Isaiah Thomas ties John Havlicek’s Celtics record for consecutive 20-point games
John Havlicek stole the ball, but Isaiah Thomas is on the cusp of swiping an impressive record from the Celtics legend.
Thomas tied Havlicek in the C’s history books at the Garden last night, eclipsing the 20-point mark for the 40th consecutive game, the longest streak in franchise history. Thomas dropped 33 points in a 116-108 win over the 76ers, and was humbled to be mentioned alongside Havlicek.
“I always say it, it doesn’t seem real,” Thomas said. “For my name to be mentioned with such greats and Hall of Famers. For me it doesn’t seem like it should be like that, but it means I’m doing something well and I’m just glad we’re winning on top of being mentioned with all these great players.”
Brad Stevens has had a front row seat to Thomas’ run, and the coach knows he’s witnessing something exceptional from his point guard.
“When you know you’re getting 20-plus points from a guy on a given night, it’s a pretty special trait,” the coach said. “It’s pretty special to know that.”
Stevens explained that it’s not just mental toughness that led Thomas to this point, it’s his willingness to take the floor when he’s banged up and battle through it.
“He’s been amazing with his consistency regardless of how he feels,” Stevens said. “Regardless of little nicks and bruises and everything else, he just keeps going. He’s a tough guy, a tough-minded guy and his consistency has been impressive.”
When asked about that aspect of the record, Thomas offered a blue-collar response: “For the most part, I just try to come in and do my job and be as consistent as possible. I think that’s what I’ve tried to do my whole career.”
Another Celtics record is within Thomas’ reach.
Larry Bird averaged a franchise-best 29.9 points in 1987-88. Thomas is up to 29.9 this season, and he didn’t hide the fact that beating Bird had crossed his mind.
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it,” Thomas said. “It would mean a lot, especially with such great players that played before me. But I’m not aiming for it. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t I’ll be fine.”
As for his contemporary competition, Thomas is currently sitting second in the NBA in scoring. He believes he can catch Oklahoma City’s triple-double machine Russell Westbrook (30.9 entering last night) before season’s end.
“Yeah that’s a goal,” Thomas said. “I think I can. I’m confident I can. But like I said, I’m not chasing that. Maybe it happens, maybe it doesn’t.”
Whether Thomas runs down those marks or not, Stevens is glad to have a guy that he can count on to bring it every time he takes the court.
“I think consistency and being able to do it every night is what separates the guys, obviously you mentioned Havlicek,” Stevens said, “the great ones.”