Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Celtics 117, Timberwolves 109

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Greg Monroe just keeps on getting better and better for the Celtics, and Thursday night, he keyed the team’s most important run of the game.

With Boston’s 18-point lead sliced down to five early on in the fourth quarter, Daniel Theis was placed in a predicament on the perimeter. He had the ball in his hands on the right wing, mid-dribble, with Taj Gibson applying a ton of defensive pressure. No guards were open for Theis to pass the ball off to.

Monroe saw all of this taking place, and he was attempting to rise to the top of the 3-point arc to open himself up for a pass from Theis. However, Monroe’s defender, Gorgui Dieng, overplayed Monroe, and Boston’s big man threw a spin move over his right shoulder and darted back toward the basket.

Monroe rolled into the middle of the paint and no one was there to stop him. Theis kept his composure in the face of Gibson’s defensive pressure and found Monroe for an uncontested layup.

Seven-point lead for Boston, and that lead would soon grow again thanks again to Monroe.

Following a missed 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford at Minnesota’s end of the court, Monroe caught a pass from Terry Rozier at the left elbow and attacked the center of the lane. As Rozier’s defender helped off of Rozier to prevent the drive, Rozier lifted up to the top of the 3-point line and Monroe hit him with a pass. Rozier caught the dish, let it fly and connected on a 3-pointer with 8:17 left in the game.

Rozier’s 3 pushed the C’s lead up to 13 and thwarted Minnesota’s energy as it attempted a comeback. This seemed like Minnesota’s last real run, and Greg Monroe put an end to it with his beautiful off-ball cut and layup, and his great pass to Rozier for 3.

Key Player

Kyrie Irving usually records big games in loud fashion. Thursday night in Minnesota, he flew under the radar.

Irving led Boston with 23 points during the team’s 117-109 win over the Timberwolves. He made nine of his 15 shots, good for 60.0 percent, and three of his seven 3-pointers. A 42.9 percent clip. He also made both of his free throw attempts.

Irving flirted with recording his first triple-double as a member of the Celtics. In addition to his scoring, he also recorded a game-high eight assists to go along with seven rebounds. Irving added in two steals and a blocked shot to polish off his outstanding night.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Six Celtics scored in double-figures, led by 23 points from Kyrie Irving.
  • Nemanja Bjelica led the game in both points (30) and rebounds (12).
  • Boston led by as many as 18 points.
  • Marcus Morris led all reserves with 17 points.
  • Irving and Jeff Teague tied for the game high in assists with eight apiece.
  • Irving (23 points, eight assists, six rebounds) and Al Horford (20 points, eight rebounds, six assists) flirted with triple-doubles.
  • The Celtics actually made one less field goal (43) than Minnesota did (44).
  • Boston made 11 more free throws (20) than Minnesota did (nine).
  • Irving, Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart each grabbed two steals.
  • All five of Minnesota's starters scored at least 13 points.
  • Boston's bench outscored Minnesota's by a count of 42-20.

Quote of the Night

He felt pretty good leaving the arena. He went to get a CT scan. He’s with (Minnesota’s) team doctor, so he’s in good hands.

Brad Stevens on Jaylen Brown after his frightening fall Thursday nightd.

Key Player