Recap: Celtics display toughness, get payback over Nets | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Celtics display toughness, get payback over Nets

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After two terrible losses, the Celtics traveled to Brooklyn for a gut check game. Not only did the Cs win, 103-94, but they outhustled and outmuscled the Nets, scoring 54 points in the paint in leading almost the entire 48 minutes.

Jae Crowder posted a career-high 25 points, including a cold-blooded three-pointer that put the Celts in control after the Nets had pulled within five points with three minutes to play. Crowder then closed it out by driving the ball for an and-one over mountainous Brook Lopez – flexing his bicep after the shot dropped. The three-point play gave Boston a nine-point lead with 1:29 remaining, sealing the win.

Isaiah Thomas added 19 for Boston while Amir Johnson, Evan Turner (starting for injured Avery Bradley) and Jared Sullinger scored 12 apiece. ET and Sully also grabbed 11 and 10 boards, respectively. The Nets had four players in double figures, led by Thad Young, who scored 23 with 15 rebounds and was a thorn in the side all night.

After falling behind 7-2, the Celts went on a 16-5 run to take an 18-12 lead and force a Nets timeout. (That was the final lead change of the night.) The Cs made their push by rediscovering their defensive game from earlier this season. In the first quarter alone, they had six steals and forced eight Brooklyn turnovers, leading to 11 fast break points and 20 points in the paint. Boston led 37-22 at the buzzer, closing with an 11-3 run.

The Celtics continued to exhibit high energy in the second quarter, finishing the half with 34 points in the paint and a 56-42 lead. Brooklyn stayed within reach by hitting the offensive glass, but the Nets had zero fast break points before intermission.

In the third, Lopez woke up offensively, dropping 11 points, including 5-5 from the free-throw line. Young added eight points and five boards in the frame, helping the Nets close within 79-68 heading to the fourth.

In that fourth quarter, the Celts shot poorly (7-23) but Crowder and Thomas combined for 15 points to maintain control.

The Green:

Amir’s first-half defense on Lopez, who had only four points at the half after dominating on Saturday.

Crowder was everywhere in the first quarter, with 14 points, a steal and a charge take.

Marcus Smart made the steal of the year, and also curled in an impossible twisting layup that showed both power and finesse (see Greenlights).

Celts shot only 6-21 from the arc, but clearly made an effort to get the ball inside and not settle.

The Gross:

Kelly Olynyk started in order to create more spacing on offense, but managed to shoot just 1-8 in the first half.

The Greenlights:

Incredible play, and horrible held ball call on the quick whistle.

Muscle

How did he do that?

The Grid:

  • Shooting: Celtics 41-92 (44.6%), Nets 32-85 (37.6%)
  • Points in the Paint: Celtics 54 (27/51), Nets 40 (20/42)
  • 2nd Chance Points: Celtics 7 (3/13), Nets 14 (6/16)
  • David Lee was DNP-CD.

Box Score

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  • Jaedre

    Marcus Fucking Smart!!! Him and Crowder are my favorites on the team

    • Mike C

      This kid is special, no doubt about it. I’ve never seen a player dive for a ball that is rolling up the court. Makes me wonder why no one’s ever tried that before. My only fear is that he does seem injury prone. Great bounce back win tonight by the Celtics. Lets keep it going now!

      • MondoCane

        nobody does that, because diving over and over on the floor comes with a cost. sooner rather than later Smart will have to learn how to be an effective defender without the hero plays, otherwise his body will ask him to pay a toll. moreover, if he keeps sitting out because of minor injuries every 10-15 games, his offensive game will never fully develop.
        therefore, as much as we all enjoy seeing him diving on the floor or scoring put-back dunks that ultimately lead him to fall hard on his back, he needs to find ways to develop an all around game and spare his body from unnecessary issues.

        • Sean

          Marcus doesn’t need to get rid of the hero plays altogether, he just needs to save those for the playoffs

      • jrleftfoot

        Dave Cowens

  • MJ

    The most telling stat of the night: David Lee – Healthy DNP

    I say, if the Celtics keep putting up stats like that, I like their chances going forward!

  • NE_Celt

    That was the steal of the year… And a horrible jump ball call… The ref was as surprised as the rest of us and didn’t know what to do… I’m sure in their refs huddle before the jump ball they were like Ref#1″did you see that play?!” Ref#2″yea man, that was nuts!” Ref#3″yea, I didn’t know what to do, so I called a jump ball, but damn, that was awesome!”

  • Curt Hays

    I’m pretty dissatisfied by this “win”. It was luck. They had some shots fall in the first quarter and got beat in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters.

    This team is stalling out.

    • BIG_HITTA1

      Curt, I totally agree. The article title of “C’s Get Payback” is a shame and never should have had the chance to be an article. The fact that the C’s lost the first game to the Nets is a travesty. The Nets suck and the C’s played BELOW the competition. This team seems to think it is much better than it is; before the Lakers game AJohnson is saying he was looking at the Lakers record and “just felt we had the game”. IT is talking about the All Star game – REALLY!!!??!! These two examples are very telling and Stevens & Ainge need to do something ASAP. A wake up call should have crushed into these guys after losing to the Lakers and the Nets in those back to back atrocities. I love it when pro athletes are honest but man are these guys heads in a bad place.

      • Curt Hays

        I’m with you on the players. I don’t see a problem with Mike posting the article. Reds Army needs to be honest, as they always try to be, but it also needs to be positive.

        One thing that Reds Army does, similar to Brad Stevens, is to look forward. When not actually in a game, the only game that matters is the next one.

        How this team responds through February will decide for me how I really feel about the team and Brad. Brad has had great surges forward as a coach, but he’s stagnating right now. Maybe he and Danny are working something out.

        The jury is still out, but at this point there are 7 jurists voting to blow it up.

        • BIG_HITTA1

          just to clarify I have no problem with the article being posted. I have a problem with the fact the C’s lost to Brooklyn and then had to seek payback!!! Its an article that Mike should not had to write.

          • Curt Hays

            OOOOOOOOH. You ain’t wrong.

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