January 24, 2020

Spencer Dinwiddie scores 32 points to lead the Brooklyn Nets over the Boston Celtics, 112-107; Irving and LeVert are still out

Again, no Kyrie Irving and no Caris LeVert and to recap, LeVert is out with a sprained thumb and Irving with a shoulder impingement. And, Brooklyn Nets “back up” guard Spencer Dinwiddie, says, no problem. With a game-high 32 points (10-of-19 FG, 6-of-8 3FG, 6-of-6 FT) and a season-high-tying 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in 35 minutes, Dinwiddie led all scorers and with some help from his Nets teammates, defeated the Boston Celtics 112-107. The Nets have won three straight home games and five of its last six games at Barclays Center. The Nets improved to 10-9 this season with yesterday’s victory, while the Celtics fell to 13-5 with the loss.

Wire-to-wire, the Brooklyn Nets were locked in.

Coach Speak: Brad Stevens on How The Brooklyn Nets Defeated the Boston Celtics

“That start of the game really hurt us,” remarked Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “I thought Brooklyn was more ready probably than we were, and they really punched us in the mouth. They scored 22 points in the first six minutes. Any day that you let a team get going like that it’s probably going to be a long day. Brooklyn did a great job, played really well, played really hard, played with a lot of purpose, and deserved to win. Our guys stayed in it and tried to give the effort to get back, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole.”

Coach Speak: Kenny Atkinson on the Brooklyn Nets' Physicality

“I thought physically we were really, really good,” Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson said about his team matching Boston’s physicality. “I think that’s what kept us in the game or getting the lead, I think it was our physical presence. I thought from the tip, we were ready, and we sustained it too. They came on real strong at the end. Obviously, they went super small, but they’re still strong, fast, and have really good athletes. I felt like DeAndre (Jordan) really helped us. There was a stretch there where he was just grabbing every board and kind of clearing everybody out. I think that was huge too.”

Brooklyn Nets Scoring Leaders

Speaking of DeAndre Jordan, on his first game back after missing two games with left ankle soreness, he came off the bench and posted his ninth game of double-digit rebounds this season with 11 boards to go along with eight points, an assist and a block in 23 minutes. Other Brooklyn Nets scoring leaders were Taurean Prince who posted 16 points, and four rebounds; Jarrett Allen registered 14 points and a game-high-tying 11 rebounds, in 25 minutes; both Joe Harris and Garrett Temple each recorded 12 points, Harris added six rebounds, four assists, and two steals to his total, while Temple chipped in seven assists, and five rebounds.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had complimentary things to say about Nets center Jarrett Allen, “he’s a good player. He’s impacted the game in a lot of ways. He’s elevated himself into one of the better “bigs” in the east. He played like it today. I thought he was really good. I think we started three of the four halves we played in the last couple of days with a Jarrett Allen dunk. That’s not a good way to start from the Celtic’s side of view.”

Boston Celtics Scoring Leaders

The Celtics’ scoring leaders were Jayson Tatum, who scored 26 points, nine rebounds, and four rebounds; Kemba Walker recorded 17 points and six assists; Marcus Smart added 15 points; Brad Wanamaker registered 11 points, eight rebounds, and three assists, and; Enes Kanter chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

What's Next for the Celtics and the Nets?

The Boston Celtics will stay in New York and travel across the East River to play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden tomorrow, Sunday, December 1, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Also, on Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets will remain at home and host the Miami Heat at the Barclays Center at 3:00 p.m. ET.

 

Without D’Angelo Russell, the Nets leading scorer, the Boston Celtics defeat the Brooklyn Nets 109-102

Returning from a West coast swing, Tuesday night at the Barclays Center was the Nets first game at home in 14 days, and they were without leading scorer, D’Angelo Russell who is suffering from a left knee contusion. He was hurt in the loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

As good as the Celtics are, this wasn’t a game where Boston was out front for the entirety and Brooklyn was trying to play catch up all night. The Celtics started 7 of 9 from the field to lead 17-4, and ended the first quarter 30-21. However, the Nets jumped ahead in the second quarter and countered every time Boston threatened to pull away until the final minutes. Ultimately, the Celtics won their 13th straight victory, defeating the Nets 109-102.

What made the difference in tonight’s game for the Celtics?

