Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
The Boston Celtics opened up Monday’s contest in New Orleans with a bit of a struggle. Their thriving offense hit just eight of their first 24 shots from the field, including an 0-for-5 start to the second quarter.
They needed a boost at that point, and they got two: One from the tallest player on the court and one from the smallest.
Kelly Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas took turns putting the C’s on their backs during the second quarter and they combined to make 9-of-13 attempts from the floor during that frame.
They each went on individual seven-point runs during the second, and helped Boston slip away for an eventual 111-93 win.
The C’s were trailing, 32-27, three minutes into the second quarter when Olynyk and Thomas took charge and scored Boston’s next 18 points.
The only problem was that New Orleans stuck with them through that entire run. Boston erased the five-point deficit, but was knotted up in a 45-45 tie sixteen points into Thomas and Olynyk’s impressive run.
That’s when the C’s defense kicked in. Following Thomas’ game-tying jump-floater, the Celtics forced Tyreke Evans to turn the ball over on three consecutive possessions, which covered a span of just 45 seconds.
After Evans committed his second turnover, Thomas hit a triple that put the Celtics up 45-42 with 3:09 left in the second quarter. They would not relinquish that lead for the rest of the game.
Amir Johnson followed Thomas’ bucket with a hook shot, and then fed Jae Crowder with a beautiful backdoor pass for a reverse layup on Boston’s next possession.
The C’s hit five of their last six shots of the quarter, while the Pelicans did the opposite, making just 1-of-6 from the field during that span.
That was enough to give the Celtics a nine-point cushion heading into halftime, and they continued to break free for the third win of their five-game road trip.
The C's were searching to set an offensive tone during the opening half of Monday night's game in New Orleans, and Isaiah Thomas helped them do so with a 12-point second quarter effort.
Boston’s point guard scored 19 of his 22 points during the opening half and finished the game with a 9-of-13 shooting performance from the field. He added a team-high five assists and turned the ball over just once during 30-plus minutes of play.
Thomas also displayed perfection from downtown, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts.
Some of his most impressive shooting, however, came from inside the arc, as the 5-foot-9 guard went right at New Orleans’ elite shot blocker Anthony Davis on multiple occasions.
Thomas began the game with two driving layups right past Davis, and later hit a pair of jump-floaters from the free throw line. Davis – who entered the game as the second-leading shot-blocker in the league – could not get his fingertips on any of Thomas’ attempts, despite having a one-foot height advantage.
Boston’s little guy showed tonight that his lack of height isn’t much of an obstacle at all on the offensive end.
Box Score Nuggets
- Isaiah Thomas (22 points) and Kelly Olynyk (21 points) were the game's only 20-point scorers.
- Jared Sullinger tied a career high with 20 rebounds.
- The Celtics shot 40-of-81 (49.4 percent) from the field, including 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range.
- Anthony Davis was limited to 16 points on 8-of-21 shooting and six rebounds.
- Boston edged New Orleans in the rebounding battle, 46-44.
- Sullinger led the game with a plus/minus rating of plus-32; Davis had the lowest rating with a minus-24.
- Each team tallied eight steals.
- Three players had three blocked shots: Sullinger, Davis and Amir Johnson.
- Jrue Holiday had a game-high six assists off the bench; Thomas led the C's with five dimes.
- The Celtics outscored New Orleans, 48-36, in the paint.
- Boston also won the fast break battle, 21-11.
- The Celtics held the Pelicans' starting backcourt of Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans scoreless.
Quote of the Night
That’s what you have to do [against] talented players like that. You have to make it tough on them.
Isaiah Thomas on Boston limiting Anthony Davis.