Semi Ojeleye ignited a game-changing run Sunday afternoon that led to the Celtics downing the Knicks 113-104 at Madison Square Garden.
Ojeleye, who came into the game having made nine of his last 19 shots from long distance, canned another one at the 6:33 mark of Sunday’s fourth quarter that tied the game up at 95-95. He made the shot off of a pass from Kemba Walker.
Ojeleye’s trey pumped life into the Celtics over the final six-plus minutes of the game. They began flying around on defense and forced four turnovers and five missed shots from New York over the next three-plus minutes, all while scoring nine consecutive points of their own.
That stretch of play provided Boston with its largest lead of the game to that point, at 104-95. The Celtics eventually pulled ahead by 11 points before closing out with the nine-point victory.
Thank Ojeleye for igniting it all. His 3-pointer, which has been dropping through on a regular basis for 10 games now, gave Boston the spark it needed.
Jaylen Brown gave Jayson Tatum a run for his money in this category, but Tatum earned our Key Player honors Sunday evening in New York.
Tatum was exceptional against the Knicks while tying his season high with 30 points, setting a new career high with seven assists, and also grabbing six rebounds. He shot 10-for-23 from the field, 5-ffor-11 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line to rack up his game-best 30 points.
As is customary, Tatum also contributed at the defensive end. He grabbed two steals and blocked two shots, each total of which led the Celtics either outright or in a tie.
Boston outscored New York by 11 points during Tatum’s 37-plus minutes of action. That mark led all starters, and trailed only Grant Williams (plus-17) and Semi Ojeleye (plus-12) in the game.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jayson Tatum (30 points) and Jaylen Brown (28 points) combined for 58 of Boston's 113 points.
- Kemba Walker (13 points, 10 assists) and Enes Kanter (11 points, 11 rebounds) each logged their first double-doubles as members of the Celtics.
- Grant Williams finished with the game's top plus/minus rating, at plus-17.
- Both teams scored 42 points in the paint.
- Julius Randle led New York with 26 points.
- The Celtics dished out 25 assists.
- New York made four more free throws (26) than Boston attempted (22).
- Tatum dished out a career-best seven assists.
- Boston limited New York to just 8-for-26 shooting from long range, good for 30.8 perent.
- Brad Wanamaker came off the bench to score 11 points on only five shot attempts.
Quote of the Night
I think he's one of the best leaders I've been around.
Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker