The first round of the NBA Playoffs has provided thrilling, night-to-night entertainment for basketball fans since they tipped off last weekend. Perhaps no series has been more watched and discussed than Boston and Brooklyn in the 2-7 matchup in the Eastern Conference. As Boston rallied for a come-from-behind victory Wednesday night to take a 2-0 series lead, an unsung hero emerged during crunch time.
Payton Pritchard, a native of West Linn and four year starter for the Oregon Ducks, scored 8 of his 10 points in the fourth quarter to help charge a 21-4 Celtics run. The Oregon product went 4-of-5 from the field while also grabbing a team-high three rebounds in the fourth quarter. Pritchard was a plus-11 in the period and provided a much-needed spark plug when Boston needed it most.
“Payton had a hot hand, had it going, but they guard him differently,” said Boston head coach Ime Udoka, “The spacing, him being able to handle and be a shot maker as well as setting screens, so that worked well for us.”
As Boston looks to get past Brooklyn and make a deep run in the playoffs, Pritchard should continue to play a big role off the bench.