It’s no secret that the Celtics are typically a much better team when Avery Bradley is in the game. Friday night against the Warriors, however, his absence led to a phenomenal second half for Boston.
Bradley picked up his fifth foul of the game with 8:01 remaining in the third quarter with the score tied up at 53-53. Bradley had been hounding sharpshooter Stephen Curry all night long but his defense was a bit overaggressive. As a result, Doc Rivers was forced to take his defensive star out of the game and replace him with Jeff Green.
Green played a big role in the Celtics’ emergence in the second half. He scored 14 of his 18 points after checking in for Bradley, including 10 points in the fourth quarter alone. He was also a part of Boston’s final seven points of the third quarter, as he made two smooth jumpers and assisted on a Jason Terry 3-pointer.
That phenomenal play by Green helped Boston recover from a slow third-quarter start and take a 69-62 advantage into the final quarter. The Celtics never looked back from there, as they eventually opened up an 11-point lead while cruising to a 94-86 victory.
Who would have thought that Bradley’s exit would spark such a run?
Key Box Score Line
Paul Pierce is becoming pretty comfortable in this spot. That’s bound to happen when you’re carrying your team.
Pierce had another phenomenal performance Friday night as he dropped a game-high 26 points on the Golden State Warriors. He also grabbed eight boards and tied for the Celtics' high in assists with four.
Sometimes Pierce’s scoring is racked up in spurts but he was pretty consistent in this game. He scored at least five points in each of the first three quarters, highlighted by 13 in the first frame.
Box Score Nuggets
- Golden State shot just 34.0 percent from the field.
- Jeff Green scored 18 points off of the bench on 8-of-13 shooting.
- Boston was outrebounded 54-44.
- Both teams' largest lead was 11 points.
- Stephen Curry shot just 6-of-22 from the field but made all 10 of his free throws.
- Paul Pierce's 26 points were one more than Curry's total despite Pierce attempting seven less shots (15) than Curry (22).
- The Celtics scored 19 points in both the second and third quarters.
- The Warriors and Celtics each scored 38 points in the paint.
- Green blocked a game-high three shots.
- Pierce committed a game-high seven turnovers.
- Kevin Garnett grabbed 13 rebounds for Boston.
- David Lee was the only player in the game to log a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.
- Pierce, Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford tied for the Celtics high in assists with four apiece.
Quote of the Night
I told our guys, 'If Steph scored 54 and we win, I'm taking that tonight.' Doc Rivers on Boston's defense against Stephen Curry