It’s beginning to feel like the Boston Celtics can’t make a trip through Florida without playing in one-possession games. Boston fell 93-91 Sunday night in Orlando in its third consecutive Florida game that came down to the wire.
Tobias Harris made two free throws with 10.1 seconds remaining in the game after Kris Humphries fouled him on a loose ball play. Though the Celtics trailed 93-91 after those free throws, they had plenty of time to get off a potential game-tying or game-winning shot.
Or so they thought.
Brad Stevens called for a timeout and drew up a crunch-time play for his team. He chose to go to the hot hand, Jeff Green, who was the game’s leading scorer with 22 points.
Boston got the ball to Green on the right wing and let him go to work. Following the game, he walked the media through that final play.
“I was supposed to come out and shoot a 3 but Big Baby (Glen Davis) came out,” Green explained. “I tried to get a driving lane, but didn’t have it.”
At that point, Green was forced to improvise. He drove into the paint but was met by a host of Magic players. Then he located Avery Bradley in the left corner and fired a pass his way. Unfortunately, Bradley was unable to catch the ball cleanly and was then met by the 6-foot-9 Tobias Harris on the perimeter.
“I thought [Green] made the right play of a baseline drift pass,” Stevens said after the game, “and Avery just couldn’t come up with the pass and that’s why he ended up driving at the end of the day.”
Bradley drove to the basket but there was not enough time on the clock for him to gain separation for a shot. The ball was still in his hands as time expired and Boston wound up dropping its first one-possession game in Florida this season after winning its first two.
Key Box Score Line
On Sunday night, Celtics fans were able to see the Jeff Green they all dream about. The one that relentlessly attacks the basket and puts unbearable pressure on the defense.
Green knew that he had a size advantage over an Orlando team that has been playing small ball of late. Suffice to say he took advantage of that advantage.
The Magic had no answers for Green’s aggressiveness as he racked up a season-high 15 free throw attempts. He capitalized on 13 of those shots to help him tally a game-high 22 points.
While Green didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from the field or contribute major numbers in other categories, he did put the Celtics in position to win this game with his aggressiveness. Six of his freebies came in the fourth quarter and he scored eight of the team’s final 12 points.
Box Score Nuggets
- Kris Humphries, who scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, finished with the game's top plus/minus rating of plus-11.
- In his second game of the season, Rajon Rondo tallied six points, six rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes of action.
- Orlando used only seven players in the game.
- Jeff Green scored a game-high 22 points thanks to season highs of 13 made free throws and 15 free throws attempts.
- Six Celtics committed at least three fouls.
- Arron Afflalo grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
- The teams combined to shoot 7-of-28 from 3-point range.
- There were 17 ties and 19 lead changes in the game.
- Jameer Nelson notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists.
- Four of Orlando's five starters scored at least 16 points.
- Boston committed just 10 turnovers.
- The teams combined to attempt 29 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Quote of the Night
I saw a selfless team. I just thought that Orlando played good 'D,' and nobody thought they had an open look so they didn't take it. Brandon Bass on the final play of the gameMore quotes >>