Kyle Lowry is one cold-blooded dude.
And so is his teammate, Terrence Ross.
Lowry and Ross put the kibosh on Boston’s fourth-quarter comeback attempt with consecutive 3-point bombs in the final 1:38 of Wednesday's game. They turned their team's near-implosion into a clutch finish.
Lowry hammered home the first nail in Boston’s coffin with a 25-foot 3-pointer just 11 seconds after Chris Johnson had made it a three-point game. Toronto’s floor general splashed home the 3 from 25 feet out at the top of the key despite Avery Bradley being right in his grill. That shot, as Brad Stevens explained, completely changed the game.
"Sometimes it comes down to who makes those shots and the biggest shot of the night is Lowry's," Stevens said. "He's being defended about as well as you can defend somebody, falling down and drilling a 3 to make it six when we were right there with a chance and really playing good defense."
Ross added the icing on the cake for Toronto when he followed his point guard’s lead shortly thereafter. He swished home a 3 of his own with 63 seconds left in the game to put the Raptors on top 99-90, and neither team scored a point from there on out.
Toronto’s back-to-back 3s came at the most critical of times. Not only did they arrive during the final two minutes of the game, but they also took place after Boston had cut a 15-point deficit in the final frame all the way down to three. The Celtics were thinking monumental comeback until Lowry and Ross came through in the clutch.
Had Lowry’s shot not fallen through the basket, this game may have had a very different ending. Unfortunately, Lowry had the sweet touch. He showed off his cold-blooded approach to the game, and his emerging backcourt partner followed suit.
Key Box Score Line
Seven points and seven rebounds through three quarters isn't exactly a stat line to write home about. Turn those numbers into 26 points and eight boards by the time the final buzzer sounds and now you have something cooking.
That’s exactly what Jared Sullinger did Wednesday night as he attempted to lead the Celtics back from a 15-point hole in the fourth quarter. The second-year big man scored 19 points in the final frame while shooting 5-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from long range and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Sullinger nailed all of his fourth-quarter 3s in succession to get Boston back in the game. He then tacked on another three points from the charity stripe to give him 12 consecutive points for the Celtics.
Boston did not win the game but that fact cannot take away from Sullinger’s great performance. He finished as the game’s top scorer while contributing those eight boards and tying for the game high with two blocked shots.
Box Score Nuggets
- Four of the six Celtics reserves who appeared in the game finished with a positive plus/minus rating. They were the only Celtics players to do so.
- Terrence Ross led the game with five made 3-pointers.
- Jared Sullinger scored a game-high 26 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter.
- Boston committed only 10 turnovers in the game.
- Three of Toronto's five starters scored at least 20 points. Ross logged 24, Kyle Lowry had 23 and DeMar DeRozan had 20.
- Both teams finished with a better 3-point percentage than field goal percentage
- Sullinger, who came off of Boston's bench, outscored Toronto's entire bench 26-7.
- Rajon Rondo's game-high 15 assists fell just two shy of Toronto's team total of 17.
- No one on Boston's roster committed more than three fouls.
- Four of Toronto's five starters scored more individual points than Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries, all starters, combined to score (14 total points).
- Jonas Valanciunas grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
- DeRozan shot 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
- The Raptors scored 22 points in both the third and fourth quarters.
- Boston turned Toronto's 17 turnovers into 20 points.
Quote of the Night
Jeff had a stiff neck and I thought he looked really uncomfortable out there... Yesterday he could hardly move it… He looked miserable, to be honest. Brad Stevens explains a contributing reason to Jeff Green's six-point performanceMore quotes >>