Celtics-Nets takeaways: Total staff effort provides C’s fifth straight win initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics took care of enterprise in Brooklyn as they defeated the Nets for his or her fifth consecutive win, 109-98.
They overcame the absence of Jaylen Brown, who was dominated out with proper adductor tightness and will a number of video games with the harm. Veteran large man Al Horford additionally was out on the second night time of a back-to-back, and Brooklyn was short-handed with famous person Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) nonetheless sidelined.
It was a detailed recreation all through because the C’s entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead. There have been 11 lead modifications earlier than Boston took management within the fourth quarter and escaped Barclays Center with an 11-point victory.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum completed with a team-high 20 factors and 11 rebounds. Malcolm Brogdon had one other sturdy night time with 16 factors off the bench. Marcus Smart returned to the lineup with 16 factors and 10 assists.
Ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 24 factors. T.J. Warren chipped in 20 off the bench, and Ben Simmons had 13 assists and 9 rebounds however didn’t rating a degree on solely three discipline purpose makes an attempt.
Here are our takeaways from the Celtics’ win, which brings them to a league-best 31-12 on the season. They’ll look to remain scorching after they go to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night time.
Big night time for C’s guards
The Celtics’ deep backcourt helped to select up the slack with Brown out.
Derrick White was the catalyst with 12 factors within the first half, together with three 3-pointers. He hadn’t hit three 3s in a recreation since Nov. 30.
White was quiet for the remainder of the sport offensively, although he nailed a dagger 3 with 1:12 left on the clock. His presence was felt on the defensive finish as he notched seven rebounds, a steal, and this emphatic block to go along with his 15 factors.
Marcus Smart additionally was a difference-maker in his return to the lineup. The veteran guard was on triple-double watch with six factors, eight assists, and 5 boards within the first half — 5 of these assists coming within the first quarter.
He did not get the triple-double, nevertheless it was an admirable effort as he tallied 16 factors with a team-high 10 assists and 6 rebounds. He additionally had two steals in what was a really Marcus Smart-like efficiency. An encouraging sight in his return from harm.
Malcolm Brogdon simply continues to seem like a Sixth Man of the Year frontrunner. He duplicated his efforts in Wednesday’s win with one other standout efficiency Thursday night time.
Brogdon completed with 16 factors on 7-of-13 taking pictures and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes. Per Celtics radio voice Sean Grande, he trails solely Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk for many factors amongst gamers with no begins this season with 505.
Payton Pritchard bounced again from a troublesome taking pictures night time to go 4-for-7 from the ground and end with 9 factors, together with a few clutch pictures within the fourth. He additionally remained a drive on the offensive glass with three offensive rebounds.
For the second straight night time, Luke Kornet gave the Celtics sturdy minutes at heart.
Kornet was the surprising offensive spark plug within the first quarter, tying Jayson Tatum with a team-high seven factors within the body. The 7-foot-2 large man stepped up in Horford’s absence and hit all 5 of his pictures, together with a 3 and this fancy reverse end that caught himself off guard.
Kornet additionally introduced down 5 rebounds, together with three offensive boards.
C’s interim coach Joe Mazzulla can relaxation assured Kornet can maintain his personal with Williams and/or Horford out. That ought to assist down the stretch if he appears to be like to restrict their minutes for the stretch run.
Time Lord returned to the beginning lineup after taking Wednesday night time off, and C’s followers ought to be thrilled with the consequence.
Previously, Williams’ season-high for minutes was 23. He reached that mark late within the third quarter and blew previous it within the fourth to complete with 29 minutes. That’s a big growth as Mazzulla slowly however certainly provides the fifth-year large man an extended leash.
Williams totaled eight factors, 5 rebounds, one help and a block. While the stat line would not bounce off the web page, the quantity within the minutes column is what actually issues. He’s again.
Ben Simmons continues to be scared to shoot
The Nets actually may have used one other scoring choice to sustain with the Celtics’ balanced effort. T.J. Warren (20 factors) and Joe Harris (18 factors) stepped up, however Ben Simmons’ reluctance to shoot as soon as once more proved pricey.
Simmons ended up with a goose egg within the scoring column as he missed all three of his pictures. He had a season-high 13 assists, together with 10 within the first half, however his refusal to attain was a significant factor in his staff’s demise.
As The Athletic’s Jay King identified, solely three gamers have ever recorded at the least 10 rebounds and 10 assists with out scoring a degree. Simmons was one rebound away from changing into the fourth.