Olynyk's career-high paces monster night

Olynyk's career-high paces monster night
January 18, 2014, 12:15 am
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Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 25 points against the Lakers.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON — Rajon Rondo was the main attraction, but by the end of the game it was rookie Kelly Olynyk whose play took center stage.

As good as Olynyk was, it wasn't enough to withstand a late charge by the Lakers that catapulted them to a 107-104 victory over the Celtics.

Olynyk led all Celtics with a career-high 25 points. In addition to his scoring, the 7-foot rookie was spreading the wealth with seven assists along with grabbing five rebounds.

It was the kind of all-around performance that the Celtics know Olynyk has the ability to produce.

"He was good," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "Took advantage of some matchups in the interior, and also got his jump shot rolling. We always say that the game honors tough plays, and his first few baskets were tough, toughness plays. He stole an in-bounds, got an offensive put-back, you know that kind of gets your rhythm."

Olynyk said much of his success on Friday night had more to do with his teammates setting him up.

"Phil (Pressey) and Rondo and some other guards, Gerald (Wallace) put me in great positions under the basket and all I really had to do was lay it in."

That's not entirely true.

Olynyk scored on one-dribble, step-in jumpers. He made a 3-pointer. Olynyk scored in the paint.

And when the Lakers defense began to tighten up on him a bit, he managed to get his teammates involved for easy baskets.

"When you start making shots, the floor opens up, people start running to you and it leaves other guys open," Olynyk said. "Some guys made some great cuts, some guys knocked down some shots and we were just moving the ball and when you move the ball you get assists that you didn't really work for."

Pressey, who had nine assists without a single turnover on Friday, was among those finding Olynyk most often.

"Me and him (Olynyk) have a connection," said Pressey who has 19 assists without a turnover in Boston's last two games. "I'm starting to find where he likes the ball; he can shoot the ball; he's a great finisher. He helps me out a lot."

And if he continues to play this well, Olynyk will continue to help himself to more crunch time minutes.

On Friday, Olynyk was the only Celtics player on the floor for the entire fourth quarter.

"Obviously I'm glad," Olynyk said. "I want to be out there and play and compete and that confidence is still in me; the ability to take some more shots and try to make some more things happen out there."