have to step up and prepare for the playoffs. Look at teams like Golden State, they have Steph and Klay, Cleveland has Lebron and Kyrie and Washington has Wall and Beal. Celtics really just have Thomas and no consistent second man.
The Celtics play Denver Friday, so we’ll look to see if they continue their momentum.