C's Win Fourth in a Row, Earn Bye in Vegas
LAS VEGAS – The Summer Celtics just keep on winning.
Boston notched its fourth straight win Tuesday night in Las Vegas by demolishing the previously undefeated Miami Heat 101-69. Five Celtics scored in double-figures, led by 21 points from point guard Marcus Thornton.
Thornton hadn’t logged more than seven minutes of playing time during Boston’s previous three games but broke into the rotation Tuesday evening. He logged nearly 20 minutes of action and made every all of them count.
“He hasn’t really had [a breakout game] yet, and I wanted to give him a chance early,” head coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “He can play with the ball and he can play without it. He’s really explosive with the ball.”
Miami learned that lesson throughout the contest. Thornton put pressure on the Heat defense all night long and got to the free-throw line for a game-high nine attempts, cashing in on all of them. He finished with 21 points despite attempting only eight field goals in the game.
Jonathan Holmes was Boston’s second-leading scorer with 14 points. He scored nine during the first quarter to help the C’s jump out to a 22-16 lead after the opening 10 minutes.
Boston never trailed from that point on but didn’t put the game away until the fourth quarter. It entered the final period with a 10-point lead before quickly turning this contest into a blowout.
Marcus Smart nailed a pull-up jumper just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter to get the ball rolling in Boston’s favor. Over the course of the next three minutes, the C’s would go on an 11-0 run to begin the quarter. That spurt provided them with a 76-55 lead, the largest of the game to that point.
Boston would go on to shoot 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from the field during the fourth quarter, including a 5-of-6 showing from long range. Malcolm Miller capped the incredible shooting performance by nailing a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left on the clock to make it a 101-69 game. That was the final score and it marked the largest lead of the night.
The Celtics limited Miami to just 34.8 percent shooting in the game and only one Heat player scored more than 11 points. Boston, meanwhile, saw five of its players score at least 12 points and the team shot 12-of-26 (46.2 percent) from long distance.
Tuesday’s win gives Boston a 3-0 record during the Las Vegas summer league. Only five of the 24 teams in the league are undefeated.
Boston will not have an opportunity to win again on Wednesday because it earned a bye heading into the league’s playoffs. The C’s will return to the court on Thursday, with a time and opponent yet to be determined.