|Thomas continues to lead in Celtic green.|
Anthony Davis set the tone early in the first quarter by slamming a monster alley-oop over Tyler Zeller. Davis continued to dominate the first half before going into the locker-room with a line of 16 points (8-13), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.
Davis and the Pels exposed Boston's lack of rim protection early, as New Orleans put up 28 points in the paint (to Boston's 16). Also of note, the Pelicans totaled 10 fast break points to the Celtics' 2. Nevertheless, Boston maintained the lead most of the second quarter.
Continuing his trend of effectiveness, Jae Crowder posted 5 points (2-3) and 4 rebounds by the midway point. Isaiah Thomas and Brandon Bass were also effective with respective halftime totals of 10 points (4-8) and 3 assists, and 6 points (3-5) to go with 1 assist and 1 steal.
A botched dunk attempt by Omer Asik just before half gave Brandon Bass a jump-shot opportunity to beat the buzzer, but Bass couldn't bury it. Boston went into the locker-room knotted with the Pels at 47.
The score remained tight in the third quarter, and it took a certain 5'9 point guard to be the difference-maker heading into the fourth. To break the tied ballgame, Isaiah Thomas splashed a beautiful teardrop over Anthony Davis for an and-1. Thomas hit the free-throw to bring Boston into the fourth quarter with a 71-68 lead.
Thomas carried his big-time effort into the final quarter, where he scored 14 points (at one point nailing back to back threes). After catalyzing the team, Thomas and the Celts never really looked back. The little man's big effort showed up in the final box score with an efficient 27 points (8-13 FG, 4-6 3PM, 7-8 FTM), and 3 assists.
Isaiah Thomas, smiling: "I like 4th quarters, I guess."— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) March 7, 2015
For the Pelicans, Anthony Davis did his typical damage, posting a dominant 29 points (11-21) to go with 14 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Tyreke Evans chipped in with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and a block, but was guilty of 7 turnovers.
The Pelicans shot the ball a bit better overall with figures of 47.5% from the field, 38.1% from distance, and 93.3% at the line to Boston's 45.6%, 43.5%, 88.0% respectively. Still, the Celtics' ball security and effective three-ball proved too much for the Pels.
Here's a look at the final box score for Boston:
The Celtics (25-35) continue action against the Magic (20-43) at 6:00 PM ET on Sunday in Orlando.
Photo courtesy of Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images Austin Gill 3/06/2015 10:25:00 PM Tweet Edit