BOSTON — Isaiah Thomas’ quest for more recognition likely will never end. But the Celtics point guard certainly didn’t hurt his cause Wednesday.
As has been the case so often this season, Thomas was the star of the night at TD Garden, tallying a game-high 23 points to help lead Boston to a 91-79 win over the Kyle Lowry-less Toronto Raptors. But on this particular night, a certain Boston sports-loving actor was there to witness Thomas work his magic: Mark Wahlberg.
The Garden announced Wahlberg’s presence by showing him on the JumboTron in the third quarter, and while the Boston native’s face drew cheers of delight from the hometown crowd, Thomas decided to make a mental note.
“That’s my first time ever seeing him,” Thomas said. “Once they showed him on the JumboTron, I had to find out where he was.”
The 5-foot-9 point guard did more than just locate Wahlberg, though. With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, Thomas drilled two huge 3-pointers from the right side of the court, prompting a brief moment between the All-Star and the actor as both pointed at each other in celebration.
“(After) I hit the shot, I definitely had to point to him,” Thomas said with a huge grin. “Yeah, he (pointed back). So we’ve got a little friendship brewing.”
Thomas has a long way to go to get on Tom Brady friendship level with Wahlberg, and it’s unlikely he’ll be making any cameos in “Ted 3.” But the Celtics guard wouldn’t hate it if the actor showed him some love with a small movie role. Or, at the very least, some new shoes.
“Something. I need something,” Thomas said. “And he’s got some nice Jordans that nobody else got. So I need those, too.”
Let’s hit a few other notes from Celtics-Raptors:
— Evan Turner had himself a night, but it wasn’t all peachy for the Celtics swingman. He picked up a technical foul at the end of the first quarter for arguing with official Monty McCutchen and clearly was still upset about the incident after the game.
“I’ve deserved techs in the past, but that whole 35 seconds was garbage,” Turner said. “So I don’t really care. I’m glad I didn’t hit the ground and break my back again. Sometimes it’s just that serious, you know what I’m saying? I don’t speak for the sake of talking. That right there was bull—-, the whole thing.”
— Marcus Smart’s brutal shooting slump continued Wednesday, as the Celtics guard went just 1 for 8 from the field. Smart has hit just two of his last 19 shots, but according to him, his woes aren’t the same on the practice floor.
“It’s weird, because when I’m practicing those, I’m knocking them down, and when I get in the game, it’s like I can’t buy a bucket,” Smart said before the game. “But it’s just something, you’ve got to keep shooting.”
— The Celtics notched their 42nd victory of their campaign to officially clinch a winning season. It’s an impressive achievement for head coach Brad Stevens, who will have improved the C’s for a third consecutive season after notching 25 wins in 2013-14 and 40 wins in 2014-15.
But Stevens isn’t exactly resting on his laurels.
“You don’t sign up to come to the Boston Celtics to win 42 games,” he said. “So we’ve got a long way to go.”
— The Celtics literally will have a long way to go this weekend, as they head to Phoenix to play the Suns in the first of a five-game West Coast swing. Boston won’t play another home game until April 6.
— Injured swingman Jae Crowder will travel with the Celtics out west, although Stevens said Wednesday he doesn’t anticipate Crowder returning any time early on Boston’s trip. But Crowder was spotted getting a few shots up before Wednesday’s game:
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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