By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics got some franchise history from an unlikely duo in Thursday night’s win over the Raptors. For the first time — ever — a pair of Celtics teammates made six three-pointers in the same game.READ MORE: Somerville Woman Accused Of Drunk Driving After Crashing Into Pole In NH
But it was not Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who put on the show, at least not from beyond the arc. Boston’s dynamic young pairing instead played facilitators in the team’s 120-106 win over Toronto, setting up everyone else for open looks.
So who made the history? Be sure to jot this down for when it comes up in bar trivia in 10-20 years.
Boston’s best marksmen on Thursday night were none other than Semi Ojeleye and Payton Pritchard, both of whom canned six threes against the Raptors. They both had identical 6-for-8 shooting lines from beyond the arc, as Ojeleye finished with a career-best 24 points while Pritchard scored 20 off the Boston bench.
We’ve seen Pritchard knock down plenty of threes over his first 18 NBA games. The rookie had hit four in a game twice heading into Thursday night’s game. But Ojeleye had never made more than three triples in a game in his four seasons. He got his opportunity to let it fly Thursday, and he took full advantage.
“That’s crazy,” Pritchard said when told of his history-making evening. “I’m just happy for my guy Semi. He’s a shooter. He was strapping tonight.
“He should just keep on shooting. It’s money,” added Pritchard, who held his post-game Zoom session from his car.READ MORE: Three Men Charged In Cheating Scheme At Encore Boston Harbor
Ojeleye was quick to throw some praise on Pritchard as well.
“He works so hard and I’m so happy for him. He’s one of those guys you see always working in the gym,” said Ojeleye, who spends his fair share of time in the weight room. “By the time you walk in there he’s in a full sweat. I’m happy to see him do well.”
Head coach Brad Stevens was also pretty happy to see that pairing do well. He gave Ojeleye a spot start against the Raptors, and the forward rewarded him with the best game of his career. But given how the Celtics were moving the ball on Thursday, the head coach wasn’t surprised that shots were falling with such ease.
“Those guys had open shots,” Stevens said of his version of the “Splash Brothers” on Thursday. “They’re both good shooters. Obviously they’re not always going to shoot that percentage, but they’re going to make a lot of those.”
Tatum and Brown had a big part of everyone’s success against Toronto. They had just 29 combined points (17 from Tatum and 12 from Brown), but they fiercely attacked the basket and were able to kick it out to open teammates for some high-quality looks. Brown had 10 assists while Tatum dished out nine helpers.
Boston’s ball movement was incredible Thursday night, the best it has been all season. The Celtics finished with 30 assists on 39 made baskets. They relied heavily on the deep ball, making 20 of their 39 attempts from downtown, but it wasn’t the heave and hope game plan we’ve seen several times this season. Boston earned the majority of those threes Thursday night with its incredible ball movement, keeping the Raptors off balance throughout the contest.
Stevens hopes to see that brand of basketball a lot more moving forward, and lauded his two starts for putting everything in motion.MORE NEWS: Stores Are Closing But This Discount Chain Plans To Move In
“The better you get, the more attention you get. And the more you have to make those plays,” said Stevens. “Both of those guys are in the group of players that draw a lot of attention, so it’s something that they’re going to have to continue to do for us to be the best that we can be.”