For the Boston Celtics, a team plagued by injuries of late, Brad Stevens turned to one of his bench players and it paid in dividends as the Celtics managed to hold off Steph Curry (38 points) and the Golden State Warriors in a 111-107 victory.
Jayson Tatum, whose 27 points on 9-of-19 attempts from the floor, including 4-of-10 from behind the arc, led four Celtics players that scored in double figures, including second-year big man Grant Williams, who contributed to the win in a big way.
His 15-point – including a perfect 3-of-3 clip from behind the arc – 4-rebound performance led the second unit as Stevens rode Grant, along with his starters, the rest of the way.
“I feel more comfortable, still learning though,” Williams said after Tuesday’s win. “There were a few opportunities where I could have shot the ball but I chose not to. I tried to put it on the floor but with this team, you have to take the open look that’s available because we have a lot of talented players that get you great looks and can’t be shy to take them. So, just a little more comfortable going through the game; I’m confident in my shot – just trying to continue to grow and progress as the season goes on.”
Williams made big plays down the stretch, including a defensive rebound that sealed the win along with a put-back layup off of an offensive rebound.
Jayson Tatum On Grant Williams: ‘I Trust Him, We Trust Him In The Biggest Moments’
His effort didn’t go unnoticed by his teammates, including Tatum, who had strong words to say about his second-year teammate, following the win.
“Grant played tremendous today,” Tatum said. “Grant gave us that spark off the bench – a couple of guys did that, tonight – but he grabbed some big rebounds, made some big shots, some key stops. That’s what he’s capable of and I know it has to be tough to be in and out of the rotation and not knowing exactly when you’re going to have your number called. But I trust in him, we trust in him in the biggest moments to come in and do what we need him to do and that’s making the right plays.”
Grant Williams: ‘It’s Always About Staying Ready’
Williams says it’s the stay-ready mindset that’s led him to ultimately seizing opportunities like the one we saw Tuesday night in San Francisco.
“I just try to stay ready, prepared. Sometimes, you don’t know and that’s understandable,” Williams said. “Coach has a lot of different options and a lot of different players on this team that can go any given night. So, for it’s always about staying ready even if I don’t know if I’m going in or not, just being prepared for just in case my number is called – whether it’s in the first quarter or fourth quarter.”
The shorthanded Celtics will carry on with its five-game, west coast road trip – without Kemba Walker (rest) and Payton Pritchard (knee) – when they take on the Kings on the second night of a back-to-back in Sacramento, Wednesday night.