On Thursday night, the Nets were defeated by the Boston Celtics by a final score of 115-85.
The Skinny: On a day that began with Celtics’ players giving much love to the new-look Nets, Boston’s interior defense to start the game was stingy, and the Nets struggled shooting from the outside. Brooklyn opened the contest 2-of-12 from the outside with six turnovers in the first eight minutes. The Nets went on a mini-run in the second quarter, but Boston controlled play for the rest of the first half and led by 22 points midway through the third quarter. Brooklyn again made a small run, but the Celtics’ offensive and defensive attacks were too strong to close out the game. The Nets actually never held the lead at any point in the game.
High Scorers: Paul Pierce once again torched the Nets from the outside. Though he left the game briefly after rolling his left ankle in the second quarter, Pierce scored 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting and made all four of his three point attempts. Courtney Lee matched Pierce with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a game-high four steals. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 14 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Key Stats: Brooklyn shot poorly from the field all night, hitting on just 29-of-77 shots (39 percent) and only 6-of-20 from three-point range (29 percent). Boston meanwhile shot 48-of-85 from the field (56 percent) and 11-of-19 from downtown (58 percent).
Who Was Hot: Kevin Garnett played with tons of energy, finishing with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, four rebounds and four assists. Rajon Rondo added 14 points and nine assists. Off the bench, Jason Terry was deadly from beyond the arc, hitting all five of his attempts. For the Nets, Gerald Wallace displayed great hustle defensively and scored 10 points with six rebounds. Despite foul trouble, preseason hero Andray Blatche performed well in limited minutes (18:02) and finished with eight points and nine boards.
Who Was Not: Brooklyn’s backcourt was extremely cold from the outside. Deron Williams and Joe Johnson combined to shoot just 6-of-22 from the field. Johnson got off to a 1-of-9 shooting funk, but he did respond with a better third quarter with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting. Boston’s rookie Jared Sullinger was 5-of-9 from the field for 12 points, but he only played 28:14 after picking up his fifth foul early in the third quarter.
Fun Fact: Before tonight’s loss, the Nets and Knicks were the only two undefeated teams in the league this preseason, though the Knicks have only played two games. Got rivalry?
Jim Mancari, SNYNets.com Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.
Jim Mancari, SNYNets.comThe Nets end their stretch of four games in five days Friday night at Barclays Center against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers will still be without newly acquired center Andrew Bynum, who is expected to begin practicing Oct. 24. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.