Grant Williams steps up in C's win over Golden State originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics' West Coast trip started off on a good note Tuesday night as they defeated the Golden State Warriors in a nail-biter, 111-107.
Jayson Tatum led the C's with 27 points, but a solid all-around effort by the supporting cast is what sealed the C's victory. Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown added 19 and 18 points respectively, Daniel Theis was rock-solid in his 29 minutes, and Grant Williams was key for Boston's second unit.
Here are three instant overreactions to the Celtics win, which brings them to 11-8 on the campaign:
1. The two-big lineup isn't so bad after all.
Brad Stevens has taken plenty of heat this season for sticking with the double-big lineup, but this time the move paid off vs. Golden State's depleted frontcourt. Daniel Theis was +24 in 29 minutes and finished with eight points to go with 11 rebounds. Tristan Thompson had 13 points and eight boards.
The Celtics' success on the glass was the difference-maker in this game. They finished with 51 rebounds to the Warriors' 36.
Is the two-big lineup going to have a 100-percent success rate? Absolutely not. Usually, the C's are going to want to depend on their shooters to propel them to victory. But this win showed there's a place for the two bigs in certain matchups.
2. Steph Curry is firmly in the MVP conversation.
Steph Curry entered Tuesday's game +1400 to win his third NBA MVP award according to our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook. If you're willing to put down some cash, that may not be such a bad bet.
Curry has the disadvantage of being on a middling team and a fringe playoff contender, but he continues to insert himself firmly in the MVP conversation with performances like this one. The 32-year-old tallied 38 points (7-for-15 from 3) with 11 rebounds and eight assists in the losing effort.
He also did this:
Yeah, he's something else.
The Warriors probably will need to work their way into a top-five seed for Curry to have a shot at taking home the MVP trophy, but crazier things have happened.
Verdict: Not an overreaction
3. Grant Williams can be a consistent bench scorer.
Grant Williams was the unsung hero in Boston's victory. With Marcus Smart absent and the rest of the C's second unit lacking much of a punch, Williams provided 15 points, four rebounds and two blocks in his 27 minutes. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown.
Can we count on Williams to have these kinds of performances night in and night out? Probably not. But the 22-year-old stepped up in a big way Tuesday night. If he can replicate these outings every now and then when the bench needs a boost, that'll go a long way.
The Celtics' West Coast trip continues with a matchup vs. the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night at 10 p.m. ET.