Celtics flip the switch in the 4th; overcome 15-point deficit in comeback win over Timberwolves, 99-93

The Celtics pulled off a remarkable 4th quarter comeback win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday night, with a final score of 99-93. The T-Wolves had dominated the game from early in the 2nd quarter behind big performances from both Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng. Towns finished the game with 21 points and 15 rebounds.

Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas led the C's with an efficient 29 points in 32 minutes, and big man Al Horford had another all around solid performance 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks.

The Timberwolves got off to a hot start behind 6 straight points to open the game from Karl-Anthony Towns, including this crazy step back jumper that illustrates just how freakishly athletic he is:

Towns finished the quarter with 10 points on 5-9 shooting, 6 rebounds, and a block - but the Celtics were able to bounce back from their slow start and hold a 23-21 lead heading into the 2nd. Their starters shared the load offensively, but it was mostly some hard-nosed defense that kept them in the game. They were able to hold the Wolves to 33% shooting in the quarter, 0-6 from 3pt land.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, but the Celtics were dominated on the glass in the 2nd quarter. The Wolves held a 26-15 advantage heading into the half. They were particularly bad at keeping Minnesota from getting 2nd chance opportunities.

A 14-2 run to close out the 2nd had Minnesota up 10 (52-42) at the break. Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas were the only Celtics that could be relied on scoring the basketball in the 1st half - finishing with 10 and 9 points respectively.

The 2nd half started with the two teams trading buckets for the first 5 minutes, and an illegal screen from Gorgui Dieng on Isaiah Thomas led to this comical altercation between the Wolves big man and the not-so-big C's point guard:

The scuffle sparked Isaiah to an 11 point quarter, but the Celtics continued to be overmatched by the T-Wolves bigs. They finished the 3rd up 81-68 with 50 of those points in the paint.

Marcus Smart was fired up on the sideline after the 3rd quarter, he was letting his team have it. Whatever he said worked, because the C's flipped the switch to spark a 17-0 run to start the 4th to take a 4 point lead. It was like two completely different teams came out of the huddles:

The run was capped off by this emphatic dunk by Terry Rozier in transition, who was the catalyst of the hot stretch scoring 8 of his 12 points in the 4th:

The Celtics defense ratcheted up in the final frame, holding the Timberwolves to 5 of 25 from the field in what was an incredible turn of events. Although they made up some ground at the end of the game, they were still ultimately out rebounded 51-39. They gave up 58 total points in the paint, but still never quit. Not sure the same can be said about their opponents, who looked lethargic and totally overwhelmed once the C's got rolling late.

Rozier has an idea as to why the Wolves faded down the stretch:

Kudos to Brad Stevens for not letting them off them hook. Here's the numbers from the final frame:

That's a helluva finish.

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Photo Credit - Celtics.com

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