It’s official, the Boston Celtics losing streak is over, thanks to a 21-6 run in the fourth quarter and Jeff Green’s game winning layup. This game was not a masterpiece as the Celtics played sloppy all night. Boston turned the ball over 15 times, 7 of those turnovers were from Paul Pierce. Despite all the negatives and things Boston didn’t do right, they came away with the victory, and that’s all that matters.
The Celtics were down by 10 to the Cleveland Cavaliers halfway through the fourth quarter as they played with no energy, but Boston flipped the switch late in the game which completely changed the outcome. Down the stretch, Jeff Green, Jordan Crawford, Brandon Bass, and Paul Pierce carried the Celtics to a victory and deserve a lot of the credit for keeping Boston in the game when they were down by double-digits. Bass was consistent all night long, playing great defense, and being aggressive on the offensive end. Paul Pierce had a completely different night despite finishing with 21 points. He struggled with his ball handling, and forced some bad passes, but remained persistent and came up big in the clutch once again.
Jeff Green was exceptional down the wire for Boston. He was aggressive, taking the ball to the hoop which resulted in easy layups. Because of his game winner, his defense will be overlooked, but he did a great job on the other end making it difficult for his man to score. Like he did against the Indiana Pacers, Green capped the night off with a game winning layup with no time remaining. As we’ve seen the last few months, Pierce has slowly passed the torch down to Green as the go-to man in late game situations. After being successful twice this month, he may get more looks, not just at layups, but game winning mid-range shots like Pierce has done for over 10 years.
Tonight was a great win, but keep in mind, this was against a team who’s missing their best player in Kyrie Irving, and without main rotational player Dion Waiters. With the Milwaukee Bucks losing tonight, Boston is now two and half games ahead of the eighth spot in the East. The Celtics will be taking on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at the TD Garden which will be a crucial game for Boston. They’ll have a chance at getting one game closer to the sixth seed, as they’re two games behind Atlanta. Hopefully the Celtics can build off this win and begin a new win streak. Every game is important, and it can’t be stressed enough, they must avoid playing the Miami Heat at all costs in the first round.