Both Markieff Morris and Alex Len recorded career nights at TD Garden in Boston as the Phoenix Suns staved off a late Celtics rally to win, 118-114.
The Suns had more control over the course of the game than their opponent, but the Celtics found themselves in the lead with less than a minute to play. Just then, Eric Bledsoe picked off an Avery Bradley pass and broke away for an easy layup to tie the game at 114. The Suns guard had 15 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes on Monday.
Markieff Morris and brother Marcus combined for 43 points against the Celtics, also leading the team in minutes, with Markieff playing 39 and Marcus playing 32 as P.J. Tucker didn’t dress due to a suspension.
Len, meanwhile, came three rebounds shy of tallying his third double-double of the season, collecting a career-high 19 points and seven rebounds in the effort. The 21-year-old big man was 8-for-10 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the line.
For Boston, Rajon Rondo was an assist short of a triple-double, scoring 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds and nine assists. Rondo’s poor free-throw shooting, however, would ultimately cost his team, as the point guard was just 2-for-10 from the line.
Small forward Jeff Green led his team in minutes, with 36, and scoring, with 28. Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller and Bradley also scored in double digits for the Celtics.
Here’s a look at the win, by the numbers:
Rajon Rondo was fouled by Alex Len while attempting a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game, the Suns leading by four. But the Celtics’ point guard missed all three of his free throw attempts. Rondo was an abysmal 2-for-10 from the charity stripe Monday.
Isaiah Thomas was cold from the floor in Boston, hitting just 1-of-8 field goal attempts while recording a -13 plus-minus mark over 21 minutes.
Phoenix once enjoyed a 14-point lead in the third quarter, but the Celtics fought their way back into the game over the final 20 minutes. The Suns were able to retain a lead for much of the game’s final minutes, but found themselves down 114-112 with 57 seconds to go, before using a pair of Eric Bledsoe steals to regain the lead and seal the win.
Suns guards Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas combined for 18 assists on the night. Bledsoe and Dragic each had seven.
Suns center Alex Len recorded a career-high 19 points Monday, two nights after setting a career high against the Los Angeles Clippers, whom he scored 17 against Saturday. Len played 29 minutes against the Celtics, hitting 8-of-10 field goal attempts and going a perfect 3-for-3 from the line. He added seven rebounds and a steal to his efforts.
Markieff Morris’ 30 points were a career high for the power forward, who also padded his box score with seven rebounds, five assists and four steals on Monday. Morris hit 14 of his 21 shots while going a perfect 1-for-1 from the line and knocking down a three.
Both teams shot 51 percent from the floor Monday, with the Celtics hitting 45-of-87 shots and the Suns going 48-for-94.
Both teams tallied 66 points in the paint Monday, as Markieff Morris and Alex Len combined for 49 points for the Suns while Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller put up 47 for the Celtics’ frontcourt.