The Boston Celtics returned to the win column Wednesday night at TD Garden.
The Celtics rebounded from a tough loss to the mighty Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday with an impressive victory over the New York Knicks. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 32 points, but it was Marcus Smart who hit the game-winner with roughly 36 seconds left to play.
Head coach Brad Stevens was pleased with the effort.
“To come back and play another physical, tough team with Kemba (Walker) out, that’s one of our better wins of the year all things considered,” Stevens told reporters during his postgame press conference, “because of the way our guys had to figure out a way to win.”
Games like this are nothing new for the Celtics. They simply have not been responding to the situations accordingly this season, though injuries and COVID-19 restrictions certainly have not helped the cause.
In the end, Stevens simply is happy to see a glimmer of Boston’s regular form.
“That was a what we’re used to, grind it out, physical kind of Celtics win that kind of has been what we’ve been about when we’re at our best,” Stevens said. “I thought we played really hard tonight, really guarded tonight, super physical second night of a back-to-back. … You know, we didn’t shoot it perfectly. We had that stretch in the start of the fourth where we were cold. But just a great response after a tough one last night.”
Boston is back at .500 with the win and has inched up to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. The C’s currently are half a game behind the sixth-place Miami Heat, and one game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets.