Sullinger, Celtics tame Timberwolves, 101-97

Sullinger, Celtics tame Timberwolves, 101-97
December 16, 2013, 9:45 pm
Share This Post

BOSTON — It was a month to the day when the Minnesota Timberwolves had their way with the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are certainly a better team now, and proved as much in making all the clutch plays when needed to escape with a 101-97 win.

Boston (12-14) continues to show that their collective parts are more than capable of playing with the superstar-led teams like the Timberwolves and their best player Kevin Love.

However, the Celtics are starting to develop a Love-like talent of their own in Jared Sullinger, who had a team-high 24 points along with snatching every important rebound before finishing with a team-best of 11.

Still, Love had a strong game for Minnesota (12-13) with 27 points and 14 rebounds.

After the Celtics lost 106-88 at Minnesota on Nov. 16, the Celtics were clearly in payback-mode on Monday.

And while Sullinger certainly was dominant down the stretch, this was yet another night in which Boston's collective efforts proved to be the difference.

Avery Bradley had 19 points, nine of which came in the third quarter when the Celtics went from six-down with seven-plus minutes to play, to seven-up (70-63) at the 2:32 mark of the third following a Bradley lay-up.

Scoring wasn't the only area that catapulted the Celtics to victory.

They also got key plays defensively, like Jeff Green coming from behind to block Nikola Pekovic's point-blank dunk in the game's closing seconds that eventually led to a pair of Boston free throws.

As the went on, it was clearly turning into one of those down-to-the-wire kind of games, the kind that Boston would have easily lost a month ago.

But this is a different time and in many ways, a different kind of Celtics team.

And if there's any doubt, the end result on Monday - a Boston win - validates their growth as a team this season.