Wednesday night against the visiting Dallas Mavericks, Isaiah Thomas continued to do what he's done all season - put the Celtics on his back late in the game. This was an ugly game from the start, but the C's had managed to build themselves a 12 point lead midway through the 3rd quarter. That cushion evaporated and the Mavs had taken a 4-point advantage with 6:15 to go in the game. Unfortunately for Dallas Thomas came back and buried a trey on the another end that would only be the beginning of his onslaught.
IT dropped 22 points in the 4th quarter, and 20 of them were in those final 6 minutes. The C's went from trailing by 4, to winning 90-83 behind Thomas' offensive outburst. He was having a very forgettable game before making it rain late:
Isaiah qtr 1-3: 3 for 13 from field, 1 for 3 from foul line, 8 pts.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) November 17, 2016
Isaiah 4th qtr: 4 for 5 from field, 12 for 13 from the foul line, 22 pts
Getting to the free-throw line 13 times in 6 minutes means Isaiah was attacking, attacking, attacking. He's one of the best in the league at getting to the line - 7th overall according to Basketball Reference - and when he's attacking the basket or running the open floor Isaiah is in his element. He's not too shabby dropping a dime here and there too:
Most fans have probably noticed that Thomas has been coming up big late in games, but just how good has he been?
Isaiah Thomas is leading the NBA with 62.1 points per 48 minutes during fourth-quarter action this season.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) November 17, 2016
Isaiah Thomas now averaging 9.7 ppg in the fourth quarter. That's the second best number in the NBA behind Russell Westbrook.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) November 17, 2016
Russell Westbrook is good company. Those MVP chants raining down at the TD Garden are starting to get more and more validated. In fact, Isaiah and his backcourt partner Avery Bradley are hanging right there with last years MVP and his running mate:
Isaiah Thomas + Avery Bradley: 45.7 PTS, 11.6 REB, 10.0 AST, 37.4 3PT%— Mark Van Deusen (@LucidSportsFan) November 18, 2016
Steph Curry + Klay Thompson: 46.4 PTS, 6.6 REB, 8.4 AST, 39.9 3PT%
Celtics coach Brad Stevens was unfazed after seeing Thomas explode in the 4th, it's something he's become accustomed to:
Stevens on Thomas scoring 22 of his 30 in 4th: I guess I am so used to being around him and watching him operate that nothing surprises me.— Bill Doyle (@BillDoyle15) November 17, 2016
I've heard a thousand times that the Celtics need a real closer. 'Isaiah Thomas can't close out games because he's too small to find his own shot late in games'...blah, blah, blah. So far he's proving the doubters wrong. The Celtics problems have a lot more to do with rebounding the basketball than anything to do with the little guy who keeps defying logic and coming up big.
He may not be the same size, but he's got the same stones as our last closer - #three-four. When the game is on the line, IT is at his best.
When the funk really go down, who's really ready to ride?— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas) November 14, 2016
Photo Credit - Celtics.com
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 11/18/2016 12:44:00 PM Tweet Edit