LONDON -- So this is what a well-rested, non-restricted Marcus Morris looks like, huh?
For weeks, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has talked about how important a healthy Morris will be to the Celtics’ chances of being the best version of themselves.
The folks here in London got an eyeful on Thursday night as Morris delivered one of his best performances to date in helping Boston rally from 22 points down to defeat Philadelphia 114-103.
“I felt good,” said Morris who told NBC Sports Boston earlier in the week that he would play tonight without any minutes restrictions. “First time just being out there and not worrying about the six-minute mark, the five-minute mark.”
Morris, who had 19 points in Thursday's win, has missed 21 games this season with left knee soreness.
The Celtics are certainly benefiting from his shot-making, as well as defense.
But he also brings a certain brand of toughness, an edge to the game that sometimes rubs some players the wrong way.
With less than five minutes to play and the game’s momentum having been fully swung in Boston’s favor, Sixers Ben Simmons laid a hard shoulder into an unsuspecting Morris who, on offense at the time, was sent tumbling to the ground. It was ruled a foul on Simmons, but Morris immediately jumped to his feet and pushed Simmons before players and officials stepped in.
Morris was whistled for a technical foul that led to a free throw made by J.J. Redick who led all scorers with 22 points.
Afterwards, Morris went to the free throw line and made a pair that increased Boston’s lead to 107-91.
“Strong hit,” said Simmons when asked to describe what happened. “I guess he didn’t like it. That’s about it.”
Morris believes Simmons was frustrated at how the game was playing out.
“He took a cheap shot,” said Morris, a Philadelphia native. “But it’s all right. I take a lot of cheap shots too. It’s good to see Philly got some … tougher guys. I promise you that won’t happen again. It is what it is. Hopefully I won’t get fined for that.”