Celtics

Celtics

There haven’t been many silver lining nights for the Celtics as of late because they’ve been winning games.

But on Tuesday night, despite the frustrating turnovers and the inability to stop anybody on the Bucks from scoring at the basket, there was a silver lining.

The Celtics’ never-say-die attitude was once again on display.

Yes, they flat out stunk in the third quarter that saw them get outscored 40-20. But rather than roll over and die down 19 points in the fourth quarter, the Celtics kept chipping away.

For starters, they stopped turning the ball over. Boston had 18 turnovers through three quarters. In the fourth quarter? Zero. Aside from that, they attacked the rim. Though the C’s did go 4-for-8 from deep in the quarter, Boston scored 16 points in the paint (after only 28 through three quarters) and went 7-for-7 from the line. Their six offensive rebounds in the quarter contributed to nine second-chance points, too.

The Celtics never felt as if the game was out of reach, and sure enough they were looking at a one-possession game with just under a minute left and a tie game with 24 seconds left after a Jae Crowder three-pointer.

“I think we can play with anybody, we know that, and we’re never out of the game,” Crowder told reporters. “I think that’s the only thing you can take from this. We’re never out of the game no matter the score. We’re just always going to give ourselves a chance to win at the end of the game.”

The ending was wacky. Greg Monroe hit a turnaround hook with a second left to go up two points. Kelly Olynyk was fouled on the C’s out-of-timeout inbounds pass, went to the line and hit two free throws. And then Khris Middleton was fouled by Avery Bradley on the Bucks’ out-of-timeout inbounds pass. He hit one and purposely missed the other, and with no Celtics timeouts remaining, that was the game.

But the C’s deserve credit for it even coming down to that.

“Absolutely. That’s the NBA. No lead is really safe,” Evan Turner told reporters. “And basketball is a game of runs, they went on their run, we went on our run. Unfortunately, they had the last shot. They stayed tough, they weathered the storm, and they played well.”