BOSTON -- Mother Nature blanketed New England with a healthy dose of snow on Saturday, making it difficult for most to get around.
While traffic may have been at a near-standstill on many streets, the Boston Celtics were at the TD Garden doing what they do a lot of these days -- rolling along to victory.
This time it was the New Orleans Pelicans whose fast start could not hold up to a furious second quarter Celtics surge as Boston won 117-108.
Boston’s lead peaked at 20 at the end of the third quarter, which was when it seemed the inevitable Celtics lull would set in at some point in the fourth quarter.
Langston Galloway’s 3-pointer with less than five minutes to play made it a 109-99 game. But back-to-back 3-pointers by Isaiah Thomas restored Boston’s control of the game as well as get the crowd -- at least those who stuck around -- something to cheer about.
Thomas led all scorers with 38 points on 13-for-24 shooting. He was 6-for-11 on 3's and the Celtics as a team were 18-for-36 from 3-point range, becoming just the third team in NBA history to have four consecutive games with at least 15 made 3-pointers.
But the Pelicans weren’t done.
They got a little closer when ex-Celtic E’Twaun Moore scored on a short floater in the lane that made it a 115-108 game with less than a minute to play.
Boston (23-14) extended its winning streak at the TD Garden to five in a row which is part of a stretch in which the Celtics have won 10 of their last 12 games.
For those who braved the elements to come to the TD Garden or stayed nice and toasty at home while watching it on CSN, there was a lot to not like early on if you were a Celtics fan.
New Orleans (14-24), winners in four of their last six games, opened the game with an 8-0 scoring blitz which seemingly caught the Celtics off-guard.
Boston spent the rest of the first quarter and most of the second trying to recover from the early deficit, a similar predicament the Celtics found themselves in on Friday night against Philadelphia, a game in which Boston rallied in the fourth quarter to escape with a 116-110 win.
The game’s momentum on Saturday shifted in Boston’s favor following a time-out in which the Celtics were trailing 49-42 at the time.
Boston’s Marcus Smart drained a 3-pointer out of the time-out, a shot that would be the first of many shots made by the Celtics as they closed out the second quarter with a 15-4 run that put them ahead 57-53 at the half.
The third quarter saw Boston’s control of the game continue to grow, as did the players contributing to the run.
Smart, filling in for Avery Bradley (sore right Achilles injury), once again made the most of his chance to play with the first group even though Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has often referred to him as the team’s sixth starter.
The Celtics weren’t even in the fourth quarter by the time Smart had finished his scoring for the night with 22 points, the most he has scored at the TD Garden this season.
And Thomas, like the rest of his teammates, got off to a slow start.
But he too began to heat up as the Celtics steadily pulled away in large part because of their red-hot shooting from 3-point range.
The Celtics went into the fourth with a commanding 93-73 lead, just one quarter away from delivering a solid victory to keep rolling along with their winning ways on a night when their fans relished the victory while most likely spending a lot of time moving slowly along the snow-covered, traffic-filled streets of Boston.