Stars, Studs and Duds: Bradley the C's best performer vs. Warriors

Stars, Studs and Duds: Bradley the C's best performer vs. Warriors

BOSTON --  The final box score shows that the Boston Celtics were outscored by the Golden State Warriors in three of the four quarters played.

But it was the third quarter more than the others that buried the Celtics, who wound up losing, 104-88.
Golden State (10-2) opened the third with a 24-3 run and finished outscoring Boston by a decisive 31-9 margin.
“That was incredible to start the third quarter off the right way,” said Golden State’s Draymond Green. “The one thing we’ve been talking about is, starting the half off the right way. We made a conscious effort to make sure we’re better at that. Not sure we thought we’d be 24-3 good, but that was amazing.”
The deficit reached the 30-point plateau which led to mass substitutions for the Celtics who will return to the floor tonight to take on the Detroit Pistons.
“It was bad,” said Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, who played just 27 minutes. “We gave up.”
When asked specifically about what went wrong for the Celtics in the third quarter, Thomas said, “We couldn’t score and they did. What we did well last year with them, even though they went on runs, we held our own and we were able to score right back on them.”
He was referring to Boston’s double overtime loss at the Garden and the Celtics’ win at Golden State on April Fool’s Day. But Friday was a different Golden State team with the addition of Kevin Durant.
And unfortunately for Boston, they too were a different team at least in the way they played.
“Hey, they’re really good, and we all know that,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “But you can’t have droughts. You just can’t have droughts against them.”
Here are the stars, studs and duds from Friday night’s game:

Klay Thompson: On the trading block, what? The Warriors quickly came out and denied they have any interest in trading Thompson and we all saw why on Friday. He absolutely torched the Celtics with a game-high 28 points on 12-for-21 shooting to go with five rebounds and three assists.
Kevin Durant:
For most of the night, it felt like Durant could score anytime he wanted to. He finished 23 points which came on an efficient 10-for-13 shooting night. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out seven assists.
Avery Bradley: The game seemed all but over going into the fourth, but Bradley stayed on the floor and made it a competitive game. He got a good round of applause when he left the floor with three minutes to play. He tallied a team-leading seventh double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to go with two assists.

Stephen Curry: The fact that he struggled to make shots (16 points, 7-for-20 shooting) was just part of the struggles Curry had. He also struggled defensively to keep whoever had the ball, in front of him. Not the kind of game you expect to see from a two-time league MVP. 

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.”