BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics once again found themselves off to a slow start Saturday night, but a late surge changed that and the game as a whole for that matter, as Boston rallied in the second quarter to take a 57-53 lead into the half.
The Celtics trailed 49-42 in the second quarter when Brad Stevens called a time-out with 5:35 to play.
Whatever his message was, it rang loud and clear to his players who performed at a completely different level following the stoppage of play.
From there, Boston went on a 15-4 run to close out the quarter with contributions coming from several Celtics.
The turning point of the run came at the 2:05 mark, which is when Al Horford hit a 3-pointer that gave Boston its first lead of the night, 52-51.
On the ensuing defensive possession, Boston got a stop that led to Isaiah Thomas being fouled with 1:49 to play in the half.
Thomas made both free throws to increase Boston’s lead to 54-51 as part of an end of the quarter run that put Boston back in control of the game after what had been a sluggish start.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of Saturday’s game.
Anthony Davis: From the outset, Davis was on another level from the rest of the field. It seemed he was able to score whenever he wanted to. At the half he led all scorers with 19 points in addition to grabbing six rebounds.
Marcus Smart: Filling in for an injured Avery Bradley (right Achilles soreness), Smart was getting it done at both ends of the floor. At the half, he led the Celtics with 15 points and four assists along with two steals.
Jrue Holiday: The former all-star is slowly but surely returning to form after missing games at the start of the season to be with his wife who was ill at the time. He had eight points in the first half along with four assists.
Isaiah Thomas: Just another ho-hum first half for Thomas, who had 11 points and three rebounds.
Al Horford: He made a big shot that gave Boston its first lead of the game, but other than that Horford has been very ineffective. He has three points at the half, missing seven of the eight shot attempts he has taken. But in typical Horford fashion, he’s found other ways to contribute, tallying four rebounds and four assists.