Celtics vs Suns Rewind; Kemba Walker to the Rescue

The Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 99-86 behind a huge 32-point game from Kemba Walker

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THE BREAKDOWN

The Celtics beat the Suns 99-86 on Thursday behind a huge 32 point game from Kemba Walker. After a frustrating loss to the Bulls earlier this week, the C’s righted the ship.

The game saw both teams shoot poorly from 3, especially the Suns (17%)! Boston was able to overcome some offensive struggles to grind out this win.

The win is Boston’s 7th in its last 8 games. The Celtics face Brooklyn on Friday.

TURNING POINT

About halfway into the fourth quarter, Kemba Walker hit this circus-shot 3 pointer trying to draw a foul. 

Walker after that, Kemba drew this charge to get him to foul out. This was the huge momentum swing that helped the Celtics keep their lead down the stretch.

STUDS AND DUDS

STUDS:

Kemba Walker: This was probably one of Walker’s best games in a Celtics uniform. He carried the offense tonight when no one else could get a bucket. 32 points on 17 shots was exactly the kind of performance the Celtics needed out of Kemba as the number 2 option. He played some great defense too, drawing 3 charges and getting a HUGE steal late.

Jabari Parker: Parker had 6 points tonight in 15 minutes, to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. What stuck out to me about his performance is the passing. He looked a little lost in the offense at times so for him to move the ball so well is great. His passing will be a big asset on the second unit especially when Fournier gets back.

Payton Pritchard: Pritchard played with a ton of heart tonight. He had 10 points on 3/8 shooting (2/7 from deep), but the shots he hit were in big spots. He played pretty decent defense on Chris Paul to start the fourth. Most importantly, he stayed engaged on the defensive glass and grabbed two important rebounds late.

Duds:

Jayson Tatum: Tatum played a key part in the Celtics win tonight. He also played pretty poorly. Both can be true. His passing and rebounding made the difference. However, he couldn’t hit the ocean shooting from a boat in this one. He finished with 15 on 3/17 shooting. He’s the number one option, he’s got to shoot better than that.

Grant Williams: Grant Williams looked just a bit slow on the defensive end. He wasn’t that bad overall, but he got outsized frequently in his matchups with Ayton. Not a lot he can do there. He also missed two wide open threes, which is enough to land him in the duds.

Celtics Ball Security: How often can you turn the ball over 20+ times and still win? The Celtics are set on finding this out. They were lucky to not see come back to bite them. There are only so many games teams will shoot 17% from 3 against you (probably one a season).

SO THAT HAPPENED…

There was a bit of a strange scene at the end of the fourth. With less than a minute to go in the game, Tristan Thompson and Torrey Craig both got technical fouls. They didn’t fight, but there was certainly a passionate exchange of words. It was enough to cause a scuffle, but nothing more. 

SWEAT THE BET

Phoenix was favored by 2 points going into this game so obviously anyone who took the Celtics in this one came away happy. The teams didn’t come close to the over under of 221 points. The Celtics’ record against the spread this year is 29-29.