The Celtics trailed the Timberwolves by seven points with 9:30 remaining in Monday night’s game, but that deficit was doubled in a heartbeat. Minnesota went on a 7-0 run in a span of just 65 seconds to put the Celtics away for good.
Dante Cunningham began Minnesota’s run by scoring four consecutive points. The first two points came at the free-throw line with 8:51 left on the clock after Courtney Lee hacked him in the paint. Jose Juan Barea found Cunningham for the next two points as the forward slammed home a loud dunk.
Boston and Minnesota went on to miss the next three shots of the game before Barea tallied his sixth assist of the night. This helper led to a 3-pointer by Alexey Shved, which put the Timberwolves on top by 14 points with 7:46 remaining in the game.
The Timberwolves' run was quick and it completely changed the tenor of the game. Boston never responded from that point on, as it trailed by double-figures for all but 54.5 seconds of the rest of the game.
Key Box Score Line
Nikola Pekovic looks like a beast, and he was a beast Monday night in Minnesota. The 6-foot-11 big man, who’s listed at 290 pounds, scored a game-high 29 points as he pounded the Celtics in the paint.
An undersized Boston team had been fortunate to face off against small opponents for the past few games. That was not the case Monday night and Pekovic took advantage of his size. He backed down any defender the Celtics threw on him and he succeeded at scoring against every single one of them.
The only answer Boston had for Pekovic was to foul him, and even that did not work. Pekovic forced Chris Wilcox and Shavlik Randolph to commit nine total fouls in a combined 33 minutes of playing time. Those fouls sent Pekovic to the line for 11 free throws and he cashed in on every one of them.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jeff Green played the first 30 minutes of the game and wound up logging 38:16 of playing time.
- Six Celtics scored in double-figures, led by Avery Bradley's 19 points.
- The Celtics outshot the Timberwolves from the field (51.9 percent to 48.2 percent) and 3-point range (43.8 percent to 27.8 percent), but Minnesota made 16 more free throws (25) than Boston did (nine).
- The Celtics were whistled for 21 fouls, while the Timberwolves were whistled for only 11.
- Nikola Pekovic scored a game-high 29 points that included an 11-of-11 performance at the free-throw line.
- Jason Terry and Terrence Williams each scored 14 points off of Boston's bench.
- No player in the game grabbed double-digit rebounds.
- Minnesota scored at least 26 points in every quarter.
- There were five ties and five lead changes in the game.
- The Timberwolves scored an unbelievable 62 points in the paint.
- Minnesota outscored Boston 23-9 in fast break points.
- Ricky Rubio led the game in assists with 10.
- Three Celtics, Green, Williams and Jordan Crawford tied for the team high in assists with five apiece.
- Williams and Crawford each totaled six rebounds, five assists and three 3-point attempts.
Quote of the Night
I thought we played pretty hard. We had no one that could deal with that big monster they had down there. Doc Rivers on defending Nikola PekovicMore quotes >>