Celtics

Celtics unpredictable as ever, thump Warriors 128-95

Celtics unpredictable as ever, thump Warriors 128-95

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Well, the Boston Celtics-Golden State game was a blowout . . . but not exactly how most expected. 

It was the Celtics, a team that came in struggling to compete let alone win games, jumped on the Warriors earlier and never let up in what was easily their best win of the season, a 128-95 blowout over the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. 

While it is far too soon to say what kind of domino effect a win of this caliber will have on the Celtics going forward, it was the kind of game that laid out the blueprint this team needs to focus on going forward if they are to start playing with the kind of consistency a team so many predicted would be among the last teams standing. 

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in Boston’s victory over the Golden State:

STARS

Gordon Hayward: Easily Gordon Hayward’s best “big-game” performance, finishing with a team-high 30 points. He becomes just the third Celtics player to score 30 or more points off the bench three or more times in the same season.

Stephen Curry: It was a relatively lackluster night for the two-time MVP. But even on nights like that, he still puts up good numbers. Curry led the Warriors with 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting with four assists.

Kyrie Irving: It was one of Kyrie Irving’s better balancing act-like performances as he finished with a double-double of 19 points and 11 assists.

☘️ CELTICS 128, WARRIORS 95

STUDS

Jayson Tatum: For most of the game, Jayson Tatum played with the kind of steady, aggressive demeanor at both ends of the floor that Boston needs to see more of going forward. He would finish with 17 points and five rebounds.

Jaylen Brown: It was a good sign that on a night when Gordon Hayward was dominant, the Celtics still got a strong game from Jaylen Brown who had 18 points off the bench on 8-for-16 shooting from the field.

Kevin Durant: The perennial All-Star didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (5-for-16), but spent a good bit of time at the free throw line and tallied 18 points.

DUDS

DeMarcus Cousins: Even before he got into a brief shooving match with Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier, Cousins was not on his game. At. All. He scored 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting while committing five personal fouls. 

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Here's who Celtics' Marcus Smart believes is NBA's most unstoppable player

Here's who Celtics' Marcus Smart believes is NBA's most unstoppable player

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, so he's uniquely qualified to speak on the debate over which player in the league is the most unstoppable.

Smart was posed this question in a recent video done by The Players' Tribune, and his pick for the league's most unstoppable player wasn't Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (when healthy, of course). 

It was Kawhi Leonard, who's in his first season with the Los Angeles Clippers after signing with them in free agency over the summer.

Check out Smart's rational behind choosing Leonard in the video below:

The Celtics and Clippers will square off for the first time this season Wednesday night at Staples Center. It's uncertain if either Leonard (load management) or Smart (right ankle sprain) will play, but if they do, fans will be treated to an epic matchup between one of the league's top five players and one of its finest defenders.

Load management works for Kawhi, so what about Kemba? >>>>

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App. 

The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Celtics fans, city of Boston unique?

The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Celtics fans, city of Boston unique?

Enes Kanter has played just six games for the Celtics, so the jury is still out on how he fits on the basketball court.

But the city of Boston already seems like a very good fit for the outspoken big man.

On the second episode of NBC Sports Boston's "The Enes Kanter Show," Kanter admitted to co-host Chris Forsberg he's already noticed a difference between Boston fans and the fans of other teams he's played for.

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"The one thing I love about Boston is, it's a very educational, very influential town," Kanter said.

"Whichever city I play for, people used to run at me and say, 'Good game last night, good double-double, good this, good that.' But now people are coming up to me and saying, 'Hey, I read your op-ed last night, it was amazing.'

"They're like, 'What you're doing is so brave, keep doing what you're doing.' And I'm like, 'Wow, they don't talk about just basketball. They talk about what's going on off the court too.' That really touched my heart, for sure."

Kanter has been an active critic of the Turkish government under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and has written op-eds in both The Boston Globe and the Washington Post since coming to Boston this offseason.

The 27-year-old also has met with several local politicians, including Massachusetts senator Ed Markey, to help him exercise his right to free speech in the face of pressure from Erdoğan.

Kanter's activism hasn't gone unnoticed in Boston, where fans are as liable to compliment him for his off-court work as they are for him helping the Celtics win.

Check out the full episode above or in the YouTube player below.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.