As tonight’s game started, it looked like the extremely sloppy play Boston exhibited against GSW on Wednesday would continue. The Celts turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes. But thanks to more long range shooting from Rajon Rondo, Boston was up 26-20 after 1Q. Rajon tore it up in the first quarter: 13 points, 3 of 3 from downtown, 2 assists & 5 rebounds. A very promising start. Paul Pierce’s first quarter wasn’t too shabby either in his second game back since being traded (sad face) last summer. The Truth put in 8 points to keep Brooklyn close heading into the second stanza.
Quarter number two opened-up with the best offense we’ve seen from Boston in quite some time. Crisp passing, nice ball movement and high energy. Kelly Olynyk and Chris Babb provided a nice spark off the bench, helping the Celtics open up their biggest lead in a month. After Babb’s second trey in two minutes, it was 41-24 Boston with 7:51 to go until halftime. As Jessica Camerato noted, Brad Stevens had a lineup of Pressey, Babb, Olynyk, Sully & Bayless on the floor at one point. This group was aggressive & hungry during their time on the floor, and helped the Celts put some distance between themselves and Brooklyn. But Boston shot themselves in the foot by continuing to commit turnovers-13 of them in the first half. Fortunately, the Nets couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. They were a putrid 14 of 41 (including 0 of 17 from three which is worst in the NBA this season) from the field in the first half, which enabled the C’s to go up 53-41 at the half.
Jeff Green started to get it going early in the 3rd. An aggressive Uncle Jeff scored a quick six points and the Celts opened their lead back up to 18 early in the quarter. It was 64-46 Boston with 8:24 to go in the 3rd. The pace of the game slowed dramatically about half way through the quarter, which favored the Nets. Both teams were attempting a hell of a lot of free-throw attempts, Boston stopped moving the ball and the Celts were lulled to sleep. Brooklyn cut the lead to 70-65 after an Andrei Kirilenko three-point play at the 2:20 mark. But a big Jared Sullinger trey and block on Blatche sparked a nice run by Boston to end the 3rd. They headed into the final stanza up on Brooklyn 78-70. Jeff Green had 9 points in the quarter and kept the C’s from surrendering their lead.
Things got rather ugly in the 4th. The referees were calling a foul on what seemed like every play, and the Celtics (and Nets for that matter) struggled mightily on offense. The two teams combined for 27 total points in the final quarter. But the Celtics hung on to get the dubya. Boston comes away with a 91-84 win tonight at TD Garden. Old friend Paul Pierce had 10 points, 3 rebounds & 3 steals. Joe Johnson led Brooklyn w/21 points. The Celts are off tomorrow, and face the Pistons on Sunday night. Tip-off at the Garden is set for 6pm.
- Rondo cooled off a bit in the second half scoring wise, but continued to get his teammates involved. The Captain had near triple-double numbers on the night: 20 pts, 9 assists, 7 rebounds & 4 steals. Jeff Green put in 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting.
- Jerryd Bayless was solid in a starting role. 7 of his 14 points came in the 4th to help Boston hold off any Nets comeback. Kelly Olynyk had 13 points & 6 rebounds, but also showed he has a ways to go as far as being an NBA player goes. He missed a few bunnies and had 6 turnovers.
- With 28 total turnovers, Boston was extremely fortunate to walk off the floor with a win tonight. Ugly.
Rondo’s dazzling dribbling display:
Rondo en fuego:
The Grid: (quick stats)
- The Nets shot…hide your eyes…4 of 30 from three
- Boston went 21 of 26 from the free-throw line