Chris Johnson rose to the moment, but the problem is he didn’t rise quite early enough.
The Boston Celtics needed a 3-pointer in the final seconds of Monday night’s game in Philadelphia to tie the game up at 111-111. Johnson provided that 3 from right in front of the 76ers bench, but the referees waved it off with the most important whistle of the night.
The officials deemed that Johnson’s foot was out of bounds as he took possession of the ball, which resulted in a turnover prior to the shot attempt. Johnson, who caught a pass from Rajon Rondo along the sideline, was millimeters away from having the shot count. His foot was coming off of the floor at the same time he was catching Rondo’s pass. However, he made contact with the ball before his foot came off of the ground, which garnered the whistle.
Johnson deserves credit for nailing the shot. He rose up in a crowded area at the biggest stage of the game and put the ball through the net. It’s unfortunate that he rose up for that shot just a moment too late.
Key Box Score Line
Well, we aren’t sure about you, but we could get used to this.
And by this, we mean Kelly Olynyk starting for the Boston Celtics and looking like a legitimate star.
Olynyk tied his career high in the scoring column Saturday night during a spot start in Cleveland. He scored 25 points in the game, including 20 in the first half. He one-upped – err, three-upped? – that performance Monday night in Philadelphia when he started yet again and set a new career high with 28 points.
The 7-footer was fantastic from all over the court during this game. He shot 10-of-19 from the field, 2-of-3 from 3-point range and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. One of those 3s in particular stood out.
Olynyk hauled in a lobbed inbound pass from the baseline out by midcourt late in the fourth quarter. He took possession of the ball, faced up his defender and went quickly went to work off the dribble. Before anyone knew it, Olynyk had walked right into a 3-point attempt from the top of the key that dropped right through the net.
We describe it as “walked right into” because that’s exactly what he did. The big man’s momentum was still moving toward the basket as he confidently pulled up and drilled the 3.
What a shot to highlight a career scoring night. Olynyk was extremely efficient in the scoring column while also bordering a double-double with nine boards. Sure sounds like a performance Celtics fans could get used to for years to come, doesn’t it?
Box Score Nuggets
- Philadelphia scored 64 points in the paint, including 46 in the first half alone.
- Three Celtics scored at least 23 points, led by Kelly Olynyk's career-high 28. Jeff Green was close behind with 27, and Avery Bradley scored 23.
- Michael Carter-Williams, Philadelphia's starting point guard, led the game in rebounds with 14 boards.
- Boston's 24 3-point attempts were double the amount that Philadelphia fired up (12).
- The Sixers bench scored 54 points, led by 20 from Tony Wroten.
- Boston's two point guards, Rajon Rondo and Phil Pressey, each committed four turnovers.
- Rondo finished the game two points shy of a triple-double, with eight points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.
- Carter-Williams grabbed a game-high four steals.
- Five players in the game blocked at least two shots, led by Thaddeus Young's three swats.
- The Celtics totaled 26 assists and the Sixers dished out 25.
- Boston outscored Philadelphia by 16 points while Rondo was on the floor. No other Celtic finished with a plus/minus rating better than plus-eight.
- Carter-Williams led the Sixers in scoring with 21 points.
- Each team led by double-figures at some point during the game.
- The contest featured six ties and six lead changes.
- Philadelphia outscored Boston 23-8 in fast break points.
- The Sixers attempted a whopping 38 free throws, making 24.
Quote of the Night
Our crowd has been phenomenal all year. We've had our struggles and they've been behind us the whole time. It's been unbelievable. I would say they're definitely the best fans in the league considering our situation right now and they're still out there giving it a whole-hearted effort. We owe it to them to come home and play as hard as we can and try to get a win for them. Kelly Olynyk on Boston's home crowd, which will cheer the Celtics on for the final time this season on Wednesday nightMore quotes >>