Isaiah drives by Brian Roberts. Photo from Jim Tlumackl / Boston Globe
The Celtics dominated the Hornets tonight behind a great fourth quarter. As well as outstanding two-way play by Al Horford, and a brilliant offensive performance from Isaiah Thomas. Jonas Jerebko drew the start again for the Celtics as Brad Stevens continues to search for the right mix. Jerebko himself contributed a key tip in late in the fourth quarter as the Celtics were cementing their victory. The keys to the win:
Al Freaking Horford
Al Horford hosted a block party on Friday, blocking FIVE #Hornets shots. WATCH them all here
– CSN New England (@CSNNE) December 17, 2016
Seriously watch that video. Al Horford blocked 5 shots, and that wasn’t it either. Horford threw in 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists for good measure.
At one point in the second half Al Horford received a pass from one corner, drove a closeout, and dished the ball to the opposite corner where Kelly Olynyk was waiting and made a three. He got points, or drew fouls, operating out of the post and backing down the weak Spencer Hawes. He drained open 3s, boxed out for rebounds, and was blocking and altering shots all over the place.
Horford was a machine.
Isaiah Thomas Is a Big In the 4th Quarter
IT gets his revenge, rattling a three in Belinelli’s eye. #Celtics have their biggest lead of the game 87-79.- Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) December 17, 2016
The Celtics dominated the fourth quarter and Isaiah was big for the team. Isaiah was great offensively all game, but the fourth quarter in close games is when the Celtics need him the most. And he delivered tonight in a big way.
Isaiah Thomas gotta be kidding me with this pass?
– Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 17, 2016
Isaiah Thomas finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists.
I’ll let some other Celtics media, and Brad Stevens, do the talking for me here:
This dominant defensive performance is the kind that’ll count as about 1. 5 good defensive games when it comes to moving up league rankings.
– Marc D’Amico (@Marc_DAmico) December 17, 2016
Stevens: Their defense was great. We threw it to their team 5 times in the 1st quarter. We had opportunities, but didn’t maximize them.- Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 15, 2016
The Hornets missed Kemba Walker, but the Celtics perimeter defense was as good as it has been all year long.- Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) December 17, 2016
The Celtics played a great defensive game. Holding the Hornets to 32% shooting from the field and 26% from behind the arc. The Hornets have some great shooting on the team too. Batum, Belinelli, Lamb, Hawes, and Marvin Williams. They have guys that can get hot and drain some threes. The Celtics defended them well tonight.
Very Short Lived Home-Stand
The Celtics will play the Miami Heat, in Miami, on Sunday. The game will begin at 6:00 PM Eastern time.