Stevens: Crawford 'not scared of the moment'

Stevens: Crawford 'not scared of the moment'
December 4, 2013, 4:15 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON — With yet another game against Milwaukee up for grabs in the final minutes on Tuesday, Jordan Crawford decided to take matters into his own hands.

While Jared Sullinger's 18-footer proved to be the game-winner, it was Crawford's flurry of fourth-quarter points that catapulted the Celtics to a win and with it, the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Crawford, who had 15 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, has never been one to shy away from taking big shots.

“He’s not scared of the moment,’’ said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

That's clear when you look at his fourth-quarter numbers this season.

Crawford is averaging 3.9 points while shooting 49 percent from the field, second among starters only to Jared Sullinger who is averaging 4.3 points while shooting 51 percent from the field in the fourth.

Stevens recalls watching the 2010 NCAA Tournament when Crawford was at Xavier (Ohio) facing Kansas State.

Crawford had a career-high 32 points in the 101-96 double overtime loss, which included a 35-foot heave that forced a second overtime.

Stevens, whose Butler team awaited the winner of the Xavier-Kansas State game, remembers Crawford's play vividly.

 “I’ll never forget they played Kansas State when he was at Xavier in one of the all-time great shootouts I’ve seen in person to the point where you’re getting ready for whoever wins and you’re sick to your stomach," Stevens said.  “He hit a deep, deep, deep three to send it to (the second) overtime. The magnitude of that shot, I could not forget. He has the ability to knock those shots down.’’

He certainly did on Tuesday in a game that the Celtics (8-12) were able to control most of the night.

"Their defense forced me to look for my shot more," said Crawford, who also had a team-high five assists. "I just wanted to be aggressive."

And it is that aggressive approach especially when the game is close in the final minutes, that has provided the Celtics with a much-needed shot of late-game swagger.

"Jordan's a very good player," said Boston's Avery Bradley. "I knew once he got some confidence and learned how to play with everybody on our team, everything would work itself out; it is.

Bradley added, "I love playing with him. I know everybody else does."