After finding out he wasn't in the starting lineup for the injured Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas proved why he's the Celtics' best offensive weapon.
Thomas scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, and pushed the Celtics to their first double-digit lead of the night against the Pelicans. Thomas kicked off the fourth by scoring three consecutive three-pointers, topping off an 11-3 Celtics run.
"I like fourth quarters, I guess. I get a little aggressive in the fourth. I'm comfortable in the fourth," Isaiah Thomas said after the game. "It's not for everybody... I like close games. I like being the guy."
The Celtics kept their distance against New Orleans for the rest of the fourth quarter. C's were pretty much trading baskets with the Pelicans after Thomas' offensive outburst.
"I think the biggest thing is he's excited about trying to help our team," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said about Thomas after the game. "So anybody like that with that type of swagger he brings, but he balances it nicely with a humility that I think a lot of guys can learn from."Thomas definitely brings that swag, coach.
Much like he did against the Jazz, Thomas' instant offense was contagious last night. When Thomas started raining threes in the fourth quarter, players like Jonas Jerebko and Evan Turner were all of a sudden in attack mode.
Louisiana native Brandon Bass also put together a solid game, he scored 17 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. And Jae Crowder, who started in place of Avery Bradley, put together an impressive stat line; 11 points, 9 rebounds, and four steals.
"It's like a college team," Thomas said. "We don't just play with each other; we play for each other. And that's a big difference, man. We played so hard."New Orleans' Anthony Davis had a huge game for the Pelicans. He scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Davis did his best in trying to pull off a late-game comeback, he scored 9 points in the final two minutes but the double-digit gap was too large.
The Celtics continue to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Celtics, 25-35, are only a game and a half behind Miami and Indiana who are currently tied for the eighth and final playoff spot. Celtics will conclude their road trip at Miami against the Heat next Tuesday.
The next stop on the Celtics' three-game road trip is Orlando. The C's take on the Magic tomorrow night. Tip-off is at 6:00 PM.
The Celtics have won five of their last seven games. Last night marked the sixth time Isaiah Thomas has scored 20 or more points for the Celtics. In his eight games as a Celtic, Thomas is averaging 21 points and 5 assists.