If you’ve watched much NBA basketball, you know that loud dunks can serve large sparks for a team. We saw another example of that when the Celtics and Timberwolves squared off Sunday night in Montreal.
Boston and Minnesota went toe-to-toe for the majority of the first three quarters, with neither team being able to pull away. That’s until Kevin Love drove to the basket for two of his game-high 22 points.
The Timberwolves led the Celtics by six points with less than a minute remaining in the third when Love took possession of the ball near the top of the key. He proceeded to throw a pump fake, which Vitor Faverani fell for, and then took the ball to the rim off of the dribble. With no one waiting in the paint to stop him, the All-Star power forward took off and slammed home a thunderous, right-handed dunk that set off a key run for Minnesota.
Ricky Rubio followed Love's basket with a free throw to close out the scoring in the third quarter. Minnesota then scored the first four points of the fourth period to jump on top 85-72, marking its largest lead of the game to that point.
That 7-0 run was stopped when MarShon Brooks got Boston on the board in the final quarter with a jumper at the 9:01 mark. However, momentum continued to build for the Timberwolves as they pulled ahead by as many as 22 points.
The Celtics ended the game on a 7-0 run to bring the final score to 104-89, but it was all in vain. Minnesota already had the game well in hand thanks to the spark Love lit with his loud jam.
Key Box Score Line
There were no major numbers in Avery Bradley’s box score Sunday night. That being said, it doesn’t mean the speedy guard didn’t have himself one heck of a night.
Bradley stuffed the stat sheet by finishing first, second or third on the team in five of the major statistical categories. He led the Celtics in minutes (28), steals (three) and assists (three). Bradley also finished second on the team in rebounds with six, and his 11 points trailed only Gerald Wallace’s 16 and Jeff Green’s 12.
None of these numbers have a ‘wow’ factor when they stand alone, but when you add them all up, Bradley affected this game in many different ways. The Celtics would love to see their young guard stuff the box score like this throughout the regular season.
Box Score Nuggets
- Neither the Celtics nor the Timberwolves shot better than 43 percent from the field.
- Minnesota shot 10-of-25 (40 percent) from 3-point range.
- Four Celtics grabbed at least six rebounds, including three who grabbed exactly six boards.
- Boston assisted on only 12 of its 33 made field goals.
- Kevin Love led the game in both scoring (22 points) and rebounding (nine boards).
- Gerald Wallace's 16 points led the Celtics.
- Boston committed just 12 turnovers in the game.
- Love and Avery Bradley tied for the game high in steals with three apiece.
- Three of Minnesota's players logged at least 30 minutes of action, while Bradley led Boston with 28 minutes of playing time.
- The teams shot nearly identical percentages from the free-throw line: 76.9 percent for Boston, 76.5 percent for Minnesota.
- Jeff Green blocked two shots.
Quote of the Night
Based on the way it went tonight, I would say that you'll probably see that again. Brad Stevens on playing Jeff Green and Gerald Wallace at the same time