BOSTON – Kyrie Irving remains the headliner when it comes to the Celtics this season.
But lately, it has been the C's supporting cast – Terry Rozier specifically - that has taken center stage.
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Friday night was yet another impressive outing as Boston pulled away with a bench-led, fourth-quarter surge that paved the way for a 91-84 win over Minnesota at TD Garden.
And while there were plenty of backups ballin’ out for the Celtics (32-10, the play of Rozier once again stood out.
After leading all scorers with 20 points in the win over Cleveland on Wednesday, he was even more impressive on Friday night with a near double-double of 14 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes.
Boston also got a strong bench game from Marcus Smart, who led most of the Celtics in scoring most of the night before finishing with a team-high 18 points.
As a unit, they outscored their Minnesota backup brethren, 42-20.
And while Irving’s teammates off the bench were instrumental in the victory, the four-time All-Star had his usual moments in which he also dominated as he finished with a near triple-double of 16 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists.
As for the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns was as dominant a player as the Celtics have faced this season. He led Minnesota (24-16) with 25 points and 23 rebounds.
Timberwolves All-Star Jimmy Butler had 14 points and six assists for Minnesota which has now lost two in a row after winning seven of its previous eight games.
The way both teams shot the ball in the second half was significantly better than the frigid shooting display put on by both teams at the start of the game.
The easy explanation for the horrific shooting by both teams was to blame it on Mother Nature and the cold temps in Boston that maybe just maybe, factored into such cold shooting by both teams.
At the half, Boston held a slim 41-38 lead in large part by limiting the Timberwolves to 32.6 percent shooting.
But the Celtics weren’t much better, connecting on a not-so-great 39.1 percent of their shot attempts.
The third quarter was better for both teams in terms of shooting the ball.
Boston seemingly spread the offensive love around while Minnesota seemed to focus more on getting the ball into Butler as much as possible when he was matched up against Irving.
And unlike most games when teams try to do that, Irving was not able to effectively go back at the Timberwolves, who limited him to a rough shooting night most of the quarter.
But Irving had the last laugh, finishing the quarter with a drive that put the Celtics up 66-62 going into the fourth quarter.
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