In a nutshell
The main thing you need to know is that Gino made an appearance with two minutes left in the game, always a great sign.
The Celtics took the lead after five minutes and never looked back, winning 116-95. Boston has won three straight, five straight at home, and is now nine games above .500 (24-15) for the first time this season.
Eight Celtics scored between 10 and 17 points (led by Kyrie irving), and the squad registered an amazing 37 assists (season-high) on 47 hoops. The Cs have now recorded 30-plus assists in four straight games. The Celts also shot 50.5% from the field, made 12 triples, and scored 30 points off 25 brutal Nets turnovers.
The Nets came in as one of the NBA’s hottest teams, winning 12 of their last 15, but they were missing six players to injury and were playing the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics welcomed back Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris and Robert Williams.
What went well
The Celts dominated the first quarter, leading 34-22 after 12 minutes, and got the lead as high as 18 in the second. Although they went cold late in the second, they kept the lead at 11 at half. Marcus Morris scored nine in the third quarter as the Cs edged their lead back to 12, heading to the fourth. A 12-0 run blew it open with about five minutes to play.
The bench contributed 47 points.
Marcus Smart was 4-8 from the arc, after making 5-8 vs. Minnesota the last game.
What went wrong
The Nets made their first four shots in the second half, drawing to 59-54.
Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn’s 6’9” rookie from Latvia, tied his career high with 24 points on 8-15 shooting (5-8 on threes), easily the most impressive Nets performer.
Did you see this?
The Nets scored their first 15 points by making their first five three-point attempts, and didn’t make a two-point FG until almost midway in the first quarter. But…they finished the quarter just 6-12 from the arc, and 8-21 overall – compared to Boston’s 14-26 (and 5-10 from deep).
Proving that everyone now can shoot from deep (except The Coward), Brooklyn’s Kenneth Faried hit a three – only the third of his eight-year career.
This was Smart’s new ‘do. By the way, Smart has made at least one steal in 24 straight games, tops in the NBA.