The Celtics are starting to make it look easy.
Boston dominated the Denver Nuggets in Denver on Sunday night, racing out to a 25 point halftime lead en route to a breezy 124-104 victory. The win was Boston’s 3rd straight out west and 22nd in their last 25 games.
Here are some key takeaways from the win.
The Jays Dominate….Again
Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each poured 30 points for the second straight game. In 3 games out west Brown has scored 26, 30, and 30 points, shooting better than 60% from the field in his last 2.
Tatum went 6-10 from 3 deep and in the process passed Ray Allen for third on the all-time Celtics lists of made 3 pointers.
Boost from the Bench
The Celtics blew the game open in the second quarter thanks in late parts to the efforts of the second unit led by Payton Pritchard. The 2nd year guard dropped 17 points going 5-5 from the three-point line. He has now made nine consecutive 3-pointers for the Celtics. Grant Williams had 13 points and 6 rebounds and played inspired defense all night hi-lighted with a blocked shot at the rim on Nikola Jokic. Pritchard, Williams, Derrick White and Daniel Theis combined for 29 points off the bench in the first half alone and 43 overall.
After the Celtics blew the game open with a 24-2 run to close the second quarter Denver’s head coach Mike Malone clearly had seen enough. To open the third Malone benched his entire starting five including MVP favorite Nikola Jokic. For his part Jokic led the Nuggets with 23 points but only shot 8-23 from the field and finished the game as a -23.
This sequence >>>>> pic.twitter.com/sMxY6OfyTr
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 21, 2022
Paging Derrick White
We’re not saying White is playing poorly (he was on the floor for much of the second quarter when the Celtics blew the game open) but he needs to start knocking down shots with some regularity. White made his first two field goal attempts but missed his next three including two from behind the arc. He finished the game with only 6 points, his 4th straight game failing to reach double digits. During that span White is shooting 6-31 FG and only 1-16 from deep. Since joining the Celtics White is shooting only 37/21 over 16 games. The Celtics are 13-3 during that stretch and White has been stellar defensively and played with pace and space on offense. But Boston will likely need more from White come playoff time to make a deep run.
So That Happened…
There was clearly a massive Celtics contingent at the game that could be heard loudly during the Broadcast. At one point the crowd started chanting MVP! MVP! in regards to Jayson Tatum. The Celtics star was taken aback that level of support from fans outside of Boston.
“That’s one of the best feelings,” Tatum said. “Obviously you get it at home but, going on the road, seeing all the Celtics jerseys, there’s nothing better than that.”
The Celtics win coupled with a 76ers loss allowed the Celtics tp pull into a virtual tie with Philly for third in the Eastern Conference. The season series is even at 2-2 with no more games remaining against one another.
That what he said…
Grant Williams wants a new nickname and sent teammate Jaylen Brown to tell the world about it. Williams wants to be called Batman. The origin of the new moniker remained a mystery…to Brown at least.
“I have no clue,” Brown said in his postgame media session. “Grant told me, ‘You got media today?’ He told me to come in and say that and tell them that it’s Batman. So he did his job, so I’m here doing mine. I like Batman, y’all should call Grant Williams ‘Batman’ from now on.”
We’re going to presume that Grant wants to be called Batman because he shut down Nikola Jokovic aka “The Joker” in Sunday’s game. Get it? Batman and the Joker? Teammate and friend Jayson Tatum seemed to find it all pretty funny, but can’t commit to the new nickname…yet.
“Grant played great tonight but I’m going to call him Grant,” he said. “I’m not calling him no damn Batman.”
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