Some plays change the course of a game. Oftentimes, they’re dunks.
Jeff Green, who leads the Celtics in flushes this season, threw down a monster jam late in the third quarter that woke his team up and sent them to an easy victory.
Boston led by just six points when Leandro Barbosa dished the ball off to Green with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. This was just moments after a once-13-point lead had been slashed down to three by Orlando. That lead would quickly swoon to double-digits after Green finished with authority.
Green used his athleticism to rise up over Magic defenders and slam home a dunk with 3:46 remaining in the frame. With that spark flushed through Boston’s veins, the team finished the third quarter on a 15-5 run to take a 72-59 lead into the final period. Three of those 15 points were scored before Green’s slam, but mark our words: that dunk was the play that sent the C’s surging to a blowout victory.
Key Box Score Line
Jeff Green was a monster Friday night. No, really. A legitimate monster.
The Magic were running away from him with fear by the time the final buzzer confirmed Boston’s 97-84 victory. Why, you might ask? Because Green was posterizing Orlando’s players like it was his job.
He rose up for several thunderous slams during the Celtics’ victory. One of those dunks sparked a key run for Boston (as noted in the Key Moment section), and another may actually be the best dunk TD Garden has ever seen. Seriously.
The athletic forward dunked his way through the Magic but he brought far more than slams to this game. He finished with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting while also collecting four rebounds and dishing out four assists. That, my friends, is one heck of a performance off of the bench.
With Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger out of the lineup for the remainder of the season, this is the Green the Celtics need to have day-in and day-out. He was dominant. He forced the issue. He poterized anyone in his way. If the Celtics could bottle this performance up and clone it every night, they would.
And opponents would run away from him every night, too.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three Celtics starters (Courtney Lee, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) scored 14 points apiece.
- Boston's assist total (30) nearly matched Orlando's field goals made total (36).
- Orlando shot just 37.9 percent from the field.
- Fab Melo made his career debut with 2:38 of playing time. He logged one steal.
- Each team committed just 13 fouls.
- Five Celtics attempted at least 10 shots and all of them made at least half of their attempts.
- The Celtics were not outscored in any of the four quarters.
- Orlando's Nikola Vucevic notched a clean double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
- The Magic made all nine of their free throw attempts.
- This was the second consecutive game that three of Boston's reserves scored at least 12 points.
- In addition to his 14 points, Lee also contributed five rebounds and five assists.
- Garnett and Pierce each notched double-doubles.
- Each team scored at least 52 points in the paint.
Quote of the Night
Definitely mine, definitely mine. But Jeff, he soars through the air, man. He does the Statue of Liberty. Courtney Lee on whose baseline dunk was better, his or Jeff Green's