Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens might talk to Kelly Olynyk about playing hard before every game.
Olynyk scored a career-high 30 points after a pep talk from his coach, leading the Celtics to a 105-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
“I talked to coach a couple of days ago,” Olynyk said, “and he said, `We need you to be aggressive. You need to stay aggressive. That’s when you’re at your best. That’s when you’re helping us.’ That’s something I’m really focusing on and really been working on dialing in my shot and getting in a groove and it’s feeling good.”
Olynyk, a reserve, entered averaging 10.3 points per game but just 7.5 over his last 10 contests. But he came out with a scorer’s mentality against Philadelphia, tallying 18 points in the first half on 7-of-9 shooting before ending 12 for 17 from the field, including 3 of 5 from behind the arc.
“You need him to be aggressive every night,” Stevens said. “We need him to make shots. Our team depends on it. He’s a skill guy who can stretch the floor and we need him to do that.”
Stevens believes Olynyk can be a regular, big-time scorer.
“What I want him to do is believe in himself the way we believe in him,” he said. “I think he’s really good and think he could be a really good player. You want to (go from) being a player who’s very capable of doing it and does it on multiple nights to a player that does it every single night.”
Avery Bradley had 15 points, and Brandon Bass and Jeff Green added 14 apiece for Boston (8-14), which snapped a three-game skid.
Rookie Nerlens Noel had a career-high 19 points for the 76ers (2-22), who dropped to 0-13 at home this season. Philadelphia moved closer to the NBA mark for worst home start to a season, set in the 1993-94 season when the Mavericks began 0-19.
“It’s a fact that you do lay an egg from time to time in the NBA over 82 games, and tonight we laid an egg,” Sixers coach Bret Brown said. “It was the first time for me personally in a while where you’re trying to search for answers and I didn’t have any.”
The 76ers were coming off a late collapse in Saturday’s 120-115 overtime home loss to Memphis when they gave up an 18-point lead with 7:39 left in the fourth quarter.
“Maybe it was a letdown from the last game, I don’t know,” Brown said. “We can’t afford to have those types of letdowns.”
Tony Wroten, who entered leading Philadelphia in scoring at 17.5 points a game, went scoreless.
Boston rebounded after Friday’s 101-95 loss to the Knicks, a game in which New York snapped its 10-game skid. Rajon Rondo had two points in that defeat and Jared Sullinger was scoreless.
The duo improved slightly against Philadelphia, tallying five points apiece. But they weren’t needed much against the offensively challenged 76ers, who entered averaging a league-low 91.4 points. Philadelphia managed just 13 points in the second quarter and entered the break trailing 57-38.
Boston fell into an early hole by missing its first nine field goals before settling in. Olynyk’s 14 points helped Boston go in front 30-25 at the end of the first quarter.
Philadelphia never cut the margin under double-digits after halftime.
The 76ers scored below 90 points for the third time in the last four games and 11th time this season.
Olynyk’s 30 points came in 31 minutes off the bench, marking the first time a Celtics sub had 30 or more points in 31 or fewer minutes since Xavier McDaniel had 30 points in 29 minutes on Feb. 28, 1993 against Portland.
Celtics: Marcus Smart (Achilles) and Marcus Thornton (calf) were out for Boston. … Boston improved to 2-0 against the Sixers this season, including its 101-90 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 19. . Boston outscored Philadelphia 25-1 in fast-break points.
76ers: Signed Turkish power forward Furkan Aldemir and waived Ronald Roberts. . Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels sat courtside next to 76ers owner Josh Harris. . Philadelphia last won at home on April 14 of last season against Boston. . F K.J. McDaniels returned to the lineup after missing Saturday’s game due to an ankle injury.
Philadelphia hosts Memphis on Friday.
Boston hosts Orlando on Wednesday.