A great weekend is already brewing for Boston sports fanatics. The Celtics had a nice win over the Suns last night, the Bruins beat the Sabres 4-1, the Pats are bound to pounce on the Chiefs for revenge, and the Red Sox and Joe Kelly avoided arbitration with a one year deal. The Celtics and B’s also play again today.
The Celtics won 117-103 over the Phoenix Suns. This is the first time Boston has played the Suns since Isaiah Thomas was on the Phoenix Suns. Thomas and Marcus Smart, who had his first career triple double, the youngest to do it (10 pts, 11 assists, 11 rebounds), helped them to a big win. The game puts the C’s at 21-19.
Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder also each contributed 17 points, Kelly Olynyk scored 21 despite limited court time, Thomas gave in 19, and Jared Sullinger had a double-double. So the offense was still booming like the 4th quarter of Celtics-Pacers, when they came back by constantly doing this pattern, steal, pass, run, shoot. It got them 4 unanswered baskets. This time, they had such a big lead at half that 2nd half struggles didn’t matter, they still held a lead.
The start was rough. While the Suns got to shoot more, the Celtics got more 3 pointers, and they led 16-12 with 6 minutes to go. The struggles continued throughout the quarter, but they piled up enough extra points to lead by 7 by the end of the 1st. They grabbed on to their largest lead when they went on a 22-5 run to end the 1st half. Kelly Olynyk led the offense during the run, responsible for 13 of the 22 points. Olynyk finished the game leading the offense with 21 points and 9 rebounds, most of it coming from just that portion of the game. He made four 3-pointers, three during the second quarter.
In the 3rd quarter, the Suns began to come back. For most of the quarter, they did it slowly, but they had a short 11-4 run at mid-quarter. The Suns just barely outscored Boston 31-28 in the quarter. They continued the slow comeback, but the Celtics were just scoring too much overall for the Suns to get too much of a move on. They went from a 21 point to a 14 point deficit but still won, 117-103.
Mirza Teletovic and Brandon Knight had decent games combining for 38 points, but the Celtics had 4 players with at least 17 points, the Suns only had two that had at least 16, one that had 22. Two players on the C’s had double or triple doubles, Phoenix had none. Best of all, Isaiah Thomas was second in points for us, with 19. If he did the same for Phoenix, but not us, we would’ve lost 122-98. So the Isaiah Thomas trade was surely worth it. The Celtics are beginning to look like a young, but powerful playoff team. Their conference is the easier one to do well in, and their division’s only competitors are the Raptors, and possibly the Kristaps Porzingis led Knicks. The season continues on.
Also be on the look out for my NBA mid-season report soon. I will include playoff predictions, and will be preparing it after the Celts play their 41st game today.