The Celtics are not messing around at TD Garden this season. With Thursday night’s 116-107 win over the Cavaliers, the C’s improved to 12-0 on their home floor to start the season.
This marks the fourth time in franchise history that the Celtics have started their home slate with a dozen straight wins, matching the start of the 2007-08 Boston Celtics. And we all remember how that season ended for Boston.
We won’t jump to any conclusions just yet, but these current Celtics have been playing at a different level on the TD Garden floor. They aren’t just beating teams but doing so with relative ease, with an average point differential of plus-15.3 in Boston — the best home point differential in the NBA.
Of their 12 home wins, the Celtics have won seven of them by double digits. That includes four by at least 15 points, three of which had a margin of victory greater than 23 points. Boston’s biggest win of the season came at TD Garden, when they blew out the Pacers by 51 points.
Thursday night was a little closer, but it was never really in doubt. Though the Cavaliers trimmed an 11-point halftime deficit to just four points by the end of the third quarter, the Celtics pulled away thanks to some timely buckets and smothering defense over the final 12 minutes.
All five Celtics starters finished in double figures against the Cavaliers, with Jayson Tatum leading the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Jaylen Brown, who was questionable heading into the game with a sprained ankle, had 22 points to go with a team-high five assists.
Brown said after the win that he didn’t believe the team had their usual energy and that Cleveland should have never been able to make it a game in the second half. The third quarter has been an issue this season, and the C’s were outscored 33-25 in that frame on Thursday night.
But Brown says they all understand that teams are going to give them their best when opponents come into TD Garden. While the C’s would have played down to some opponents in past years, Brown isn’t going to allow that to happen this year.