Kemba Walker Fuels Celtics Big Win
The Boston Celtics needed to get back on the winning track after a rough three-game losing streak, and losing 8 of their last 11 games, and guard Kemba Walker’s big night was enough to beat the Indiana Pacers to get back in the win column on Friday night.
Walker picked up the slack for rough offensive nights by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, to score 32 points and notch 6 assists as the Celtics beat the Pacers 118-112 in a win that was sorely needed for the struggling Celtics.
“I don’t think we win the game without his will,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, according to ESPN’s Tim Botemps. “I think that no matter how everyone is playing, when that thing was 18-4, he was the loudest voice. He willed us back into that thing. And now, we’re back on our footing, [and] we have a little bit of confidence, which has been shot this week.
“But that’s what really good players do. That’s what veterans do. That’s what guys that have been there, done that and done it for a long time do. So I really thought he led us tonight.”
“I try to bring that aspect to the game every night, my leadership,” Walker said. “I try to use my voice as much as possible to keep my teammates up when things are not going well.
“I know guys look to me in situations like that, and you know, just try to stay upbeat, just try to stay positive, and just bring that energy to the team.”
Walker has been having a rough season himself, plagued by injuries and struggles on the court that saw him entering Friday’s tilt against Indiana shooting 37.5% from the field, the second-worst percentage of his career.
Following the big win on Friday, Walker says it’s on leaders, such as himself, to keep the Celtics on the winning path moving forward.
“We’ll figure it out,” Walker said. “That’s on me. That’s on Jaylen. That’s on Jayson. That’s on Marcus [Smart]. And then Tristan [Thompson] and Jeff are gonna add on to that, as well. That’s on the veteran guys, as well as Brad, too. We’ve got to keep it together. We can’t let nobody go in any other direction. Even though things might not be going as well as we would like it at the moment, but things could change really fast, so the only way you can get out of struggles is by doing it together.”