17-time NBA champions, the Boston Celtics, defeated 26-time Italian League champions Olimpia Milano 124-91 at the Mediolanum Forum in the opening leg of their European trip.

Point guard Isaiah Thomas led the scoring for the Celtics with 18 points after coming off the bench in the first quarter and Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley both finished with 14 points apiece.

Thomas said: “I think as a team we played really well, there were times we didn’t play so well especially at the start of the third quarter. But I think we should be really happy as it’s the first time we’ve played against another team.”

Italy forward Alessandro Gentile top scored for Olimpia Milano with 19 points with teammates Charles Jenkins and Robbie Hummel adding 14 and 12 points respectively.

“Honestly it surprised me because I know they started their camp a few days ago, but they played really well together,” Milano Head Coach Jasmin Repesa said. “The way they played, moved the ball, offense, defence… I’m really surprised they can play this sort of basketball after just a few days together.”

Boston now travel to Spain where they will face Euroleague champions Real Madrid on Thursday.

Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens said: “We’ve got plenty of film of being late on rotations, we were fortunate that they missed a lot of shots. We’ll have to improve that as we get ready for Madrid because their skill is outstanding, they make you pay if you’re late.”

Earlier this week, Fenerbahce became the latest Euroleague outfit to defeat a NBA side when they beat the Brooklyn Nets 101-96 in New York.

pic: NBAE/Getty

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