Rapid Recap is designed for the busiest of Celtics fans. Whether you can’t stay awake to read 10 paragraphs or your hangover is just too much, Rapid Recap tells the timeline of the game in only a minute or two.
The Denver Nuggets have given the Boston Celtics a lot of grief in the regular season during recent years, and I kinda thought tonight would be more of the same. But Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum said to that, “Nah, not tonight.” Loudly and with authority.
Tatum led the Cs with a 26-7-5 game, while Brown wasn’t far behind at 21-7-2 and also dunked on my longtime nemesis Jamal Murray with the force of a thermonuclear f**king bomb. Kemba Walker didn’t have as many wild highlights but contributed 19 on 50% shooting. But this felt like a whole-squad win—everyone making at least a few substantive contributions. After all, it takes a whole team to lock down a team capable of mind-boggling offensive explosions like Denver. (On their side of the ledger, Nikola Jokic had an outstanding, efficient 30-10-4…and Murray, the next-highest scoring Nugget, had 10. It reaaaaallllllyyyy was not their night.) The 108-95 final score does not reflect how far ahead Boston was at times—as far up as 23.
The first quarter started with Boston taking advantage of a squad that, from get-go, seemed logy and confused without their high-altitude home advantage:
Jokic is, of course, a legit superstar, and wasn’t gonna do nothing:
Yet the Celtics also successfully baited him into two fouls as brain-destroyingly dumb as anything Rob Williams has done all season (no easy feat, that). As the clock ticked, Boston only seemed more and more in control:
It became increasingly clear that Jokic was as strong tonight as the rest of his team was weak. The Celtics took a 53-45 lead into the half—hardly insurmountable for a team as good as the Nuggets generally are—and then began pouring on real punishment through Q3:
Jayson even stared the camera guys down AGAIN in the bit below. I think our young fella is quite happy with The Moment that a nationally televised game vs. a Western title contender represents.
You said it. And it kept on coming:
If Javonte Green is basically dunking on your whole team, your whole team is dead. I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules. (All respect to Javonte, who can definitely dunk outside of garbage time, just maybe not with as much English as he put on this one.)