Evan Fournier didn’t feel great about his performance in his first two games as a member of the Boston Celtics.
Specifically, he said it made him “feel like (expletive).”
But that all turned around Friday night in the Celtics’ 118-102 win over the Houston Rockets when he finished with 23 points and two rebounds, trailing just Jayson Tatum in scoring for Boston despite coming off the bench.
“He made a lot of shots in a row,” coach Brad Stevens said of Fournier after the game. “Every time the ball goes through the night you feel better about life, food tastes better at night, we all sleep better tonight.”
Fournier certainly can relate to that feeling.
“You know, I’m going to enjoy my glass of wine tonight and you know I’m going to sleep very well,” he said in his own postgame media availability.
Fournier sunk 7-of-11 shots from deep Friday after scoring a collective six points in his first two showings for Boston. Six of those came in the fourth frame.
“I give him a lot of credit,” Stevens said. “I can already tell he’s not really a guy that rides the emotional roller coaster, he’s a pretty even-keeled guy, and he’s come into work every day and gotten his normal amount of shots up, doesn’t look bothered by the fact that he started in that first game 0-for-10. Didn’t look bothered by the fact that we didn’t give them enough shots as a team the other day. He’s just trying to figure out how he can help impact us and we did a better job of finding him tonight, especially once he got going.”
The showing was indicative of the exact reason the Celtics brought a player of his caliber in to begin with. His scoring off the bench and calm, veteran presence were exactly what Boston needed Friday.
That experience in his nine-year career is the reason Fournier didn’t let himself hang his head after the first two games in Celtic Green.
“Obviously, that first game was not the way I wanted to start with the Celtics, but it’s not going to define who I am with this team,” Fournier said.
“I said in many times, I’m going to try to impact winning as much as I can. And I’m really happy about the win tonight.”