The Boston Celtics already have peaked in one of basketball’s most important facets.
The C’s held the Indiana Pacers to just eight third-quarter points Sunday at TD Garden in their 84-74 win in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series, and the defensive showing impressed FOX Sports’ Nick Wright almost beyond measure.
On Monday’s episode of “First Things First,” Wright described the Celtics’ third-quarter defense as the best we’ll see during the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
“Credit to the Boston Celtics,” Wright said. ” … and they come out in the third quarter with what will be, two months from now we’ll be able to look back and see, the best defensive quarter anyone will play the entire postseason.”
The Celtics trailed by seven points at halftime but went on to outscore the Pacers 26-8 in the third quarter.
“Indiana made two baskets in the quarter,” Wright continued. “They scored eight points. Boston scored 15th most points and won a game by 10 because their defense was so outstanding in the second half. …”
After the game, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens credited the team’s renewed commitment to interior defense for their outstanding showing during those pivotal 12 minutes.
Game 2 will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday at TD Garden.