The Celtics stole a win in Phoenix last night. Boston trailed 32-13 after the first quarter, though managed to overcome a 22-point deficit to edge out the Suns. Leading the way was Kyrie Irving, who scored 18 of his season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter and over-time.
Here are three takeaways from the Celtics first win of their current road trip.
Celtics atrocious shooting performance
The Celtics shot a mere 32 percent through three-quarters of Thursday night’s game. The only starters to score in double figures were Irving and Jaylen Brown, who shot a combined 46 percent and scored 56 points. Boston’s other three starters combined to shoot 32 percent and score just 19 points.
The bench struggled as well, shooting 29 percent not including Marcus Morris’ 7-13 shooting. It was a miracle Boston was able to edge Phoenix in this overtime thriller.
The Celtics trailed 90-73 at the seven-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Led by Kyrie Irving’s 18 in the fourth quarter and over-time periods, Boston would out score Phoenix 43-19 down the stretch.
Clutch shots from Irving, Brown and Morris were key to overcoming such a massive deficit. Specifically, Irving’s 3-point shot with 35 seconds left to bring the game within three points was essential. From there, Irving stole the ball from Phoenix’s Devin Booker, and passed to Jaylen Brown for a lay-up to bring the deficit to one. After two free throws by Phoenix, Marcus Morris hit a massive game tying 3-pointer to force overtime.
Boston converted on their first six possessions in overtime, giving them a 114-109 lead with less than 2:00 remaining. The game would end 116-109 after Jayson Tatum made both of his free throws.
Free throw attempts
Boston finally attacked the basket, drawing a plethora of fouls in the process. They attempted 31 free throws, whereas Phoenix took just 19. The Celtics are undefeated in games with at least 14 free throw attempts, so it is imperative they continue to get to the line.
Their next test will come in Utah against the Jazz on Friday, November 9 at 9:30 PM ET.