The Boston Celtics won their third straight game Monday night in a 108-98 victory over the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden.
Isaiah Thomas provided an All-Star caliber performance, posting a game-high 35 points despite attempting zero free throws. Thomas shot 7 of 15 from behind the arc and also provided five rebounds and four assists.
Boston also received strong offensive performances from Al Horford (22 points), Jae Crowder (15 points) and Kelly Olynyk (15 points).
With the win, the Celtics improved to 26-15, while the Hornets fell to 20-21.
Here’s how it all went down.
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Avery Bradley
SF: Jae Crowder
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Al Horford
It was an offense-filled first quarter, as the C’s held a 34-30 lead after one stanza. The Celtics jumped on the Hornets early, going on a 10-2 run to start the game. Charlotte didn’t waiver, though, as it rallied to go shot-for-shot with Boston for the majority of the first quarter. Kemba Walker powered the Hornets offense in the first frame with 13 points. Jae Crowder provided a well-rounded performance in the first quarter for Boston, posting six points, three rebounds, a steal and an assist. Both teams favored the 3-point shot early in the game, as they combined for 16 3-point shot attempts in the first quarter.
CLOSE AT THE BREAK
After an offensive outburst from both teams early in the game, the second quarter was far more subdued as the Celtics held a 59-53 lead at the half. Boston benefited from strong first-half performances from the bench. Kelly Olynyk provided nine points, as well as five rebounds and three assists, while rookie Jaylen Brown added seven points and two rebounds. Walker was the leading scorer at the break with 17 points, while Al Horford led Boston with 14.
THOMAS LEADS C’S
While the Hornets continued to keep it close throughout the second half, they had no answer for Thomas. The “King of the Fourth” lived up to his nickname with 17 fourth-quarter points to squander any hope Charlotte had of a comeback.
Boston’s offense came largely from the field, as the team only attempted ten free throws in the game. What the Celtics lacked in free throw attempts they made up for in 3-pointers, though, as they attempted 39 shots from beyond the arc. Both teams were fairly efficient shooting throughout the night, as Boston shot 50 percent from the field while Charlotte posted a 44 percent mark. Walker’s 24 points helped keep the Hornets in it, but his opposing point guard was just too much to handle.
PLAY OF THE GAME
After Jonas Jerebko saves it, Thomas sinks it.
The Celtics return to action Wednesday night when they host Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images