Boston 128 Sacramento 119
Boston started the game up by 20, and I assumed we were in for imminent domination. They were raining threes and forcing turnovers. But Sacramento kept composure and never let the game get out of hand. In the 4th Quarter, they were down as little as 5, but Boston hit the shots that mattered and put the game away.
The Cs finished the evening shooting 56% from the field and 54.2% (13/24) from Three. They scored a remarkable 46 in the First Quarter. Bradley (25), Thomas (22) and Sullinger (21) led the way. Zeller, E.T. and Kelly were the key cogs off the bench. The former two, especially, kept up their hot play. Zeller had 17 and 7 in 22 Minutes, thriving in the pick-n-roll with E.T., who finished with 11 (4/8), 9 and 4 with a Block. Zeller has established an ability to score in bunches, and E.T. plays distributor, while subsequently picking up easy layups and pull-up jumpers. And great to see Avery follow up his big game-winner with a better overall performance.
Rondo dished out 15 Assists, to go with 14 Points and 6 Steals. The Celtic bigs took care of Boogie, who had 31 Points, 7 Rebounds and 6 Assists, which is an impressive line, but 11/25 overall.
One pattern that needs to dissipate soon is the Cs’ habit of building 20-Point leads and then letting the opposition get back in the game. It happened in this one, and it’s happened in other more recent games. The building of big leads is indicative of Brad’s great work and the team’s preparation. Now that they’re in third place in the East, they need to keep these big leads to really be elite.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Cs are playing tremendous basketball. Let’s hope it keeps on keeping on.
Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Homer Johnsen is a freelance writer and team dog sitter for the Boston Celtics. He feeds, walks and cleans up after the players’ dogs during road trips. His Celtics analyses and Celtic Canines Photo Album are accessible right here at HeresTheDealLikeShaquille.