Brad Stevens decided well ahead of tip-off Monday night that he would rest three of his starters, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford.
As such, Boston’s reserves knew well ahead of tip-off Monday night that they’d be called upon to either start or log increased minutes.
They were prepared, and that much was obvious once the game began.
Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes stepped into the starting lineup and played key roles in Boston dominating Philadelphia from the jump. Rozier and Smart combined to score 18 points during the opening quarter, while the C’s built up a 37-20 lead.
The key to the strong start was ball movement, spacing, and, as you might expect, shooting. Boston canned six of its eight 3-pointers during the opening frame, including two from Smart and one from Rozier. Five Celtics converted on a 3-pointer during the quarter.
Boston’s lead would eventually grow to as many as 34 points during a contest that was at no point competitive. The Celtics cruised to a 113-96 win behind their super-subs turned super-starters, all while their three All-Stars rested up for Wednesday night’s tilt with the Hornets down in Charlotte.