And to think, this was supposed to be the easiest game for the Boston Celtics on this West coast road trip.
That was so not the case against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday as they seemingly had the Celtics beat only for Boston to stage a late-game surge that propelled them to an improbable 116-109 overtime win.
Phoenix star Devin Booker hit a floating bank-shot with 3:45 to play in the fourth quarter that pushed the Suns lead to 94-80.
Boston put the clamps on defensively from there as they closed out the fourth with a furious 20-6 run to force overtime.
With the momentum in their favor, the Celtics picked up where they left off in the fourth and in doing so, picked up a much-needed victory which snapped a two-game losing skid.
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s come-from-behind win.
Kyrie Irving: By no means was this one of Irving’s better games, but he did what he had to do in order to carry the Celtics to victory in a game that for most of the night, they did not play well enough to win. He finished with a game-high 39 points on 13-for-28 shooting to go with seven rebounds and six assists.
Devin Booker: The Suns have lauded Booker for his potential as a playmaker, something the Celtics saw up close on Thursday night. In addition to splashing a bevy of 3-pointers which is commonplace for Booker, he also got a number of teammates involved. For the night, he tallied a near double-double of 38 points on 15-for-30 shooting to go with nine assists.
T.J. Warren Jr.: His playing time has fluctuated a bit lately, but Thursday’s performance showed he’s not quite ready to give up his spot in the rotation. He was on the scoring prowl from the jump and finished with 29 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field.
Jaylen Brown: It was indeed a solid night for Brown who came through with some big shots during Boston’s surge in the fourth quarter and overtime, and finished with 17 points and six rebounds for the night.
DeAndre Ayton: His rookie of the year resume just keeps on growing with each passing game. The No. 1 overall pick in last June’s draft finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum: Easily one of the worst games Tatum has had as a professional shooting the ball, finishing with just four points while missing six of his seven shot attempts from the field.
Celtics defense: They got the win, but there were a number of mistakes and miscues defensively that allowed Phoenix to play with control for most of the night. They were better in the second half, for sure. But they can’t bank on winning too many games playing as poorly as they did defensively for most of the night.
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