Derrick White puts home a layup against the Phoenix Suns

Keys to the Game: Suns 106, Celtics 94

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

After falling behind by 20 points late in the first half, Boston actually had a chance to take the lead on the opening possession of the fourth quarter.

Less than three minutes later, however, the Celtics had fallen behind by 13. And that’s how quickly a game can change in the NBA.

Malcolm Brogdon missed a running floater on the first shot of the final quarter and that shot marked the final chance the C’s had at a lead on the night. Phoenix immediately responded with an 8-0 run to retake control of the game.

Phoenix’s spurt began with a 3-pointer from Damion Lee, and that was followed up by a conventional three-point play from Jock Landale via an and-one dunk. Saben Lee then wrapped up the run with a loud, driving dunk after the Celtics failed to secure a loose ball. That dunk seemed to suck the life out of Boston while fueling the Suns, and Phoenix finished off the win with ease from that moment on.

Key Player

Thank goodness for Jaylen Brown Friday night. Without him, Boston’s matchup with Phoenix could’ve gotten ugly.

In his first game since being named a two-time All-Star, Brown scored Boston’s first seven points of the game and wound up dropping 27 on the night to lead the game. He and Derrick White were the only Celtics who shot the ball with volume and efficiency against Phoenix. Brown made nine of his 21 shots, including six of his nine attempts from inside the arc.

The star wing rounded out his box score with eight boards, four assists and a game-high three steals. Those three steals were also a game high, and they accounted for more than a quarter of the total combined steals in the game by both teams (11).

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown led the game with 27 points.
  • Mikal Bridges led Phoenix with 25 points.
  • Phoenix committed only nine turnovers during the game.
  • The Suns scored 16 points off Boston's turnovers, while the C's scored only six off of Phoenix's turnovers.
  • Boston shot just 38.7 percent from the field on the night.
  • Jayson Tatum scored 20 points despite making only three shots.
  • Derrick White totaled 19 points and five rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
  • Al Horford led the C's with nine boards.
  • Dario Saric (14 points, 13 rebounds) and DeAndre Ayton (14 points, 10 rebounds) logged the only double-doubles of the game.
  • Phoenix's bench outscored Boston's 36-19.
  • Malcolm Brogdon led all reserves with 12 points.
  • Suns reserve Damion Lee was a plus-30 in 27 minutes of action. He totaled 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Quote of the Night

"We can't be inconsistent with how we execute. That's all."

- Joe Mazzulla's reaction, in part, following a loss to the Suns