It was an especially gradual begin for the Celtics, who put up simply 20 factors within the first quarter – their lowest complete within the beginning interval all season. They held the Suns to simply 24, however Phoenix shortly picked up the tempo, outscoring Boston 33-24 within the second.
Boston failed to seek out any kind of rhythm on the offensive finish, taking pictures simply 15-of-40 from the sector and 6-of-21 from distance within the first half. Jayson Tatum, particularly, actually struggled. He didn’t rating his first factors till the three:35 mark within the second quarter, leaving Jaylen Brown to hold the load within the scoring column (14 first-half factors). Brown ended the evening with a team-high 27 factors.
Tatum shot simply 3-of-15 from the ground and 3-of-10 from distance.
Malcolm Brogdon was additionally instrumental in retaining the Celtics afloat, as his first-half shot creation led to 10 factors on 4-of-7 taking pictures. With Tatum struggling, he supplied Boston with a much-needed second possibility.
With Devin Booker sidelined, it was Mikal Bridges who stepped up for the Suns, pouring in 25 factors. Chris Paul additionally chipped in with 15 factors, six boards, and eight assists.
Phoenix was up by as many as 20 factors within the second quarter, however the Celtics battled again and minimize the lead all the way down to 13 by halftime, and halfway via the third quarter, Boston was again inside 5. Tatum’s seven free throws did a quantity on the Suns, as he dropped 10 factors within the third to guide the Celtics in scoring.
Regardless of Tatum’s free-throw extravaganza, protection reigned supreme within the third quarter, as Boston held the Suns to simply 17 factors. Phoenix shot simply 7-of-22 from the sector and didn’t document a single three-point make on 5 makes an attempt. The Celtics capitalized on their protection, slicing into the deficit by 12 factors.
An 8-0 run to start out the fourth quarter put Phoenix again up by 9 factors, erasing most of Boston’s arduous work within the third. And regardless of a comparatively fast timeout from Joe Mazzulla, the Suns continued to pour on buckets early within the fourth, extending their result in as many as 13 factors in underneath three minutes.
With roughly eight minutes to go within the recreation, Robert Williams blocked Ish Wainwright, sending the ball flying into the stands. Brown got here down the courtroom after Boston completed off the possession with a cease and picked up a much-needed and-one bucket, giving life to an in any other case disinterested TD Backyard crowd.
However regardless of the spark, Boston was unable to capitalize. They continued to play stellar protection, highlighted by an inconceivable transition cease by Derrick White, however their offense couldn’t match the manufacturing on the opposite finish. Boston’s nice defensive efforts have been sadly outweighed by a whole lack of offensive circulation.
The Celtics managed to chop the lead down to 6 with 2:19 to go, however they only couldn’t discover sufficient offense to cap off the comeback. Al Horford had an opportunity to get it down to 3 with 1:51 left within the recreation, however he missed an open three, and that was the ultimate straw for Boston.
A 21-point fourth quarter capped off an especially disappointing offensive evening for the Celtics, losing a powerful defensive exhibiting. The loss marked their fourth in six video games, as Boston moved to 37-16 on the season.
Their subsequent recreation will probably be on Monday, February 6, in opposition to the Detroit Pistons. That one suggestions off at 7:00 p.m. Japanese time.