When the Boston Celtics acquired Evan Fournier at this year’s trade deadline they were expecting the veteran wing to add a much-needed scoring punch off the bench. However, through his first two games in Beantown, his presence was hardly felt — at least from a positive standpoint.
The former Orlando Magic guard kicked things off with a horrendous 0-of-10 performance from the field against the Pelicans in his first game with the Cs. His next showing was not much better, as he went on to compile a total of just six points on 3-of-16 shooting over his first two contests.
Friday night’s performance was looking to follow a similar trend. That is until the fourth quarter came around.
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Fournier Makes History With Brilliant 4th Quarter Performance
Over the first 36 minutes against the Rockets, Fournier mustered up just two points on 1-of-6 shooting. Thankfully, the 28-year-old picked up his play exponentially — or should we say historically — in the final 12 minutes of play.
Fournier went on to shoot a perfect 7-for-7 in the fourth quarter, including six daggers from downtown, helping Boston pull away from Houston in a 118-102 victory. In total, Fournier finished the contest with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field as well as hitting on all but four of his 11 shot attempts from 3-point range.
“You know I’m going to enjoy my glass of wine tonight and you know I’m going to sleep very well,” Fournier told reporters following the game.
Fournier’s fourth-quarter performance put him amongst all-time great company. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he became just the second Celtics player over the past 25 seasons to score 20 points on 100% shooting in any quarter. Fournier joins Paul Pierce, who accomplished said feat back in 2009 vs. the Chicago Bulls.
Fournier: ‘I Know Who I Am’
While early returns on Fournier left many Celtics fans enraged with Danny Ainge’s unwillingness to pull the trigger on a larger deal at the deadline, the French-born guard remained grounded throughout his struggles.
“I always try to stay in the moment. Never too high, never too low,” he said. “That’s been my motto for years now. I’ve played nine years in this league now. I know who I am and know what I’m capable of doing.”
“So obviously, that first game was not the way I wanted to start with the Celtics, but it’s not going to define who I am with this team. I’ve said it many times. I’m going to try to impact winning as much as I can and I’m really happy about the win tonight,” he noted. “Moving forward I’m going to try as hard as I can and help the guys.”
Head coach Brad Stevens echoed Fournier’s take following the Celtics’ 24th victory of the season, applauding his emotional state.
“I give him a lot of credit,” Stevens said. “I can already tell he’s not really a guy that rides the emotional roller coaster, he’s a pretty even-keeled guy and he’s come into work every day and gotten his normal amount of shots up, doesn’t look bothered by the fact that he started in that first game 0-for-10. Didn’t look bothered by the fact that we didn’t give them enough shots as a team the other day… He’s just trying to figure out how he can help impact us and we did a better job of finding him tonight, especially once he got going.”