By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
It was bound to happen. The Celtics came into Friday’s matchup against the Washington Wizards plagued by slow starts scoring just 21, 26, 13 and 16 points in each of the opening quarters this season.
Tonight was not one of those games however.
Boston erupted in the first quarter scoring 40 points and dancing with Gino basically the rest of the way snapping a 3 game losing streak beating the Wizards 118-98.
Jared Sullinger had one of his best games as a member of the Celtics scoring 11 points on 5-6 shooting in the first quarter. He finished the night with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, two blocks and a steal. But even that stat line doesn’t do his night justice. He was and has been the difference maker for this team so far.
The Celtics shot 45.4% of their shots from the floor and 40% from deep on the night. In that hot first quarter, Boston shot 65 percent from the field and had 14 fastbreak points off seven turnovers.
The starting lineup was the same as Wednesday’s game in Indiana with Thomas, Bradley, Crowder, Sullinger and Johnson getting the nod. This unit seems to be playing the best and will probably be the one we see as long as Marcus Smart remains out with a toe injury.
The pace of the game played right into Brad Stevens’ hand with a lot of fastbreak points for the Celtics and made for some beautiful transition basketball.
Jared Sullinger will get all the praise tonight, but Kelly Olynyk also had one of his better games in a Celtics uniform being a +29 on the night scoring 19 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. He was also the first big off the bench for the C’s.
Boston’s defense continued to carry this team forcing 24 Washington turnovers on 18 steals (second time that’s happened since 2009).
- Tyler Zeller was essentially benched for the entire game until he saw garbage time in the 4th quarter.
- Terry Rozier saw game action as early as the 1st quarter
- Jae Crowder had his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also had 5 steals.
- Crowder left the game in the fourth with a knee injury and had to be carried out by Jared Sullinger. The team came out and are calling it a bone bruise on his left knee.
- Marcus Smart was out again with a toe injury that seemingly came out of nowhere. Will be interesting to monitor in the next few days.
- Evan Turner was a +26 on the night logging the most minutes off the bench (30). Had 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
- David Lee and Avery Bradley both had quiet nights with Lee scoring just 2 points and Bradley 6.
Celtics will try to carry their hot shooting momentum when they are back on the court on Tuesday facing off against the Bucks in Milwaukee.