The Phoenix Suns began a new winning streak on Friday, beating the Boston Celtics 90 – 111.
The Celtics continued their loosing streak on the road, falling victim to the much stronger Suns at Footprint Center Friday night. A strong defensive performance by the hosts ensured that the Suns will remain atop the Western Conference table along with the Warriors, while Boston extended their losing streak to three games.
The game did not start in a disastrous fashion, despite Jaylen Brown being ruled out of the game with a hamstring issue and Josh Richardson unavailable. Both the Celtics and the Sun bet on defense in the opening quarter and its final score of 24-25 gave the home-team just a point advantage. But it was the second quarter when things really fell off a cliff for the Cs. Usually sharp Jayson Tatum, went 10 of 25 in the field goal for the game, scoring only 24 points with 7 rebounds. While the work rate was there, the Suns managed to hold Tatum to much fewer points we’ve become accustomed at seeing the forward deliver this season. Shutting down Tatum, while at the same time rolling over the Celtics defense was the perfect recipe for Phoenix in the second, outscoring Boston by a whopping 17 points, to go to the locker room with the very comfortable 18-point lead.
After the half time break, the Celtics came out motivated, busting through the Suns defense, but only managed to erase 3 points from the Suns lead in the 3rd quarter. Team performance was certainly lacking at Footprint Center on Friday, the Celtics shooting only 37.6% from the flied and delivering the minuscule 4 out of 26 from the three point line. So it was no surprise when the Suns took over the final fifteen minutes of the game, to secure a rather dominant 90 – 111 victory.
With the loss in Phoenix, the Celtics have now dipped below the 0.500 with a 13-14 record. Luckily for them, they’ll be traveling back home to embark on a 5-game home stretch, where they would hopefully managed to claw back up the Eastern conference rankings. The first couple of games, however, will prove rather difficult, even at home. The next game will be the home-opener against the Bucks on Monday, followed by the Warriors four days later.