You’ve never watched this group of Celtics play an entire game together, but based upon Wednesday night’s season finale, it’d be pretty fun to watch it again.
Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum all sat out as the C’s hosted the Nets. In their place, a group of unheralded players, led by Aron Baynes, stepped up to deliver.
Baynes scored a career-high 26 points, and all eight of his points during the third quarter were scored during a span of just two and a half minutes. That stretch proved to be the most important portion of the game.
Boston led 53-43 at halftime and opened that lead up to as many as 23 points during the third quarter. The team compiled an 11-2 run from the 10:12 mark of the third to the 7:14 mark, which was highlighted by eight straight Celtics points from Baynes. Shane Larkin capped the stretch, which included a 9-0 run by Boston, with a 3-pointer.
The Celtics made all five of their 10 shots during the run. The Nets? Well, they didn’t fare quite as well.
Brooklyn attempted three fewer shots (two) than the Celtics made (five) during the run. How was that possible? Well, three different Nets combined to commit four turnovers, giving the C’s opportunity after opportunity at the other end.
Boston capitalized in a big way, and the Nets had no shot from that point on. The C’s led comfortably until the final buzzer before completing their 55th win of the season, 110-97.
You’re gonna hear a lot about Aron Baynes tonight, and rightfully so, because he was the most dominant interior force the Celtics have had in a game in… well, let’s just say a long time.
With that in mind, we’re going to keep it brief here and leave the color commentary for our other content.
Baynes recorded a new career high with 26 points and a new season high with 14 rebounds – and he did so while playing only 20 minutes and change. The big man, who was the only Celtics starter who played against Brooklyn, set new career highs with 12 made field goals and 23 attempted field goals.
Eight of Baynes’ 12 makes were from inside the restricted area, many of which were recorded following his nine offensive rebounds. He was a terror in the paint, and Brooklyn had no answers for him.
Box Score Nuggets
- Aron Baynes (26 points, 14 rebounds) and Shane Larkin (12 points, 10 rebounds) recorded the game's only two double-doubles.
- Both teams scored 27 points during the fourth quarter.
- Brooklyn scored 27 points during the third and the fourth quarters.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was the only starter who did not score.
- Jonathan Gibson and Nik Stauskas tied for the top scoring performance off the bench with 18 points apiece.
- Brooklyn scored 14 points off of Boston's 14 turnovers.
- Boston outscored Brooklyn by 22 points while Baynes was on the court, and also while Larkin was on the court.
- Larkin also led the game with seven assists.
- The Celtics pulled ahead by as many as 23 points.
- Greg Monroe neared a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. He also led the game with two blocks.
- Every player who appeared in the game, outside of Hollis-Jefferson, scored at least two points.
- The Celtics limited the Nets to just 40.7 percent shooting and 27.5 percent shooting from long distance.
Quote of the Night
It’s an absolute blast to get a chance to compete in the Playoffs. It’s what you work for.
Brad Stevens on heading to the postseason.