On Tuesday night, the Nets defeated the Boston Celtics by a final score of 97-96.
The Skinny: Paul Pierce came out with the hot hand, scoring 10 of the Celtics first 14 points. Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic entered the game midway through the first quarter and shot well from the outside, which helped the Nets gain the lead. Pierce re-entered the game midway through the second quarter and took over offensively, finishing with 20 first half points and helping Boston regain the lead at the half. The Celtics starters, led by Pierce and Kevin Garnett, overmatched the Nets throughout the third quarter, despite strong offensive play from Andray Blatche. The Nets went on a late fourth-quarter run against the Celtics’ reserves, and a Teletovic free throw with less than five seconds left gave Brooklyn the win.
High Scorers: Pierce led all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting, including 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. Blatche led the Nets with 23 points and pulled down nine boards.
Key Stats: The Nets outscored the Celtics 23-13 in the fourth quarter. Brooklyn was -20 in the 17:48 that James Mays was on the floor, which doesn’t bode well for someone trying to earn a roster spot.
Who Was Hot: Blatche played with a ton of energy as he continues to re-invent himself. He pulled down five offensive rebounds and had a nice outside shot going down all night. Tyshawn Taylor looked like he belonged in his first preseason action, registering six points and five assists. Tornike Shengelia also looked good in his first action, with 11 points in 26 minutes. For the Celtics, Rajon Rondo played a complete game, with five points, five rebounds and 11 assists.
Who Was Not: Five Nets bench players (Teletovic, Mays, Taylor, Shengelia and Carleton Scott) combined for 12 fouls. The Celtics hit on 21 of their 24 free throw attempts as a result. Teletovic was streaky from the outside, making only six of his 17 shots but did score 18 points. Boston’s third unit allowed the Nets to earn the come-from-behind victory in the waning minutes.
Fun Fact: All five starters for the Nets got the night off but will play Thursday and Friday when the team returns home.
Jim Mancari, ContributorThe Nets return to action Thursday at the Barclays Center once again against the Celtics. The 8 p.m. game will be televised nationally on TNT.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.