An evening of shared frustration towards the officers, sparse protection, video replays and three huge runs in each halves by Minnesota and Boston almost delivered the Celtics a runaway comeback victory. D’Angelo Russell, as a substitute, delivered a 14-2 run to pressure extra time within the ultimate 2:41 by bumping Grant Williams off him to create a sliver of area to hit the game-tying three off the glass as the ultimate seconds ticked away.
The Celtics trailed by almost 20 factors within the first half, then Jayson Tatum exploded for a 50-point night time with six threes and 12 free throws. Marcus Sensible sprinted again on protection to pressure two steals and defended Karl-Anthony Cities within the half courtroom. A failed problem by Brad Stevens after Kemba Walker fouled Anthony Edwards within the third fired up the Celtics in an evening the place the officiating consumed their consideration to that time. Grant, annoyed by a foul known as on one in all his second half field outs, appeared to his coach who reassured his fundamentals and dead-eyed the official.
Walker sealed a 145-136 Celtics win with back-to-back threes halfway by way of extra time and completed with 17 factors. Tatum scored 53 factors on 16-of-25 in 40 minutes, essentially the most by a Boston participant since Isaiah Thomas captured the hearts of Celtics followers without end with that many factors in Sport 5 of the 2017 Japanese Convention Semifinals. A volcanic second half after halftime masked horrific stretches by Boston on protection, however the Timberwolves had averaged 117 factors per 100 possessions in restricted time with Cities and Russell on the ground this 12 months.
The Timberwolves’ season was simply starting in some ways tonight, albeit with the playoffs out of sight. No. 1 total choose Edwards obtained new life within the rookie of the 12 months race, when LaMelo Ball went down, and he slowly improved preventing capturing struggles early within the season. Cities missed 20 video games with a wrist harm and COVID-19, Russell went down upon his return with knee surgical procedure. Friday night time’s journey to Boston marked solely the seventh sport Minnesota tipped-off with each of its stars in what’s spiraled right into a last-place 12 months.
Cities and Russell didn’t take part within the impromptu tank and the Wolves appeared disinterested in persevering with it within the opening minutes. They blew up consecutive passing performs by Jaylen Brown and Walker, the second a botched handoff to Robert Williams III. Walker turned it over once more, sending Josh Okogie out in transition and Walker chasing from behind right into a collision on the rim emblematic of the primary half. Okogie sounded off, obtained a technical foul, whereas Brown ran the opposite manner for a 3.
The warning from the officers did little to sluggish Minnesota’s aggression. They charged to 66 factors on 55.3% capturing within the first half. Edwards slashed to the bucket on excessive ball motion ran by way of Ricky Rubio and Cities. Okogie shattered a dunk into Tristan Thompson’s face on a one-dribble transfer off the catch into an outstretched attain to the rim over his head.
By halftime, Boston grew annoyed with the officiating and Minnesota led by as many as 15 with none worries in that division. The one level they misplaced grew irrelevant with every open minimize to the lane. Edwards even bobbled an tried go driving towards the lane that landed in Naz Reid’s palms for a two-handed slam beneath and an help early within the second quarter.
Tatum, beginning 5-of-8 from the sector with 18 factors, flashed two skip passes for nook threes and tried to hold a bench unit that lagged behind Minnesota’s. The Wolves gained a 26-12 benefit in bench factors by way of the half and 15-3 on the quick break. Defensive struggles spared no one and after Edwards crashed by way of Tatum for an offensive rebound and delivered a foul, Tatum walked towards the precise nook and slammed the basketball into the bottom and towards the rafters. A technical flew once more — not the final of the night time.
Walker drew one other into the second half whereas Danny Ainge and Mike Zarren tried their finest to choose one up, standing and approaching the courtroom from their seats far behind the baseline to specific their displeasure with the officiating amid a Boston comeback. Brad Stevens determined to harness that vitality, difficult the foul name that set Walker off and shedding, however drawing an enormous response from his workforce to shut the second half. Evan Fournier, out not less than three extra video games after tonight in COVID protocol, chimed in from residence, protected from T’s if not fines.
Touching the hair is a foul?
— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) April 10, 2021
Sensible, into the third quarter, determined the Celtics mustn’t lose to the worst workforce within the league. He chased down Jaden McDaniels after a Tatum turnover out fo halftime and blocked him. He hit a pull-up two within the lane and nailed a kick-out three following a Robert Williams III go. He chased down Edwards after and compelled a bounce ball, profitable it, in opposition to McDaniels that despatched Brown out in transition for a pull-out two. Then, after all, he took over the defensive project on Cities.
As Tatum embarked to attain 13 straight Celtics factors into the fourth, Sensible took two bumps from Cities close to the submit. Cities spun round him and hit Sensible at the back of his head along with his left elbow. Chris Finch pleaded by the video board, however one other technical foul flew and gave Tatum an opportunity to observe his shot he’d use liberally into the ultimate body.
Tatum splashed back-to-back threes, slashed to the rim for a dunk earlier than Boston’s bench rotated in permitting Payton Pritchard to toss a lob as Williams III slashed center for a reducing slam to achieve inside 94-92 earlier than the ultimate buzzer sounded on 1 / 4 that felt like three. That’s tempo of play in 2021.
Walker hit two jumpers whereas Sensible screamed close to the identical spot Tatum picked up his technical within the first half to start the ultimate quarter. Minnesota’s offense stalled, failing to transform 4 consecutive probabilities on one possession across the web. Williams III discovered Pritchard for a reducing two on the again line and Walker powered to the rim by way of McDaniels to ship a 101-100 lead on the free throw line.
Williams discovered Pritchard for a nook three and Cities tried to spell Boston’s rising lead with a pair of buckets inside and outside. Minnesota nonetheless fell behind 112-105 with Tatum catching a Sensible go for a 3, then pulling up for one more on the precise wing that despatched the Backyard’s restricted capability right into a frenzy.
Boston’s protection hardened in the course of the 30-14 run to open the body, however cracks nonetheless confirmed. Sensible fronted Cities on an preliminary submit up. An in any other case efficient Tristan Thompson obtained beat on Cities’ observe, because the Wolves hung round late with an 8-0 burst towards the ultimate minute. Russell hit a two-point jumper, a pull-up three and located Cities for one more triple that rocketed Minnesota again inside three. Then he splashed one other three to attain eight of his 16 factors, earlier than a pull up three over Williams’ head. Extra time.
Walker discovered Brown for a 3 early in extra time, earlier than he splashed two on the left aspect of the three level line from Sensible and Tatum that blew the sport open. Tatum transformed three straight free throws after a three-point foul to match Isaiah, and the Celtics sealed their largest comeback win of the season.