“I thought, obviously, answering Brooklyn’s runs,” responded Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “You knew they (Nets) were going to come out and the first part we played great but we didn’t sustain it through probably the next two quarters. But then we mustered up enough at the end of the third to get a lead that went quick, which if you watch Brooklyn play that happens all the time. They do a great job of continuing to grind on you and making it as tough as possible. And they come back a lot. You knew it was going to be tough. I thought our group, once it got settled, played pretty well. ”

In the metrics that mattered, Boston out-rebounded Brooklyn 59-48 and the Nets 62.5 free throw percentage was abysmal compared to the Celtics’ 81.5 percent.

Joe Harris, the Nets three-point specialist, led Nets scorers with 19 points and described the Nets deficiencies against the Celtics.

“A lot of times bad shots offensively can make it really tough on your defense and I think that was a little bit of what happened to us,” Harris explained. “When we don’t play together and when we don’t play with the pass, a lot of times we take difficult shots and a lot of times that’s very similar to a turnover and they’re able to get in a good offense off of tough shots that we were taking.”

“I thought we had a lot of periods where we were really good moving it (the ball),” said Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. “I thought Caris (LeVert) gave us a big boost. He really came in and he’s able to break down the switches when they do switch so he can go by guys, go by their bigs when they do switch. But overall, first half we had 15 assists. I’m not sure what we ended up with, 27? So that’s good news for us. That’s higher than our season average so a lot of positives. Obviously frustrated with the result but they’re an excellent team. They have a lot of talent, a lot of athletic talent that you saw on display tonight.”

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 16 points and nine rebounds for the Nets; while Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert added 15 points apiece. Spencer Dinwiddie totaled 12 points, a career-high-tying 11 assists (with just one turnover), four rebounds and one block in his third start of the season tonight.

For Boston, Kyrie Irving, who wore a facial mask all night because of a facial fracture, led all scorers with 25 points. Irving suffered a facial fracture in Boston's win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. Marcus Morris scored 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, Al Horford led the Celtics in rebounding with 11 boards, and Jayson Tatum added 19 points.

Next up, Boston meets up with the Golden State Warriors in Boston on Thursday night, while the Nets host the Utah Jazz on Friday at the Barclays Center.

The Brooklyn Nets stayed with Boston Celtics to the end, but could not close the deal

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day and last night at the Barclays Center, it sounded as if every Boston Celtics fan from New England was in attendance to root for the Celtics. It was so loud I’m surprised the players could hear each other on the floor.

Unfortunately for the Nets, the luck of the Irish traveled with the Boston Celtics and their fans, as the Celtics pulled out a squeaker routing the Brooklyn Nets 98-95.

It didn’t help that the Nets went scoreless for five minutes in the latter portion of the first quarter, ending that stanza 21-16.

Brook Lopez started a rally for the Nets in the second quarter, coming out the gate scoring the team’s first five points. With a three-pointer, Jeremy Lin helped to create a 10-1 run. But that didn’t hold back the Celtics, they came roaring back with an 11-1 run led by Jae Crowder. The Nets stayed in the hunt until the last buzzer sounded. They ended the second quarter with an eight-point deficit (45-37), and the third with a six-point deficit (71-65).

The Nets had two opportunities to tie up the game in the final nine seconds. However, both Lopez and Quincy Acy missed three-pointers with seemingly good looks.

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson saw a silver lining even in his team’s defeat against the Celtics who stand just two wins behind the Eastern Conference frontrunner, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I think Brook (Lopez) helped us,” Atkinson said. “I thought the first half, we were in pick and roll 98 percent of the first half and it was just too much. We were giving them one dose of the same thing over and over. And then I felt like in the second half we started getting Brook some touches in the post and not just to score, but it just loosened up the defense. Even if he kicks it out for a shot or we’re getting them cuts off the post, so I think that helped us. It helped us penetrate their defense a little and I just felt like in the first half we weren’t getting into the teeth of the defense. So I think that’s what they learned. We can post up a little against this team and give them a little more variety.”

Four of the five Celtics starters scored in double digits. Crowder led all scorers with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Avery Bradley scored 16 points and five rebounds; Al Horford added 14 points and eight rebounds; and Marcus Smart chipped in 12 points and five assists.

Similar to the Celtics, four of the five Nets starters scored in double digits. Lopez had a team-high 23 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Randy Foye scored 14 points, Jeremy Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson each scored 10 points with Lin adding seven rebounds and six assists, while Hollis-Jefferson chipped in 5 rebounds.

