After Avery Bradley edged the Celtics over the Cavaliers Friday night with a buzzer beater 3-pointer he continued his sharp shooting against the Kings going 6-7 from 3-point range and scoring 25 points in a 128-119 victory Sunday in Boston. The win in Cleveland was likely the Celtics biggest win of the season, especially being on the road and playing the Cavaliers after they had come off a loss. It looked ugly early for the Celts Friday in Cleveland but they were able to hang in and keep it close in the first two quarters before gaining the lead in the second half. A balanced attack with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Tyler Zeller and Jared Sullinger all scoring in double figures helped to hold off the Cavaliers late game push. The grittiest play of the game came with the Celtics down two points with seconds left. A missed free throw from Evan Turner allowed for Marcus Smart, 6’4″, boxing out Timofey Mozgov, 7’1″ to cause a scramble for the rebound that ultimately went out off the Cavaliers. This afforded the Celtics just the chance they needed and, on a broken play, Bradley gathered himself to knock down the game winning triple from the corner.
Rolling into Sunday winners of three straight and coming off dethroning the mighty King the C’s hung 46 points on Sacramento in the first quarter en route to the win. They were in control wire to wire despite a pesky performance from the Kings who made runs but were never able to recover from the 76 point first half performance of the Celtics.
Boston is now in sole possession of third place in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland and Toronto, they are winners of four in a row and nine of their last ten. Celtics’s fans have reason to be excited with the wins and the way the team has continued to get better and play together. However, four and half games is all that separates the now third place Celtics and the ninth place Hornets. The C’s will need to continue to win with a tough schedule ahead. Boston not only has a slew of balanced Eastern Conference teams to play that will all be jockeying for position but still has a variety of tough Western Conference opponents to face after the All-Star break including Golden State, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers (and Lakers), and Memphis to name a few, those wins will not come easy.
For now Boston will head to Milwaukee to go for five straight wins against the Bucks who are losers of five straight, before coming home to face Doc Rivers and his 34-17 Clippers that have won seven of their last ten, doing so without Blake Griffin.
The Celtics should feel confident heading to the Midwest behind their Eastern Conference player of the week Isaiah Thomas who continues to put up numbers and help the C’s win games. His most recent weekly stat line to earn said honors goes like this: 20.3 points, 7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals over 33.6 minutes per game. With the C’s seeming to play their best basketball of the season coach Brad Stevens will continue to keep their feet on the ground and their eyes on the clipboard to hopefully finish the next two games strong before heading into All-Star weekend.