Ime Udoka, Jaylen Brown Furious After One Of ‘Worst Losses’ Of 2021

Boston fell flat in the second half Monday

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December 27, 2021

The Boston Celtics blew a solid first-half lead for the second straight game Monday night.

The Celtics traveled to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves at Target Center and opened the game strong. They were up 11-2 in the blink of an eye and when halftime came around were sitting pretty with an 11-point lead.

Boston came out flat in the third quarter and its lead shrunk to five heading into the final quarter but that’s where things went haywire.

Minnesota opened the final 12 minutes of play on a 14-2 run to take a lead they would not give back the rest of the way and even saw their lead balloon to double-digits with under six minutes remaining in the contest. They would finish the game with a 108-103 win over Boston. This isn’t the first time the Celtics have blown a double-digit lead with the most recent time coming Christmas Day where they saw a 15-point halftime lead evaporate and eventually lose the game 111-107 on the road.

Celtics head coach Ime Udoka understandably was frustrated with the squad’s blown lead and didn’t hold back in his press conference after the game.

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“Undisciplined defensively in a lot of ways,” Udoka said. “Off-ball switching was an issue and we got carved up there. That’s something we’ve been doing decent to well all year but lacked communication there so defensively that hurt. Undisciplined shot taking as well. Some of the good looks we got early in the ball movement to get that lead and when we stopped making shots they got out in transition and hurt us there.

“The off-ball defense was glaring in it all. It was one of the worst losses of the year. It was a team that is as depleted as we are but they out-hustled us late in the game and it was a very undisciplined effort overall.”

Boston’s All-Star wing Jaylen Brown didn’t have an opinion that different from Udoka’s, and he took the Celtics’ loss especially hard.

“Tough game. Defensively I don’t think we were great tonight, I wasn’t great tonight,” Brown said. “I think that probably was one of our worst losses of the season for sure.”

An 11-point lead obviously isn’t safe, but with the players Minnesota was missing in the contest it seemed like the Celtics were right where they needed to be at halftime, even shorthanded themselves.

The second half didn’t go their way for the second straight game but now they have a day off Tuesday to work throughout whatever funk they’re in before hitting the court at home Wednesday when they welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to town.

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