The Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs are two teams headed in completely different directions and it showed on Sunday.
The title contending Celtics playing without Jayson Tatum, thrashed the tanking Spurs 137-93 at TD Garden. The Celtics were fueled by a monster second half in which they.out-scored the Spurs 69-35. Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 41 points which included 13-for-15 shooting in the restricted area.
Masked JB is a monster pic.twitter.com/rGKuUudlgw
— Honk The Bobo (@ColeyMick) March 27, 2023
The Celtics have now won seven of their last nine games and sit 1 and a half games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for second in the conference.
Despite the lopsided final score final score the game was close through the first 24 minutes. The Spurs went ahead early and led 32-30 at the end of the first. The Spurs pushed the lead to 8 points early in the second quarter but a late quarter 11-2 run put the Celtics up 9. The highlight of the run was a posterizing Jaylen Brown dunk in transition over Sandro Mamukelashvili. Brown ended the half with 26 points.
The Celtics still spent the first part of the third quarter playing with their food. The Spurs pulled within 6 with 9:15 left in the quarter. Al Horford knocked down a couple 3-pointers to get Boston going as the Celtics closed the quarter on a 24-11 run to push the lead to 19.
“We didn’t foul, we didn’t give up transition, we didn’t give up second chance,” Joe Mazzulla said after the game. “So when you’re playing teams and you’re winning like that throughout the game, those three things are what spurs runs, what spurs what changes momentum, and what gives teams opportunities.”
In the 4th, things got downright silly.
Boston pushed the lead to 30 with an 11-0 run to start the quarter. Jaylen Brown and the rest of the starters exited to a standing ovation less than half way through the quarter with the lead at 33. The bench mob didn’t let off the gas as the Celtics outscored the Spurs in the quarter 41-16.
What a moment for Jaylen Brown in Boston.#Celtics fans at TD Garden give him a standing ovation after his 41-Point effort vs the #Spurs pic.twitter.com/H19nldAUHu
— Celtics on CLNS (@CelticsCLNS) March 27, 2023
For Brown this was hits third 40 point game of the season, and continues the tear he’s been on over the past month. In the 14 games since returning from a facial fracture Brown has averaged 28.6 points on 51.8/37.6 shooting do go with 6.5 rebounds and 4 assists.
“When you get the opportunity to be the guy that everybody’s kind of leaning on, it’s a privilege, it’s an honor,” Brown said. “I don’t take those moments for granted. Every night, I strap my shoes up and I get my guys ready to go.”
The game was the third straight blowout for Boston who beat the Pacers by 25 on Friday and Sacramento by 23 on Wednesday. The last time the Celtics won three straight games at least 23 points was 1963.
The Celtics next game is on Tuesday at the Wizards. Then it’s a pivotal matchup against the Bucks in Milwaukee on Thursday which could be a potential Eastern Conference finals preview and could possibly take the one spot back in the East for the Celtics.