NBA

Boston Celtics Make Franchise History for the Fifth Time

For the fifth time in Celtics franchise history and the first time since January 13, 1987, the Boston franchise had five players score over 20 points in a single game. Following their close loss of 126-132 to the Warriors, the Celtics quickly switched up their performance when they beat the Kings 144-119 in last night’s game. 

The Boston franchise accomplished this impressive win amidst the absence of one of their star players. Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum suffered from an ankle sprain in Boston’s game against Golden State, causing him to miss out on the matchup against the Kings. Tatum has been a crucial player for Boston, averaging 26.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists throughout this 2023-24 regular season. 

Despite Tatum’s absence, the Celtics managed to clinch an impressive win over the Sacramento Kings, making Boston’s current record 21-6 and securing the number one spot in the NBA Eastern Conference. The five players who scored at least 20 points are Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, and Payton Pritchard. 

Celtics’ Player Breakdown:

Derrick White and Jaylen Brown managed to score 28 points each. In addition to his 28 points, point guard Derrick White secured 2 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocks. Following last night’s game, Jaylen Brown became the 16th player in Celtics franchise history to surpass 9,000 career points, as he currently has 9,019 points following his 28-point game against the Kings. 

Latvian sensation Kristaps Porzingis joined the Boston franchise this past summer following a blockbuster trade between the Celtics, Wizards, and Grizzlies. The Celtics center helped his team last night after scoring 24 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 6 blocks against Sacramento. 

The 33-year-old point guard Jrue Holiday scored a season-high 21 points in his game against Sacramento. This 2023-24 season, Holiday has averaged 12.3 points per game, so these 21 points come as a pleasant surprise for the Boston franchise. 

Boston’s point guard Payton Pritchard is the fifth Boston player to have scored over 20 points in last night’s game. Pritchard accumulated precisely 20 points in last night’s game, in addition to 4 rebounds and 4 assists. In his game against Sacramento, Pritchard had one of his top-scoring games, as the point guard averaged 7.1 points per game this past season.

When This Instance Last Occurred:

The last time an NBA franchise had five players score over 20 points was with the Dallas Mavericks in their win over the San Antonio Spurs 137-128 on March 16, 2023. Despite the absences of the team’s injured All-Stars, Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić, Dallas players managed to clinch a win over the San Antonio team. Forward Christian Wood led the team with 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists, followed by Dwight Powell and Jaden Hardy’s 22 points. Shooting guard Josh Green scored 21 points and 7 assists, while Reggie Bullock Jr. was right behind with 20 points that game.

Before the Mavericks’ accomplishment, the Oklahoma City Thunder had two recent instances in which five players on the team scored over 20 points. The Thunder clinched these accomplishments on their January 4, 2023, game against the Celtics and their December 2019 game against the Timberwolves. Following their 150-117 win against the Celtics, the five Thunder players that secured 20 points each were Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, Jalen Williams, Tre Mann, and Isaiah Joe. Australian point guard Josh Giddey scored 25 points, followed by Lu Dort’s 23 points and 21 points by Williams, Mann, and Joe. 

Before the Thunder’s January 4th game, the last time five players secured over 20 points was during the Oklahoma City franchise’s December 2019 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Thunder clinched a win in overtime against the Minnesota team 137-129. That game saw Chris Paul, Dennis Schröder, Steven Adams, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari score over 20 points each. 

Although last night was the Celtics’ fifth time accomplishing this achievement in their franchise history, the 20-plus points record for NBA teams is not as uncommon as some may think. In the last four years, there have been multiple instances where an NBA franchise has had five players on their respective team score more than 20 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder hold two of the various spots. 

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