Reserve forward Semi Ojeleye hit a new career high in scoring with 24 points and 6 rebounds in a surprise start, while rookie guard Payton Pritchard set a novel career high in made 3-pointers with the Oregon product connecting on 6-of-8 of his treys. That’s also exactly how Ojeleye faired from the field with the duo becoming the first pair of Celtics players in franchise history to log such a stat line in the same game to cap off a most peculiar offensive night for the Celtics.
On a night where Boston’s star wings struggled, ball movement and aggressive play from all over the roster saved the day; imagine what a game with 30 assists would look like when the Jays ARE connecting.
Kemba Walker has seemingly found a template for contributing even while his near-basket issues remain; distribution and treys with some action from the stripe when he can draw contact seems like a recipe for success while he finds his game again.
Semi Ojeleye and Payton Pritchard killing it from deep remains an exciting if somewhat inconsistent development, at least in the case of Ojeleye. If both can continue to produce offensively at even half the levels they did Thursday, a lot more wins could be on the way.
Brad Stevens on why Ojeleye got the start: “The last time we played Toronto, they’re really hard to match up double-big against; I remember the last time, we got down big early, and then the second half we actually started [Semi].” Semi Ojeleye on his shooting: “I really try to focus on the process of shooting and not necessarily the result. When you get caught up and make some misses, you ride that up and down. But I just tried to focus on shooting the ball the right way, and God takes care of the rest.” Kemba Walker on getting his rhythm back: “This is my this is my 11th game [back], I believe. I’m still just trying to find my rhythm and went a long time without touching the basketball before I even started playing so I’m just now going to get back to that.” Payton Pritchard on how his and Ojeleye’s play can serve as a template: “I think so far, we’ve just got to put an emphasis on defense and play aggressive, play to our style. And then [for our] offense … we have some elite players and so moving the ball some and finding the right areas to get to get open and give those guys space.”
First quarter reactions
The game started with some love for an old friend: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360024564806414337?s=20 And Ojeleye got off to a hot start: https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1360026358831808512?s=20 A REALLY hot start. https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1360027388256653312?s=20 The War on Theis had a rare early victory too: https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1360027709007626242?s=20 Ball movement got off to a great start as well: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1360028230066073603?s=20 And Walker started pretty solid as well. https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1360029052665556996?s=20 Though the Jays struggled on offense while leaning into ball movement. https://twitter.com/AdamHimmelsbach/status/1360030678914637834?s=20 Pritchard started to cook as well: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1360033036704886787?s=20 Carrying Boston to an early lead. https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360033488037101568?s=20
Second quarter reactions
The second frame didn’t see good interior defense for Boston: https://twitter.com/AdamHimmelsbach/status/1360034084983029761?s=20 But the Celtics stayed hot from deep: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1360036214015942663?s=20 While Brown finally got on the board: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360037051215790080?s=20 Spoiler alert: they didn’t. https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360038538100822017?s=20 While Ojeleye continued to sizzle: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360039911324278784?s=20 Carrying Boston along with FastPP. https://twitter.com/AdamHimmelsbach/status/1360040086738501634?s=20 And the lead grew as both teams went into the break: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1360041669542952967?s=20
Third quarter reactions
In the penultimate frame, JB got just his second make early on: https://twitter.com/Murf56/status/1360044973765361669?s=20 While Lowry paid tribute to an injured Celtic: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360045808289271808?s=20 And Semi made a career-high: https://twitter.com/celtics_stats/status/1360046269763383296?s=20 Walker looked comfortable as a perimeter shooter: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360046872233132036?s=20 And Tatum took a grazing blow in the post: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360048317657456645?s=20 Things got a little cold for both sides: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360049870187483137?s=20 But Boston hung on: https://twitter.com/AdamHimmelsbach/status/1360050639812837379?s=20 The Celtics maintained an eight-point lead going into the fourth. https://twitter.com/celtics_stats/status/1360050791285940224?s=20
Fourth quarter reactions
Mr. Snow might be exaggerating a little bit, but that Pritchard trey was a deep one: https://twitter.com/taylorcsnow/status/1360051483824300035?s=20 And Green took a hard hit, and was slow to get up: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360052706241613824?s=20 JT struggled a bit offensively: https://twitter.com/AdamHimmelsbach/status/1360052563853344769?s=20 And Stevens had seen enough: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360053722903109633?s=20 While Toronto became one of their own worst enemies. https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360055250120544257?s=20 The fouls started to pile up: https://twitter.com/KeithSmithNBA/status/1360055119245623297?s=20 And JB had a milestone of his own: https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1360055820239704069?s=20 And found other ways to impact winning: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360055943820693508?s=20 Lots of history being made: https://twitter.com/celtics_stats/status/1360056244057292802?s=20 Including some shared success: https://twitter.com/BrianTRobb/status/1360056437318291457?s=20 LOTS of personal bests: https://twitter.com/chrisgrenham/status/1360056887786496000?s=20 And the weirdness continued for the UConn product: https://twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1360057613896007682?s=20 We even got some Tacko time: https://twitter.com/maineredclaws/status/1360058010618445828?s=20 As a result of some truly outstanding ball movement: https://twitter.com/ByJayKing/status/1360058849093431297?s=20 And the Celtics got back in the win column: https://twitter.com/SeanGrandePBP/status/1360060208567975937?s=20 This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [jwplayer bfekkjRs-z6KDnl0B] [lawrence-related id=46509,46505,46482,46475] [listicle id=46511]