Celtics Defense Bounces Back, Allow Fewest Points In Almost Three Years

The Celtics had their best defensive game of the season Wednesday


Nov 3, 2021

After a slow start defensively, the Boston Celtics stepped up in a major way Wednesday night.

Boston entered Wednesday’s bout with the Orlando Magic allowing the most points per game, hemorrhaging 119.7 points per night. The Celtics also hadn’t allowed fewer than 115 points in each of their last four games but returned to their typical defensive style of play in their 92-79 win over the Magic.

The 79 points allowed to Orlando is the squad’s fewest allowed in almost three years since Boston gave up 77 to the Chicago Bulls in a win on Dec. 8, 2018. After Orlando scored 28 points in the first quarter, they proceeded to finish the game with quarters of 18, 10 and 23 points.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka certainly was pleased with the squad’s stout defensive effort after snapping the squad’s three-game losing streak Wednesday.

“We came out with some good intensity. Talked about their 18-point second quarter and wanted to have some carry over there. Obviously 18, 10 and 23 with a lot of late baskets there. Did a great job in the second, third and fourth quarter but just wanted to carry it over from the second quarter,” Udoka said. “We felt like they were getting too many points in the paint. They had 16 in the first quarter and finished with 32. We wanted to lock up the paint and make them beat us with jump shots. That was the focus.”

The new Boston coach reinforced the squad’s defense-first mentality after the win as well.

“Holding them to 32%. We didn’t shoot great, we shot 42% ourselves. We held them to 18, but we only scored 18 in the second quarter. We knew if we could get some offense going with the 31-point quarter. We always have to rely on our defense. We talk about that every night. Whether the shots are falling or not, we can always fall back on that. After the first I felt like we stepped it up right there.”

The Celtics won’t have to wait long to try to build off of the momentum as they take on the No. 1-ranked Miami Heat on Thursday night on the road.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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