BOSTON – Evan Turner has been a bit of a forgotten man over the last few games, thanks to the acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and stellar play of Avery Bradley. That changed Wednesday night.
The swingman posted the first triple-double of his five-year NBA career, finishing with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in Boston’s 115-94 win over the lowly New York Knicks.
Turner becomes the 10th player in Celtics history to post a triple-double, joining a diverse group of players that includes names such as Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, and Jordan Crawford.
Brad Stevens raved about Turner’s performance after the game.
“He was keeping the ball alive with tips, he was aggressively switching, he was active defensively with his hands, and then he finished plays over and over on the defensive end,” Stevens said. “He’s playing well, and he’s defending well, and you know the offense always comes and goes, but you can always do the right thing defensively and he’s doing that. And he’s been consistent doing that all year.”
Turner was just one of the many stars on the night for the Celtics, as the hosts broke open a one-point game with a 25-2 run in the fourth quarter. New addition Jonas Jerebko (game-high 20 points) was a key catalyst in the outburst, showing off his three-point range by hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Isaiah Thomas also added 19 points, while Jae Crowder chipped in with 18 points, helping Boston’s bench combine for 61 of the team’s 115 points.
The Celtics also tied a season-high with 14 three-point field goals made, largely thanks to Brad Stevens’ decision to go with a small lineup that featured plenty of perimeter shooting with Crowder at the 4 and Jerebko at the 5.
Boston pulled within one game of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with the win. They will have a chance to close that gap at home on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets.