Well, that was unexpected.
Celtics fans were hoping the team would show up as it opened up a four-game West Coast swing at the defending champion Golden State Warriors after dropping five of their previous six games.
Showing up would be one thing. Rolling to an easy 128-95 win was another.
For those who didn’t make it to the 10:30 p.m. start, here’s what you missed. And for those who did, we’re guessing you won’t mind looking back on the win.
Gordon Hayward went off
Hayward was huge off the bench, scoring 30 points on 12 for 16 shooting from the field. He had 19 points and four rebounds in the first half as the Celtics jumped out to a 73-48 lead at the break.
Taking control early
The Celtics scored the first 11 points of the game and led 32-24 after the first quarter. Everyone got involved as the passing was crisp, and the Celtics showed they weren’t afraid to take it to the hole.
Jaylen Brown’s monster dunk
Perhaps no play was more indicative of both teams’ ball movement and aggressiveness than Brown’s impressive dunk in the first half. The play began with Al Horford dishing to Terry Rozier on the wing, and Rozier circled back out to the top of the key while Horford rolled to the post. Rozier kicked the ball over to Jayson Tatum on the wing, and Tatum dumped the ball to Horford down low.
When he drew a double-team, Horford found Brown cutting to the hoop for the easy slam.
JAYLEN BROWN pic.twitter.com/q14mu1bC1R— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 6, 2019
Marcus Smart behind the back to Hayward
It wasn’t all slam dunks. The Celtics continued to pound away down low late in the first half. Smart took a pass from Kyrie Irving on the left wing, then proceeded to work his way to the middle of the key, where he dropped a no-look, behind the back bounce pass to Hayward, who was cutting along the baseline and spun around for the easy layup.
Marcus Smart with the DIME pic.twitter.com/klNUcH4hKj— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 6, 2019
Tatum stuffs Durant
The Celtics did it on defense too. The Warriors appeared to get an easy basket when Steph Curry lobbed the ball from halfcourt ahead to Kevin Durant, who got away with a travel as he mishandled the ball. His failure to control the ball allowed a hustling Tatum to get back into the play. Tatum was able to stuff Durant from behind, ripping the ball away with both hands and gaining possession.
"I'll be taking that." pic.twitter.com/p2gnMWWU0a— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 6, 2019
Hayward did it on defense, too
Hayward showed great anticipation on the defensive end, snagging a cross-court pass by Durant before halfcourt and cruising in for an easy dunk late in the third quarter.
Gordon with the steal and the flush! pic.twitter.com/7uT1e8PwVW— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 6, 2019