BOSTON -- We all know how much the Boston Celtics love the 3-ball.
Lately, that feeling has apparently been mutual because the Celtics have done more than just hit a few more 3’s than usual.
They are on a historically red-hot pace which was on display Saturday night in their 117-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Boston (23-14), winners of five straight at home, made 18 of their 36 three-pointers taken.
It was the fourth straight game Boston has made at least 15 three-pointers, a feat that has been done just two other times in NBA history.
And according to stat czar Dick Lipe, Boston had just three games with 17 or more made 3’s in their first 6,118 games played.
But since then, they’ve met or eclipsed the 17 made 3’s mark in each of their last four games.
“We’re playing to our strengths and we’re taking what the defense gives us,” said Kelly Olynyk who was one of six Celtics to make at least one 3-pointer on Saturday. “We don’t have a lot of guys that you’re throwing the ball in and posting up 10, 12, 15 times a game, so a lot of movement, a lot of ball screens, make guys help, draw and kick and knock down shots.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens doesn’t see a significant difference in the caliber of 3-pointers Boston is taking now, compared to the looks they were getting a few weeks ago.
“We talked about those will come back, we’ll make a few of those now,” Stevens said. “It’s just kind of the way the world works; sometimes you make them, sometimes you don’t but you always try to focus on doing everything you can to get the right shot.”
It’s not all that unusual for a player or two to get into a nice rhythm shooting 3’s, but it seems just about every player Boston runs on to the floor is connecting from long range.
“Threes are more contagious than the flu,” quipped Olynyk. “Which is pretty contagious at this point.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday’s game.
Isaiah Thomas: When the Celtics started to show some slippage in the fourth quarter, it was Thomas who once again restored order for Boston. He led all scorers with 38 points, 17 of which came in the fourth.
Anthony Davis: Like most teams, the Celtics had problems limiting the 6-foot-10 all-star on the perimeter as well as around the basket. He finished with a team-high 36 points on an efficient 14-for-22 shooting night along with grabbing 15 rebounds which led all players.
Marcus Smart: He stepped in for Avery Bradley and truth be told, the Celtics didn’t miss a beat. He had a season-high 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting which included him connecting on all three of his 3-point attempts. In addition, Smart managed to tally six assists with five rebounds and two steals.
Langston Galloway: After getting down by 20 going into the fourth quarter, Galloway led the way as the Pelicans chipped away at Boston’s lead, coming within seven points with less than a minute to play. He had 20 points off the bench to go with four rebounds.
Kelly Olynyk: This was one of those nights when Olynyk did a lot of nice little things that collectively put them in position to escape with the victory. He finished with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting along with four rebounds and three assists.
Al Horford: This was a really bad game for Horford in terms of scoring the ball as he tallied just eight points on 3-for-18 shooting. But to his credit, he found ways to help elsewhere. Horford also tallied a team-high eight assists while also hauling down seven rebounds which also led the Celtics who were playing without their No. 2 scorer and top rebounder, shooting guard Avery Bradley (right Achilles soreness).