The Celtics dispatched the Nuggets, 121-101, in Pepsi Center tonight. Nearly every Celtic who hit the hardwood found their way to double figures in scoring as seven C's scored at least 10 points. Isaiah Thomas (22 pts, 12 ast) secured a double-double and led all Celtics scorers. But a monster night from Nikola Jokic (23 pts, 13 reb, 10-15 FG%) kept the Nuggets within striking distance all game.
The Celtics took a commanding lead in the first quarter as a 17-2 run gave Boston a double digit advantage with four minutes left in the period. Led by Evan Turner (17 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast) in the quarter, the C's never looked back and ended the quarter up by nearly 20, 35-17.
The second quarter was more of the same as the Celtics extended their lead to 26 about halfway through the second. Tyler Zeller (9 pts, 4 reb) even made his mark off the bench, notching six of his nine points in the paint during the quarter. But on the other side, Jokic fought inside against the Celtics bigs to post 10 points, with one more from the charity stripe, but Boston cruised to a 64-49 lead going into halftime.
Then, coming out of halftime, the Nuggets rallied to climb to within single digits. Jokic nailed a three-pointer to make it a five point game with 8 1/2 minutes left in the third. Sloppy passing and turnovers defined the opening minutes of the second half for Boston, as Denver was able to capitalize and work their way back into the game on fastbreak buckets. Danilo Gallinari (17 pts, 3 reb), Emmanuel Mudiay (18 pts, 5 reb, 3 ast) and Will Barton (10 pts, 5 reb) guided the Nuggets back into the game. But the C's wouldn't have it. Thomas and Jae Crowder (13 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast) staved off the Denver run and brought Boston back to a double digit lead.
The fourth quarter wouldn't see much change as the Celtics were able to continue to hold off the Nuggets. The rookies saw time as Jordan Mickey, Terry Rozier, and RJ Hunter all were subbed in in the last few minutes of the game. Mickey did not tally a block, but scored on a putback from his own miss, and Rozier tallied an assist on a feed to Jerebko who slammed it home.
Celtics complete the season sweep of the Denver Nuggets, and head to Minnesota for a matchup with Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves tomorrow night.
Topher Lane is on Twitter, @Topher_L. Photo cred: celtics.com/Getty Images Topher Lane 2/21/2016 07:56:00 PM Tweet Edit