The Boston Celtics set a franchise record with 24 dropped three-pointers and handed the then-undefeated Milwaukee Bucks their first loss of the season in a 117-113 final at TD Garden.
Matched up against a team that entered play with one of the league’s top defenses, this would seem like a disaster waiting to happen. But it was actually the lack of defensive pressure from the Bucks that prompted the Celtics to attempt that many threes, let alone drop them at a legitimately historic rate.
“Get ‘em up,” Kyrie Irving said of the Celtics’ seemingly absurd number of attempts from deep. “They’re wide open. If they’re going to play defense like that then I don’t see why not.
“I hope we shoot 80 next game if they play defense like that.”
It was enough for the Celtics to break the franchise record by the end of the third quarter, and with their bench once again coming through with key makes, as Marcus Morris finished his night five-for-eight from deep.
The Bucks ultimately made it a game in the fourth quarter, and were at point a pair of free throw makes away from tying things up, but a miss from Eric Bledsoe kept the Celtics in control, and out of danger.
Not only had two years ago, no team ever made 24 3's in a game.— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) November 2, 2018
Entering this week, it had only happened five times in the first 39 years of the 3-point shot.
Golden State did it on Monday.
The Celtics did it tonight. pic.twitter.com/vESKKy55J4
Perhaps the most important detail in all of this? For the second game in a row, the Green displayed excellent ball movement skills, and saw that play out to a starting five that finished with at least 10 points each. Including 10 from Semi Ojeleye, who got the start in place of the injured Jaylen Brown (foot), with 10 points in 22 minutes.
This was also Gordon Hayward’s best performance of the season, as you’re quickly seeing his natural basketball movement returning to his surgically-repaired leg, with 18 points, five assists, and four rebounds in 26 minutes.
Morris and the C’s also took extra pleasure in handing the Bucks their first loss of the season.
“It felt really good to break that streak they had going,” Morris said. “Let them know they still can’t win here.”
The Celtics will now embark on a season-long five-game road trip that begins Saturday night against the Pacers.