BOSTON - Raise your hand if you thought Tyler Zeller was going to be the Celtics player to end Isaiah Thomas' 17-game team-leading high-scoring streak.
Your hand should not be up.
But on Friday night, it was Zeller who led the Celtics in scoring, tying a career-high with 26 points.
Of course Thomas, who finished with 20 points, didn't play a second of the fourth quarter due to the Celtics 20-plus point lead in the fourth. But regardless, this was a game where Zeller made the most of his opportunity, finishing 9-for-15 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line, while also blocking four shots.
Bucks coach Jason Kidd was perhaps too focused on limiting some players, he didn't consider a guy like Zeller.
"They were double-teaming Evan [Turner], blitzing the pick-and-roll guy," Zeller said, "so coaches kept saying get it out of your hands, get it to the bigs, let us make plays. Somehow I just ended up wide open every time I caught it and just had to make a couple layups."
Zeller was a big reason Boston finished with 70 points in the paint. He's also a big reason both Turner and Smart each finished with nine assists, as both players hit Zeller four times near the rim.
"Me and Zeller always have pretty great chemistry," Turner said. "He’s a big target, I think he makes sure he runs the floor and he’s always in the right spot. I think he made himself available and definitely helped us out a lot."
The feeling was mutual on Zeller's end.
"They were great," he said of Turner and Smart. "They put it right on the money and really like I said all I had to do was catch it and either get fouled or take it up strongly and finish. So it made my job very easy. They don't get enough credit for what they do."
Zeller wasn't even aware of Thomas' points streak, but said he didn't think Thomas would mind because of the way the team played and how they got the win.
He was right.
I’m so mad at him," Thomas joked. "No, no. I’m actually proud of him because he just works so hard and he took advantage of his opportunity tonight. I’m proud of him having a good game like he did."