BOSTON — The Nets were on the road in the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics hadn’t played since Sunday.
The score didn’t reflect any of those things, as the Nets took a second-quarter lead that they never came close to giving up, and pulled away in the fourth before Boston scored some garbage points in a 101-93 Brooklyn win at TD Garden Wednesday night.
The Celtics continued to go with their “big” starting lineup of Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, Paul Pierce, and Avery Bradley, but Brooklyn is big on its own, and actually matched up well with Boston’s lineup with Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace at the shooting guard and small forward position, respectively.
Boston went ahead 39-38 with just over four minutes to play in the second quarter, but Brooklyn went on a 15-4 run and took a ten-point lead into the half.
That’s when Pierce became the lone Celtics to snap out of the team-wide funk, as he did something Boston didn’t do much of for the first half – take the ball to the hoop. Pierce scored ten points in the third quarter, and was the first Celtic to get to the line in the game nearly 28 minutes in. Still, the Celtics trailed by by ten at the end of three quarters, 79-69.
But Pierce didn’t score any points in the fourth quarter, and the Celtics didn’t do enough without him as Brooklyn pulled away.
The Nets had a balanced attack all night between Brook Lopez (21 points, four rebounds), Deron Williams (29 points, 12 assists), and Joe Johnson (20 points). They also got 14 rebounds out of Reggie Evans
Nobody on Boston got it going aside from Pierce, who finished with 23 points. Kevin Garnett had 11 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
What they’ll be saying: The Celtics got a little taste of their own medicine on Wednesday night, going up against a team that plays a relatively big starting lineup – bigger than Boston’s, for sure – of their own. The Nets are big from the center on down to the point guard, as Deron Williams is a rather large one. The C’s were no match. With the loss, Boston drops a half-game further back from the Hawks, and it’s looking more and more likely that Boston will face the Knicks in the opening round of the playoffs. That’s a matchup that Boston will take.