Off the bench for the Nets, newcomer Andrew Nicholson scored 11 points, and Acy chipped in 10 points and eight rebounds.

Next up, the Nets will play the Dallas Mavericks at home on Sunday.

Celtics’ Crowder's Big Night Dooms Nets; Shane Larkin Stumbles in Starting Role in Jarrett Jack’s Absence

As the temperature drops in Brooklyn so has the climate surrounding the Brooklyn Nets. On Saturday in a win against the Boston Celtics, 100-97, the Nets lost their starting point guard Jarrett Jack for the remainder of the season, to a torn ACL which he suffered late in the third quarter. On a freezing Monday night in Brooklyn, the Boston Celtics took advantage of Jack’s absence and just added to what has become a miserable season for the Barclays Center’s only professional basketball club.

The Celtics' Jae Crowder and all of his dreads scored a team-high 25 points and six rebounds, leading the C’s to a 103-94 victory over the Nets, winning the other half of the home-and-home series. Crowder started his big night as early as the first quarter, scoring 14 points which helped facilitate the Celtics (19-15) in creating distance, ending the first 12 mins of the game with a 37-22 lead. Despite his strong start, the play’s Crowder made towards the end of the game hurt the Nets (10-24) the most and proved to be the deciding factor in the games result.

When the Nets made their attempts to threaten the Celtics dominance in this game, as well as their chance at winning, Crowder answered the bell. Joe Johnson, who did a little bit of everything scoring 21 points with six rebounds and four assists, drained a big eight-foot jump shot with three mins left in the 4th which cut the Celtics lead to five, 90-85. In response, Crowder sinks a long-range bomb, increasing the C’s lead to eight, 93-85 with a little under three mins left in the final quarter.

“He’s hit big shots for us all year,” Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens said reflecting on Crowder. “He’s not afraid of the moment and he stepped up.”

A minute later, the Nets would find themselves needing a stop, trailing by six, 95-89 and there was Crowder again, making the Nets pay-converting a driving layup and an and-1 to put the C’s up for good 98-89. And for the exclamation point, the Celtics next two points highlighted Marcus Smart, who drove to the rim with a minute left in the 4th and added a beautiful-acrobatic-reverse layup, avoiding Brook Lopez, which put the C’s up by nine, 100-91.

Late game execution continues to be a problem for the Nets but there is no doubt that Lionel Hollins and co. did not get off to the start that they would have hoped to. In the 1st quarter alone, the Nets committed eight turnovers which led to 10 Celtics points.

“We turned the ball over a lot, and that got them out on the open court kind of playing the game at their pace and so, obviously, it’s tough to put yourself in that position and come back from it,” Brook Lopez said post-game, scoring 19 points to the Nets cause.

Fortunately for the Celtics, their strong start was enough to propel them to the win, as their first quarter alone was more points than the Nets could ever rival throughout their entire game. To their credit, the Nets did outscore the C’s in every quarter following the 1st, but the damage was done.

“We just couldn’t make enough plays to get all the way back,” a disappointed Hollins said post-game. Hollins also does not want to associate the Nets lack of ball-control to the loss of Jack, stating that “there is always a rationalization for anything bad that happens” and simply, “we have to keep working and get better.”

In Jack’s place, Shane Larkin assumed the starting role and didn’t have the most dazzling performance like his counterpart, Isaiah Thomas, who added 19 points and seven assists, the second leading scorer on the C’s.

Larkin struggled to create for himself and for his teammates, ending his night with four points, two assists while criticizing his lack of aggressiveness to his low production.

“I’ve just got to go out there and play my game and stop thinking so much and just play,” Larkin said post-game. “I’ve shown I can do it. I’ve had great games this year, I’ve had not so good games this year. I’ve just got to stay being aggressive and just be consistent for my team and it’ll be better for sure.”

Larkin’s comments could be the theme of the Nets profile as a team this year. One of the few bright spots on the Nets continues to be the play of Thaddeus Young who chipped in a double-double, 23 and 15 rebounds to lead all Nets scorers. Jack's injury will force the Nets to take turns being the playmaker, especially in the backcourt, which could result in Johnson handling the ball a little more and tonight was a perfect example of that.

The Nets will host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm.

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