Tyler Ulis had the game of HIS LIFE, making the three-point buzzer beater as time expired after a scramble. After a quick Bledsoe score at 4 seconds left, Marquese Chriss stripped the ball from Isaiah Thomas and Ulis made history.
Phoenix Suns WIN 109-106 over the Boston Celtics!
Suns were down 2 with 6 seconds left. They won by 3. Here's how. pic.twitter.com/ASwjFVRZgx— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) March 6, 2017
when Isaiah Thomas yells YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS and you're just like lol ya I do know what time it is pic.twitter.com/55WOnfyZbl— sneaker (@sreekyshooter) March 6, 2017
Ulis finished with 20 points and 5 assists on 8/12 shooting in 33 BIG MINUTES.
Isaiah Thomas finished with 35 points (14 in the 4th) and 5 assists, while Eric Bledsoe had 28 points and 9 assists and 6 rebounds. And the pair of quick scores to keep the Suns alive and then tie the game before Ulis hit the big one.
“I have never seen so many young guys get an opportunity at the same time,” Suns coach Earl Watson said afterward. “They’re all getting better, and these wins keep coming and you see the confidence continue to grow. We’re just very lucky to have this group of players.”
The Suns have now won three straight games for the first time in a year and a half.
The Suns had a strong lead most of the game, just like on Friday night against the OKC Thunder. But unlike Friday, the Celtics made too many threes to be held off entirely, and eventually took the lead on an Isaiah Thomas three with 4:39 left that had the Suns house rocking (lots of Celtics fans there).
Booker answered with a shot that got the Suns-y crowd going right back.
The teams traded scores while the fans traded cheers for the rest of the final quarter, each team taking the lead on nearly every possession.
It was Boston who took the near-final lead on a Jae Crowder and-one, going up 104-102 with 41.6 left.
After that, it was bad execution for the Suns on ATOs and free throws for Boston to close it out.
Crowder and Thomas might have made the big fourth quarter plays, but it was Terry Rozier making 4/5 threes in the middle quarters to keep the Celtics in the game.
BUT THEN ULIS WON IT!
The Celtics were without both Al Horford and Avery Bradley tonight, while the Suns were holding firm on their play-the-kids line, confirming that Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight will continue to sit out.
But then Alan Williams entered the game, and the Suns got into a scrambling match and found a way to get back into the game.
Eric Bledsoe had 5/2/2 while T.J. Warren had 4 points and 4 rebounds. Marquese Chriss collected three HUGE blocks to help the Suns control the Celtics inside scoring. He also had 4 points and a rebound.
Neither team could shoot after the hot Celtics start, with Phoenix ending the quarter “holding firm” at 36% as the Celtics plummeted to 27%.
By the end of one, it was only a 22-19 Celtics lead.
The second quarter was a scramble as well, but the Celtics second unit began to build a lead as Alan Williams, Leandro Barbosa and Jared Dudley had trouble finding the range (2-12 collectively).
Terry Rozier and Tyler Ulis went at it for a bit, with Ulis posting 4/1/0 against Rozier’s 5/0/2. That’s about as “battle” as it got for a while.
TYLER ULIS GOT HOT. Oh my. Ulis scored 11 straight points for the Suns and pulled them back to 37-36, mostly against Isaiah Thomas. After the crowd went wild on a Ulis/Thomas just ball call (IT egged them on, and then won the tip), Ulis went wild on the Celtics.
Soon it was a Suns 42-37 lead and the Suns-homer part of the crowd was getting loud. (It was a decidedly mixed Suns/Celtics crowd today, by the way).
Before we knew it, the Suns got 5 points on one possession after Ulis stripped Isaiah Thomas, drawing a clear-path foul, making both FTs and then Devin Booker made a three for a 49-39 lead.
Terry Rozier hit a three to make it 49-42 at halftime.
I imagine coach Earl Watson would say this was the perfect way for an user-young team to play a playoff team - scrappy, dive for everything, make enough shots to take the lead.
The Suns began the second half sloppy, as any young team enjoying a good sized lead might do, while the Celtics tried to up their intensity and cut the Suns lead to 55-50.
After a couple of plays though, the Suns picked back up the intensity to hold the lead and pull it back to 61-52.
Marquese Chriss was having himself a game too, so Tyler Ulis wouldn’t get all the attention.
Chriss had 5 blocks by mid-third, plus 5 rebounds and 10 points. He’s a highlight reel going strong.
Eric Bledsoe had his line up to 17/7/5 by late third, with the Suns up 79-68 on the Celtics.
The Suns had a 81-71 lead before melting down at the end of the third to allow the Celtics to take and make two open threes to end the quarter. That’s NINE points by Terry Rozier to end quarters so far tonight (a three just before half, and a pair here).
Suns up only 81-77 at end of three.
After a couple minutes of the 4th quarter, our veteran second-unit duo of Leandro Barbosa and Jared Dudley were an abysmal 1-14 from the field, including 0-6 on threes.
The Suns second unit found a way to stay in the game, and then Booker replaced Barbosa to get a bit more scoring in there, while Isaiah Thomas came back in for Boston.
Thomas had 21 point at this time, but on only 6/18 shooting. Still, he’s the league’s best fourth quarter scorer this season.
Thomas drew a foul on Booker behind the 3P line to quickly cut the Suns lead to 84-82.
Then a couple minutes later, a Thomas three got the Celtics within 1, but Bledsoe had an assist and a three to push the Suns lead back to 6.
Bledsoe was up to 22/8/5.
But then the Celtics scored 7 straight points (2 FTs, then a pair of 3s by Brown and Thomas) and the Celtics took the lead 93-91 with 4:39 left. That’s 9 4th quarter points for IT now.
The rest of the game recap is up above.
ULIS IS THE BOMB.