The Least You Should Know
[sny-box] The Nets had a comfortable 13-point lead after three quarters but went cold from the field to start the fourth. The Celtics though could not make a serious enough dent into the lead, so when Brooklyn regained its stroke, the game was sealed.
Playing in his first game since Nov. 20, Deron Williams looked great in his return with a game-high and season-high 25 points, and he added seven assists.
Brook Lopez was dominant in the paint all game, scoring 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Kevin Garnett recorded 11 points and nine rebounds against his old team.
All five Boston starters finished in double figures, led by Avery Bradley’s 22 points. Brandon Bass notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Nets outscored the Celtics in the paint, 48-30. Brooklyn shot 56 percent (39-for-70) from the field.
So much for a 20-24 minute limit for D-Will. Williams wound up playing 36:46 in the win, and he played his typical aggressive style that the Nets sorely missed in his absence.
What more can be said about Lopez’s recent performance? In his last two games, he’s shot 21-of-26 from the field for 56 points. He exploited his height advantage all game against the Celtics.
Jason Kidd naturally was trying to find a few minutes of rest for Williams and Lopez, but they both were needed down the stretch.
Garnett really showed up against his former team in the first game between these teams since the summer blockbuster. His emotion was obvious, and he knocked down some key jumpers as well as really crashing the boards hard in the fourth quarter. It was only the third time this season he's scored in double figures
In his first-ever game against the Celtics, Paul Pierce came off the bench for only the fourth time in his 15-year NBA career. He only managed four points, but he did contribute seven rebounds.
The real key in this game was the first quarter. The Celtics had averaged 31.2 points in the first quarter in their last five games, but instead it was the Nets that put up 31 points in the opening frame, compared to just 20 from Boston.
The Celtics have played a high-energy style of basketball all season – which has guided them to the top of the weak Atlantic Division – but the Nets were able to match that energy all night in what was the team’s most complete game under Kidd’s tutelage (keep in mind his was still suspended in the win over the Miami Heat in the second game of the season).
With the win, the Nets snap their six-game losing streak at Barclays Center and have now won two games in a row for the first time this season.
Match-ups with familiar faces continue Thursday when the Nets host Doc Rivers – who coached Garnett and Pierce with the Celtics – and the Los Angeles Clippers. Tip is set for 8:00 PM.