Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

There was a ‘now or never’ moment Friday night for the Boston Celtics.

They chose now.

Boston trailed by 12 points after Arron Afflalo nailed a jumper for Denver with 7:32 left in the third quarter. The Nuggets had opened the second half on a 13-6 run to open up their largest lead of the game.

And then the Celtics responded.

Playing in the second night of a back-to-back and in the NBA’s highest-altitude city, Boston refused to back down. It answered Denver’s run with one of its own, scoring seven straight points to pull within five.

Jae Crowder nailed the most important shot of that spurt, an and-one layup along the right baseline, but he was just getting started. He went on to score six more points during the third quarter thanks to two 3-pointers. The second trey gave Boston its biggest lead of the game to that point at 73-71 with 1:35 left in the third.

Obviously a lot happened over the final 13-plus minutes of the game. The Celtics made key plays. The Nuggets made key plays. In the end, Boston came out on top by a score of 100-99. Rest assured that it wouldn’t have been in position to grab that win had it not responded the way it did midway through the third quarter.

Key Player

Two games, two starts, two Key Player of the Game appearances.

Brandon Bass, my friends, is rolling.

Bass notched his first double-double since April 4 when he tallied 13 points and 10 rebounds Thursday night in Portland. He followed that effort up with another primetime performance Friday night in Denver, notching 17 points and nine boards against the Nuggets.

What’s most interesting about these two performances is the emergence of Bass’ passing skills. Is he trying to change his position to point guard?

Bass set a new career high Thursday night by dishing out five assists. He joked after the game, “That’s what I do, man. I drop dimes.” He must be buying into his joke, because he matched his career high again Friday night with another five dimes.

The big man was also stellar at the defensive end of the court. He grabbed a game-high three steals and also blocked a shot for Boston.

The C’s couldn’t ask for much more out of Bass. If he keeps playing like this, Brad Stevens will continue to call his name in the starting lineup.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Five Celtics scored in double-figures.
  • Ten of the 11 Celtics who appeared in the game scored at least four points.
  • The Celtics limited Denver to just 41.6 percent shooting from the field and 28.6 percent shooting from long range.
  • Boston missed 10 of its 27 free throw attempts.
  • Former Celtic Jameer Nelson scored a game-high 23 points.
  • Nelson made four 3-pointers in the game. He made only five 3-pointers during his time with Boston.
  • The contest featured 17 lead changes.
  • Boston trailed by as many as 12 points during the second half.
  • Avery Bradley scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
  • J.J. Hickson and Kenneth Faried tied for the game high in rebounds with 14 apiece.
  • Hickson (15 points, 14 rebounds) and Faried (11 points, 14 rebounds) accounted for the game's only double-doubles.
  • Tyler Zeller tallied 11 points and six rebounds off of Boston's bench.
  • The Celtics shot 42.9 percent from long range (9-of-21).
  • Five Celtics grabbed at least five rebounds, led by Brandon Bass' nine.
  • Bass also contributed 17 points, five assists and three steals.
  • Tayshaun Prince and Evan Turner each blocked two shots, matching Denver's team total.
  • Denver grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, leading to 23 second-chance points.

Quote of the Night

I feel like everyone out there trusts Brad. At the end of the game he brings us together and he calms us down.

Avery Bradley on Brad Stevens.

Key Player
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