There was no way to get around it.
For three quarters of Saturday’s game against Charlotte, Avery Bradley did not look good.
Not at all.
So down the stretch, what did head coach Brad Stevens do?
He called Bradley’s number … a lot.
And the veteran guard delivered in helping lead Boston to a 121-114 win behind a 24-10 run to close out the game.
Bradley finished with 15 points, 11 of which came in the decisive fourth quarter.
“Hey, we need Avery to make shots,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said after the win. “We need Avery to be great. Avery was exceptional in that stretch in the fourth quarter.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the Saturday’s game against
Once again the best scorer in the East came up big when it mattered – the fourth quarter. Thomas finished with a game-high 32 points which included nine in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics had major problems defending Batum who seemingly got anything he wanted offensively. He had a team-high 31 points for the Hornets on 11-for-23 shooting with eight rebounds and three assists.
These are games in which the final stat line doesn’t do justice to the impact of Marcus Smart. His ability to get his hands on loose balls and force turnovers was a huge factor in Boston getting the victory. Despite missing six of his eight shots from the field, he had six assists and two blocked shots along with grabbing four rebounds.
It was a steady night offensively for Walker. The former UConn star had 23 points on 7-for-19 shooting in addition to tallying a game-high eight assists.
A key performer in helping Boston pull ahead by as many as 19 points, Crowder had 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting with nine rebounds and three assists.
A fill-in starter for Amir Johnson (sick), Olynyk had a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds with four assists before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Scoring is Lamb’s most attractive skill, and it was on full display Saturday night. He had 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go with five rebounds and two blocked shots.
While they certainly have to feel good about how they locked down in the fourth quarter and got the win, tonight was yet another game in which they gave up entirely too many points. This is something they have to improve upon in these last two regular season games.