Stars, studs and duds: Brown the difference-maker in huge win vs Warriors

Stars, studs and duds: Brown the difference-maker in huge win vs Warriors

BOSTON – This was not one of Kyrie Irving’s better games. But to his credit, he did what the game’s best players do and that’s deliver when the game matters most. 

Irving scored seven of Boston’s last nine points which lifted them to a 92-88 victory over Golden State. 


He finished with 16 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter with the bulk of those fourth quarter points – seven actually – coming from the free throw line.

“He got to the free throw line a lot. That’s it. He didn’t make no shots,” said Draymond Green. “He got to the free throw line. Whether they were fouls or not, that’s a whole other discussion. He got to the free throw line.”

And in doing so, gave the Celtics their best win of the season. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 92-88 win over Golden State to extend the Celtics’ winning streak to 14 in a row. 


Kyrie Irving:  The final numbers for Kyrie Irving – 16 points on 4-for-16 shooting – don’t look good. But Irving gave the Celtics just enough down the stretch for them to get the victory. 

Kevin Durant: The Warriors rarely lose, let alone lose on a night when Durant has an efficient game shooting the ball. He led all scorers with 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting along with three, rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots. 

Jaylen Brown: Kyrie Irving’s late-game heroics aside, Brown was the difference-maker for Boston. He led the Celtics with 22 points along with being a spark defensively to some of the team’s biggest runs against the Warriors.


Al Horford: One of the few Celtics who shot the ball well, Horford had a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds which came on 7-for-11 shooting. 


Marcus Smart: Smart missed all seven of his shots from the field and finished with just one point. Boston has continued to find ways to win, but it’s getting harder and harder to do so with Smart struggling so mightily from the field night-in and night-out. 

Golden State backcourt: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are arguably the best backcourt in the NBA, but you would not have known it by the way they shot the ball on Thursday night. The two all-stars tallied 22 points but did so on a horrific 8-for-32 shooting from the field.



Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

File Photo

Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas back in green? Maybe there's a chance after all.

The former Celtics guard, now with the Lakers, started a Q&A session on Twitter and was asked whether he'd consider returning to Boston this offseason. This was his answer...

That's not a no.

Thomas has had a rough go of it since leaving the Celtics. His brief tenure in Cleveland didn't go according to plan, and things haven't gotten a whole lot better out in L.A. The 29-year-old is averaging 15.3 points per game just a year after averaging 28.9 with Boston.

Let the speculation begin.


Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Al Horford understands that there’s plenty of blame pie to go around following Boston’s 108-89 loss to New Orleans. 

Considering how Pelicans stud Anthony Davis dominated the game on so many levels Sunday night, Horford was quick to acknowledge his role in the loss. 

“[Davis] was able to get behind our defense a lot,” Horford told reporters after the loss. “Some mistakes on my end; gotta give him credit. He dominated tonight. I’ll definitely take the blame for that.”

Davis finished with a double-double of 34 points and 11 rebounds, a total that would have been higher if not for the game being so lopsided which allowed Davis to head to the bench early in the fourth. 

MORE - Blakely's stars, studs, and duds from C's-Pelicans

And Horford’s struggles defensively were just as problematic on offense as the five-time All-Star tallied just six points on 3-for-11 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists. 

Boston has been a team whose collective sums have fueled their success. 

But Horford understands he has to be a high impact performer, a job that’s even more vital when key starters like Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) are out as well as top reserves Marcus Smart (right thumb) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus). 

And by Horford’s own admission, he just didn’t bring it on Sunday at a level to give him and the Celtics a legit shot at winning the game.

“Defensively we had too many breakdowns,” Horford said. “And the game got away from us in the second half. So there’s no excuses. I didn’t give us a chance, either; missing a lot of looks offensively. I just need to be better.”

And he’ll have to be if Boston (47-23) is to get back on track with a win on Tuesday against a talented Oklahoma City squad led by Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. 

At full strength, the Thunder would be a significant challenge for the Celtics. 

But having a roster with a number of key players out with injuries, it becomes even more imperative for Boston’s top players to elevate their play. 

And as you scan this Celtics roster and examine those who are healthy enough to play, it’s clear that Horford more than any other Boston player, has to find a way to become more impactful.

Certainly, more points and rebounds would help. 

But as we’ve seen time and time again with Horford, often his greatest contributions to winning games don’t necessarily show up in the final box score. 

That being said, a six-point, four-rebound game doesn’t cut it. 

Horford has to be better, something he knows better than anyone. 

“I’ll definitely look at the film and see how I can be better individually,” Horford said. “The good thing about the NBA, is we have a chance to play on Tuesday. Hopefully we’ll learn from this game and be ready to go Tuesday at home.”