Celtics storm back with 19-0 run, beat Timberwolves, 99-93

Celtics storm back with 19-0 run, beat Timberwolves, 99-93

Now that the Boston Celtics’ roster is relatively healthy, players on the second unit can now fall into familiar roles that they’ll be counted on to play this season. 

And their play was pivotal to Boston rallying for a 99-93 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. 


Isaiah Thomas led the way for Boston with 29 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. 

Boston trailed 81-66 near the end of the third quarter, the kind of deficit that’s difficult to overcome … unless you’re playing the Timberwolves who are one of the league’s worst teams in the second half of games this season. 

Minnesota had a solid third quarter but completely fell apart in the fourth as the Celtics went on a 19-0 run to end the third that carried into the fourth which was capped off by Terry Rozier drilling a 3-pointer followed by a one-handed dunk that made it 85-81. 

Rozier, who had 12 points, wasn’t the only Celtics reserve coming up big for the Celtics. 

Marcus Smart hit a pair of 3s in the first half, and stepped up his play defensively and on the boards in the second. He finished with nine points, six rebounds and five assists. 

Jonas Jerebko had five points but did a lot of positive things defensively for the Celtics (8-6), winners of their last two games – both on the road.

The Timberwolves got another strong game from Karl-Anthony Towns who showed once again why he’s one of the more promising big men in the NBA. 

He finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds. 

Gorgui Dieng gave the Celtics problems as well with 18 points and eight rebounds. 

For Boston, this was a game in which they found a way to win in large part because of what they were able to do defensively, forcing Minnesota to miss 20 of their 23 shots from the field in the fourth quarter. 

Boston also got another solid all-around performance from Al Horford who had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists with none bigger than an errant pass to him in the paint that he tapped out to Marcus Smart for a 3-pointer in the fourth that was one of the many big shots to bury the Timberwolves (4-9) whose play reinforced the belief that they are in fact the worst second-half team in the league. 

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Reserve-heavy Celtics keep at it, top Trail Blazers

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Reserve-heavy Celtics keep at it, top Trail Blazers

1:13 - The Celtics came away with a 105-100 win in Portland on Friday night. Find out why Chris Mannix is calling this the best Celtics win of the season.

6:05 - Mannix discusses details about Kyrie Irving’s ‘minimally invasive’ procedure on his knee and what his level of concern is with A. Sherrod Blakely and Gary Tanguay.

10:03 - Michael Holley and Tom Curran discuss what NFL players, including Devin McCourty, are doing beyond the gridiron by being active in criminal justice reform discussions held at Harvard this week.



Morris getting it done for Celtics on both ends of the floor

Morris getting it done for Celtics on both ends of the floor

When you think about Marcus Morris these days, big-time scoring immediately comes to mind. 

But in Boston’s 105-100 comeback win over Portland, Morris’ contributions went beyond the game-high 30 points he dropped on the Blazers.

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“Coach (Brad Stevens) is doing a great job of getting me the ball in my spots and my teammates are finding me,” Morris told reporters after the win. “And I’m just coming through.”

He’s providing strong play and a tremendous presence at both ends of the floor which has been critical to the team navigating some choppy waters with a number of regular rotation players – namely Kyrie Irving – out with injuries.

“One thing is, he’s healthy,” said Boston’s Al Horford, referring to the sore knee that limited Morris earlier this season and at times forced him to miss games. “And the other is, he’s just more confident, he’s playing very assertive. He’s playing great right now, in a really good rhythm.”

Said Stevens: “That’s been him (Morris). As he’s continued to feel better; I think physically he’s felt as good as he’s felt. He’s comfortable in our system and we need him to score. If you’re a basketball player and your job is to score, that’s a pretty good job.”

And it’s one that even with all the injuries Boston has played through, few envisioned him being such an integral part of the offense. 

Morris’ calling card prior to arriving in Boston was his defense. 

But Morris has made it known that his focus on the floor is to be as complete a player as possible.

“I’m not trying to just limit myself to just being that scorer,” Morris said. “Also, on the defensive end I think I’m bringing it; my defense has gotten a lot better, especially my on-the-ball defense. I’m trying to be that all-around player and not just an offensive player … but I can score.”