Last night's game against Golden State had it all. A victory over a powerful team. Jaylen Brown having a terrific game at home after the death of his childhood friend. Gordon Hayward sitting behind the Celtics bench cheering his team mates on. Kyrie Irving getting fed up with his protective mask and ditching it. A 19-0 run and a comeback from a 17-point deficit. A 14-game winning streak. What did I miss?
According to stats czar Dick Lipe, #Celtics win tonight only 2nd in the last 35 years they shoot <33% and win. 32.3% vs. Hawks 2/11/15 (W 89-88)
Brown really filled the stat sheet with 22 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Al Horford had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Irving had another good game with 16 points, 5 rebounds and six assists. The most important stats were the 92-to-88 win with Boston shooting a terrible 32.9% from the field. Stephen Curry, returning to action after a thigh contusion, had an off night shooting 21.4% on field goal attempts.
Other key numbers are in the tweet below. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Golden State is two-and-three against Boston and 180-35 against everybody else. Couple those numbers with our win after shooting 32.9% and it clearly shows the power of the Celtics defense, which works nicely against the Warriors. Coach Brad Stevens simply knows how to play his guys against Golden State.
Warriors since the start of the 2015-16 season (including playoffs)
This Celtics team has been carefully constructed to withstand even major setbacks, some of which were on display last night. The cheers for temporarily-fallen star Gordon Hayward were heart-felt. Jaylen's bravery and focus in the face of such a loss was story book. Your best friends are the ones you have as a child. Kyrie chucking his mask was great. He wasn't going to let a bit of protective plastic hamper his play against a powerful foe. And we sometimes forget this is virtually a new team that supposedly needed time to come together. This team was constructed as a strong unit, and it is guided by a basketball mastermind. I am proud to be writing about such a special group.