C’s Oust Wizards in Highest-Scoring Outing in Decades
BOSTON – If you looked closely enough at the basketball nets inside TD Garden Wednesday night, you might’ve seen smoke rising up around the rim. That’s because the Boston Celtics nearly burned straight through the nylon with their highest-scoring output in nearly three decades.
The C’s dropped a whopping 140 points to the Washington Wizards’ 133, marking their most prolific offensive outing since scoring 150 points against the Wizards on Nov. 25, 1992.
For reference, only five current Celtics were alive the last time the team hit the 140-mark. Rookie Romeo Langford was negative seven years old at that specific point in time.
The keys to Wednesday night’s eruption were consistency and variety. Boston maintained a steady offensive attack throughout the game, scoring 34 points in each of the first three quarters, before dropping 38 in the fourth. And it did so while spreading the rock, as seven different players reached double figures in scoring while no one eclipsed the 25-point mark.
The team shot 51.0 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point range, 89.7 percent from the free-throw line and dished out a season-high 32 assists.
C’s coach Brad Stevens loved the team’s attack from the get-go.
“I thought we were aggressive trying to get to the paint, and I thought that started in the first quarter,” he said after the game. “We got settled down against both of their defenses; they were mixing back and forth between man and zone. Just kind of started to attack and try our best to get that ball into the paint and find the right matchup and go from there. I think that ultimately led to some kick-out opportunities and led to some baskets at the rim, some rebound opportunities.”
As the starters began to filter out following that opening stretch, the bench kept things flowing. The second unit accounted for 40 points, led by a season-high 18-point effort from rookie Carsen Edwards.
“They were great,” Brown said of the reserve unit. “Carsen had a really big game for us. He’s going to be big for us this year. Javonte (Green). Brad (Wanamaker). Those guys come off and give us great energy. Vincent (Poirier) came out and played really well for us. We gotta have everybody. It’s going to be team wins, and we need everybody.”
That statement is especially true now that Gordon Hayward is expected to miss approximately six weeks while he recovers from surgery after breaking the fourth metacarpal in his left hand. Hayward had been a key component to Boston’s offense, meaning a number of guys will have to need to step up in his absence.
Though, Kemba Walker noted that each one of his teammates has been stepping up all along.
“Even when Gordon was playing, guys were just making plays, playing off each other,” said the All-Star point guard, who led the C’s in scoring with 25 points. “It has to go up a little more now that Gordon is out. But guys are playing well, man. Jaylen – 22 (points), Jayson (Tatum) – 23, (Marcus) Smart put in 17, Enes (Kanter) – 13, Carsen – 18, that’s big time. Brad – 10. You just need guys to step up when their name is called. You need guys to come in and play well. And we had the right guys. (Vincent Poirier) came in tonight and he played an amazing game. The numbers might not show, but he did so many great things out there. It’s been fun man, we just need to keep it up.”
And they have been keeping it up of late. Wednesday night’s effort actually marked the second time in Boston’s three outings that it reached the 135-point mark. That’s how many points the team put up during Saturday night’s win in San Antonio, which marked its highest-scoring road output in nearly 26 years.
Based on those two recent performances, the C’s may want to start keeping a fire extinguisher attached to the stanchion. You know, just in case they actually do set the nets ablaze.