On a wicked cold Friday night the Boston Celtics won their fifth straight game with a 91-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the TD Garden.
Tonight, Salem State Alum and former Celtics assistant coach, Tom Thibodeau, returned to the Garden for his second season as the Timberwolves’ head coach, as the T-Wolves tried to get their first win in Boston since 2005.
The cold that’s taken over New England followed both teams into the building to start the game, as they both struggled to score in the first. Each team only knocked a single three-pointer and shot under 40 percent from the field, leading to a 19-19 tie at the end of the first.
Watch Jayson Tatum posterize Karl-Anthony Towns below:
In case you forgot, Jayson Tatum is 19. pic.twitter.com/VvVNRIHSmR— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 6, 2018
To close out the second quarter, the Celtics went on an 8-3 run to take a 41-38 lead into halftime. And by this time, Karl-Anthony Towns, already had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Coming out of halftime, Al Horford was seen wearing a “protective sleeve” of sorts on his sore left knee after being listed as questionable to play during the second half.
The third quarter was more of the same back-and-forth, but it was Horford and Rozier that were able to give the Celtics a much needed push and spark.
About halfway through the fourth quarter, Kyrie Irving and the Celtics kicked it into fifth gear and began to pull away with a 15-9 run. They never looked back following the run, as they earned an NBA Best, 32nd win, behind a near triple-double from Kyrie Irving.
The bench played in a key role in tonight’s win with Marcus Smart leading all Celtics scorers with 18 points (8-13 FG) and Terry Rozier III contributing 14 points (6-11 FG) to go with 9 rebounds. Irving put up 16 points to go along with 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Karl-Anthony Towns led all scorers with 25 points and 23 rebounds, marking his fourth 20-20 game since entering the NBA in 2015.
With 56 total rebounds, the Celtics set their highest rebound total of the year and were able to out-rebound the Timberwolves by 13, while outscoring them in the paint 50-24. But they did struggle from three-point land, going 6-of-36, for a 17 percent from deep.
UP NEXT: The Celtics head to Brooklyn tomorrow night to play the second of a back-to-back against the Nets. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m. and tip-off set for 6:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com