Thomas Ties Havlicek’s Scoring Mark vs. Philly
BOSTON – Isaiah Thomas has been decorating the Boston Celtics’ record books all season long.
Wednesday night, he did it again.
Thomas notched his 40th consecutive game of 20 or more points, tying John Havlicek’s franchise mark, while leading the Celtics to a 116-108 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The 33-point effort marked the 51st time this season that Thomas reached the 20-point plateau. The only occasion when he failed to do so was Nov. 18, when he notched 18 points against Golden State.
“When you know you’re getting 20-plus points from a guy on a given night, it’s pretty a special trait,” Brad Stevens following Wednesday’s win. “It’s pretty special to know that. He’s been amazing with his consistency regardless of how he feels, regardless of little nicks and bruises and everything else. He just kind of keeps going. And he’s a tough guy; he’s a tough-minded guy, and his consistency has been impressive. I think consistency and being able to do it every night is what separates the great ones.”
Thomas has been placing his name among the great ones in Celtics history throughout the season.
Thomas became just the third player in franchise history reach 52 points in a single game Dec. 29, joining Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.
In January, he joined Bird and Paul Pierce as the only Celtics to average at least 32.9 points per game during a single calendar month.
Thomas could also solidify himself as the top single-season scorer in team history if his scoring average continues to rise. His current average of 29.88 PPG is just a hair behind Larry Legend’s record of 29.93 PPG that he set during the 1987-88 season.
“It doesn’t seem real to be mentioned with such greats and Hall-of-Famers,” reflected Thomas, who is second in the NBA in scoring behind Russell Westbrook (30.9 PPG). “It doesn’t seem like it should be like that, but it means I’m doing something well.”
While reporters have informed Thomas of all of the records he has set or approached this season, he believes that this particular scoring mark holds special significance because it displays his offensive dependability.
“For the most part, I just try to come in and do my job and be as consistent as possible,” said Thomas. “I think that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole career – be a consistent basketball player. You know what you’re going to get out of me.”
Wednesday night was another example of a trademark Thomas game.
Per usual, he lit up the scoring column with a 13-point fourth-quarter effort, which included a personal nine-point run that helped Boston build a comfortable lead over the 76ers.
While it was just another typical IT performance, his teammates continue to marvel at what he’s able to accomplish on a basketball court.
“It’s incredible,” said Marcus Smart, who notched 21 points, a career-high eight steals, five assists and five rebounds. “I talk about it all the time. We talk about just the size of that guy and the things that he can do; you just sit back and you want to enjoy the view. But he puts in the work and he deserves it. To be able to have a guy on your team like that, it only comes once in a generation.”
The Celtics have been fortunate to have elite scoring talents during nearly every generation of the organization’s existence. There was Havlicek in the 1960s and 70s. There was Bird in the 80s. And there was Pierce in the 90s and 2000s.
This decade could end up belonging to Thomas, as long as he keeps putting up points on a consistent basis, and as long as he continues to place his name in Boston’s record books.
If he reaches 20 points again Thursday night in Chicago, something else will belong to Thomas: the top spot in franchise history when it comes to 20-plus point scoring streaks.