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Celtics surge during 3-game win streak

(Photo courtesy of “Center Blake Griffin dives for ball in game against Jazz.”

Shaan Baid
Connector Staff 

The Boston Celtics are starting to look like the juggernaut that fans saw from the first half of the season. The team is now riding a 3-game win streak and sits just 1.5 games back from the Milwaukee Bucks for the number 1 seed.

It all started on March 21st with a statement 132-109 road win over the Sacramento Kings. Per StatMuse, Sacramento currently has the best offensive rating in the league. However, Boston did a relatively good job defensively, as they were able to force 14 turnovers.

Things started slowly in the first quarter as Boston was outscored 30-32, but from the 2nd quarter to the end, the Celtics gradually took over the game. Offensively, they were too much for the Kings to handle as small forward Jayson Tatum and shooting guard Jaylen Brown led the way for Boston. Tatum finished with 36 points on 14/25 shooting and Brown had 27 points on 10/17 shooting. Point guard Derrick White chipped in with a double-double as he had 20 points on 6/11 shooting and 12 assists. For Sacramento, center Domantis Sabonis had a triple-double with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Then, on March 24th at home, the Celtics took on the Indiana Pacers who they easily defeated 120-95. Like the Kings game, the score was close in the first quarter as Boston led 34-32.

However, they were able to slowly take over the game as they won the last 3 quarters by solid margins.

Once again, the top scorers were Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who took over the game. Tatum finished with 34 points on 14/25 shooting and Brown had 27 points on 10/17 shooting. Derrick White also contributed with 22 points on 7/17 shooting and 5/9 from beyond the arc. For Indiana, point guard Tyrese Haliburton and center Myles Turner had 20 points each in the losing effort. Haliburton shot 7/13 and Turner shot 9/13, although their efficiency didn’t affect the scoreboard as much.

Boston’s defense did an outstanding job as they forced 17 turnovers. Center Robert Williams III’s presence was felt as Boston’s defense was just on another level with him on the court. Williams had 3 steals and 3 blocks during the contest.

To end the weekend, the Celtics faced the lowly San Antonio Spurs who currently have the 2nd-worst record in the Western Conference. However, they entered this game without Jayson Tatum who was dealing with a left hip contusion. Despite this, the Celtics were able to cruise by with a comfortable 137-93 home win.

In the win, Jaylen Brown exploded for 41 points on 18/29 shooting along with 13 rebounds. Derrick White had another strong performance with 19 points on 7/11 shooting along with 8 rebounds. Point guard Malcolm Brogdon had 20 points on 6/12 shooting along with 9 assists. For San Antonio, center Zach Collins scored 21 points on 8/18 shooting in the losing effort.

Although Boston struggled in the first quarter, they were able to pull away and dominate the game the rest of the way; Boston held San Antonio to just 37.1% shooting from the field and totaled 11 blocks in the game. The Celtics were able to take care of business against an inferior opponent, something they have struggled with this year.

The Celtics then went on to face the Wizards, Bucks and Jazz all in the same week. Boston would go 2-1 over the stretch as they started with a loss to the Wizards 130-111, a dominating win against the Bucks 140-99 and a convincing 122-114 against the Utah Jazz.

Boston now has a 54-24 record for the season. They will go on the road to play the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday at 8:00 PM along with two home games against the Toronto Raptors before they end the regular season on April 9 with a home game against the Atlanta Hawks. If they continue to play at their level, then they will be in contest for the first seed in the East.

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