The Celtics won a thriller in Oklahoma City, defeating the Thunder 101-94.
Here are a few takeaways from yesterday’s game.
1. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford took over in the second half
The Celtics fell behind 55-37 in the first half, where they were thoroughly outplayed by OKC and its’ star trio. A major factor in the Celtics’ first half struggles was the fact that Al Horford and Kyrie Irving combined for only 6 points. This changed in the second half, where the duo combined for 39 points. Kyrie and Horford were clutch down the line for the Celtics with Horford going 5-for-5 in the fourth quarter, and Kyrie icing the game with his five point play, and a number of layups.
2. Marcus Morris made his presence felt
Marcus Morris finally had his debut as a Celtic, after missing the first 8 games due to his suspension and knee soreness. Morris may not have had the most impressive stat line, recording 9 points on 3-for-8 shooting, but his impact in the second half cannot be understated. Brad Stevens opted to start Morris in the second half, and he immediately made an impact on defense. His coverage on Carmelo Anthony led to the superstar missing all 6 of his shots in the third quarter, which definitely had an impact on OKC’s offensive output. Members of the Celtics organization, such as Jaylen Brown credited Morris for the aggressiveness he brought to the team in the second half. Danny Ainge even tweeted out that the Celtics would not have won the game without Morris’ contributions.
3. The Celtics’ young duo of Brown and Tatum continue to impress
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum were thrust into the spotlight following Gordon Hayward’s devastating injury in the season opener at Cleveland. The young tandem have exceeded expectations over the last few games, as they continue to make an impact scoring and rebounding. Tatum recorded 13 points with 6 rebounds, while Brown had 10 points and 12 rebounds. The contributions of both the young players make it easier for Kyrie Irving and Al Horford to make plays. Both players are displaying maturity resembling veterans, and are continuing to prove their doubters wrong.
Following their 0-2 start, the Celtics are now 7-2, with 7 straight wins (which is a record for NBA teams that have started 0-2). The Celtics play next at Orlando on Sunday night, which will be a matchup featuring two of the East’s best teams.
Let’s go Celtics!