BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, basking in the glow of his team's most complete effort and a lopsided 103-86 triumph Friday over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, was asked if he had caught a glimpse of the Gino Time celebration video that ran with two minutes to go.
"What is it?" asked an amused and confused Stevens.
Media members did their best to quickly explain the "American Bandstand" mash-up that features a smooth-grooving, bearded man in a Gino Vannelli T-shirt as the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing" blares. It has served as the team's victory cigar of sorts since before the Big Three era.
Some wondered if it might have been traded to Brooklyn as part of the summer blockbuster, particularly given the affection owned for the clip by Kevin Garnett (who should be credited with turning Gino Time into a phenomenon). But there it was on Friday night, bringing the Garden faithful to their feet with Boston out front 101-80 with 1:56 to play.
Stevens apologized for not knowing what was being referenced and suggested that maybe his kids had caught it. It was further explained that it almost exclusively runs during the final full timeout of lopsided victories, of which, obviously, there had been none this season at TD Garden.
"Do you think that maybe nobody thought we'd have a game out of reach?" Stevens asked with a smile. "I don't know."
For at least one night, these transitioning Celtics could do no wrong. Jeff Green put on his aggressive shoes and scored a season-high 31 points. Brandon Bass banked in the first 3-pointer of his nine-year NBA career. Jordan Crawford asked for a little trash-time action and completed the third triple-double of his career.
Boston scored 18 of the contest's first 20 points and put the game on cruise control. Sprinkle in the sweet-shooting exploits of Avery Bradley (21 points on 9-of-11 shooting overall) and Jared Sullinger (12 points on 4-of-5 shooting beyond the 3-point arc) and it all added up to the first Gino appearance of the season.
Sure, it was a bit bizarre without Garnett, a towel draped over his head, pointing up to the video screen with each appearance of the man nicknamed Gino, who has spawned everything from T-shirts to hats to superfans with his moniker. Celtics fans still roared each time the man's long legs and jointless arms grooved for them.
Gerald Wallace looked up to the video screen with a knowing glance (he's been on the wrong side of Gino in the past), and Sullinger and Bass shared a quick laugh as one of Garnett's favorite clips played. But most of Boston's new faces just shrugged and went back to their on-court business. Even Rajon Rondo seemed rather unfazed.
"We were really locked in," said Sullinger. "We don't have a lot of guys that enjoy Gino Time like the one guy that used to be here in Kevin."
It'll grow on them all -- maybe even Stevens -- in time. Just two nights ago after a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Celtics lamented the lack of a home-court advantage this season. Boston entered at 2-5 overall at TD Garden, but a visit from the heavily disheveled Cavaliers was just what this young team needed.
Keith Bogans and MarShon Brooks have often been stapled to the bench this season, but Bogans got seven minutes of second-half floor time, while Brooks made a two-minute cameo. Boston's bench combined for just 16 points, but it didn't really matter. All five Boston starters landed in double figures, dominating the early portions of the first and third quarters as the Celtics' lead ballooned as high as 25.
Boston led from start to finish.
"It feels good to just get a win at home, period," said Green. "These fans deserve it. They've been supporting us since day one. We've had our games where we've had the lead and we lost it, and they still come to support. It feels good to get a win for them like this."
The Celtics shot 50 percent from the floor, including 47.8 percent beyond the arc. Sullinger has suddenly embraced the 3-point line, while Bradley connected on 3 of 4 beyond the arc.
Boston made eight of its first 10 shots (while Cleveland made just one of its first 10) and halfway through the first quarter, the game was out of hand.
"Sometimes you can get rolling and sometimes you play with a great deal of confidence and that is kind of what happened tonight," said Stevens. "The deal is, when you have those nights, you better win. I'm glad that we found a way to do that. I thought that that might have been our best game on both ends of the floor that we have played. We had a number of different guys contribute what I thought was really good contributions."
Maybe it was enough for someone to introduce Stevens to Gino Time.