Kemba Walker stole the show on Thursday night scoring 32 points in a 99-86 victory for the Boston Celtics over the Phoenix Suns.
Those 32 points for Walker tied his season high. He shot 11 of 17 from the field and knocked down five shots from beyond the arc. Jaylen Brown was unavailable for the Celtics as he was forced to sit out with left shoulder soreness. Jayson Tatum’s offensive struggles continued, shooting just 3 of 17 from the field. He finished the game with 15 points.
Along with Brown, the Celtics were also without Evan Fournier and Robert Williams. However, Boston managed to defeat a very good Phoenix team rather convincingly.
A strong start for the Celtics put them in the driver’s seat early and they never looked back. Boston closed out the first half on a 16-4 run and possessed a 21 point lead at the half. The Suns were able to string together a 14-2 run to end the third quarter.
Phoenix kept the game within reach throughout the fourth quarter and cut the Boston lead down to nine with 1:29 remaining but a steal and layup by Marcus Smart secured the win for the Celtics.
Chris Paul led the Suns with 22 points and Devin Booker had 15 but it was not enough for Phoenix in their second game in as many nights. The Suns fell to 42-17 and dropped two games back of the Utah Jazz for first place in the Western Conference. Phoenix will have a few days of rest before they face a stern test in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon as their east coast road trip continues.
It appears as though the Celtics have found consistency lately which is something they have lacked all season long. They have won seven of their last eight and nine of their last 11.
The win on Thursday put Boston five games over .500 and they currently sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 32-27. They are a half-game back of the Knicks in 4th place. Boston’s next opponent is also Brooklyn on Friday in the second half of a back-to-back.