It was a terrible game for Boston as they were outplayed from start to finish. With Avery Bradley in foul trouble all night, Deron Williams was absolutely unstoppable. He finished with 29 points on 9-of-18 shooting with 12 assists and only a single turnover.
For the Celtics, Paul Pierce led the game with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Jeff Green had a rough night, shooting 4-of-17 for only 11 points. Avery Bradley had one of his worst nights in recent memory, logging only 12 minutes. He had two points, one assists and five fouls.
Brooklyn shot 25-of-28 from the free throw line tonight which was a big difference in the game as they were playing aggressive from the opening tip.
Boston got off to an efficient start in the first quarter, with some absolutely stunning ball movement. The C's led 15-7 when Garnett was removed from the game but after the Nets managed to make a run, leading 22-21 after the first quarter.
The second started off nicely for Boston considering they had a run in the middle of the quarter to grab a 37-35 lead. But overall, this quarter was a disaster. After their run, Brooklyn took control and closed the half with a dominant 18-6 run, leading at halftime 53-43. Avery Bradley was in foul trouble the entire half, playing only nine minutes. This aided Deron Williams in scoring a game-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. It's also worth noting that Boston didn't have a single free throw in the half, partially due to lack of aggressive drives to the rim, but also due to a lack of calls.
The third quarter opened up horribly for the Celtics, as the Nets extended the lead to 18. Boston managed to cut the lead back to ten, trailing 79-69 after three.
Doc Rivers opened up the fourth quarter with Terrence Williams, Jason Terry and Jordan Crawford on the floor with the hopes that one of these players would catch fire. It didn't work, as the Celtics were unable to cut the lead significantly. With 8:49 left to go in the game, Boston forced a 24-second violation that ended with a Kris Humphries and Kevin Garnett scrum on the floor. With the crowd back in the game, this was the time for the Celtics to make a run.
For the next three minutes, Boston was unable to cut the lead to less than nine. With six minutes to go, Jordan Crawford had a nice put back tip in after a missed Jeff Green layup. But once again they were unable to get it any closer than nine.
With 5:17 left in the game Avery Bradley was brought back into the game with the hopes that he could stop Deron Williams; No, Williams continued his incredible game, driving hard on Bradley for a layup. Brooklyn pushed the lead back to 19 with three minutes left in the game, taking a 101-82 lead.
With most of the starters removed from the game, Boston did cut the lead to make the loss look respectable, losing 101-93 to the Nets.
- The opening possession of the game resulted in a Gerald Wallace fade away air ball...and the next possession a brick by him from 18-feet. Ouch, not a good start for a guy who said he has lost all of his confidence.
- Jeff Green made a great play at the 8:34 mark of the game. He was on the post with a smaller defender, Joe Johnson, on him. When the help started to come he dribbled into the paint to draw two defenders. This resulted in a sweet over the head pass to Brandon Bass, who nailed an open 17-foot jump shot.
- Avery Bradley had two fouls early and was removed from the game with 8:16 to go. Courtney Lee was the first off the bench.
- Shavlik Randolph was the first big off the bench at the 6:22 mark of the first quarter. This continues the trend that we have seen from the past few games.
- Brandon Bass totally posterized Brook Lopez in the middle of the quarter. It looked like he shot out of rocket. Bass actually had one hell of a quarter, scoring eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, with two rebounds and one assist. He was also doing respectable job boxing out Reggie Evans, which is no easy task.
- The C's led 17-9 with five minutes to go, but the Nets closed the period with a 13-4 run giving them a 22-21 lead.
- Once again continuing the trend from the past few games, Garnett and Wilcox came in to replace Shavlik Randolph to start the period.
- Gerald Wallace went down awkwardly and was carried off the court because of a leg injury. A rough game just got a lot worse for him. Greg Dickerson later reported that the injury is a left heel contusion.
- Kevin Garnett made an awesome bounce pass to Chris Wilcox on a give-and-go play at the 8:35 mark. One minute later, Wilcox had a "Jeff Green-like" (or James Worthy-like?) drive to the basket. He missed the shot but grabbed the offensive rebound and got a put back layup. He had a great quarter, finishing with six points and two rebounds.
- The Nets entered a long drought, not hitting a single field goal over a four-minute period. The Celts outscored them 8-2 during this stretch, grabbing a 37-35 lead.
- Williams broke that run with a three-pointer. The Nets didn't stop after this, outscoring the Celtics 18-6 to end the quarter. Brooklyn just got hot, the ball movement improved, and it appeared that the Celtics lost their offensive rhythm.
- Kevin Garnett got hit with a technical foul with 15.2 seconds left to go after throwing an elbow. I would imagine he was incredibly frustrated after this long run by the Nets.
- Boston didn't shoot a single free throw during the first half.
- Jeff Green and Kevin Garnett combined to shoot 2-of-13 in the half with three turnovers.
- The only positives in the starting unit were Pierce and Bass, who combined to shoot 9-for-13 for 20 points.
- Avery Bradley picked up his fourth foul 40 seconds into the period. Right after a Joe Johnson three-pointer, Doc Rivers called a timeout to try and light a fire under the team.
- Trailing 60-45 with 8:22 to go, Paul Pierce drove to the basket, hitting his layup and drawing an and-one. This was the first time the Celts got to the line all game, Pierce hit the free throw, cutting the deficit to 12.
- The timeout Doc called early in the period didn't work. The largest difference in the game was at the 5:37 mark of the period, when the Nets lead 68-52. A short 5-0 run forced the Nets to call a timeout after Shavlik Randolph took a charge from Brook Lopez.
- Boston managed to cut the lead to ten, trailing 79-69 after the third.
- Boston opened the quarter with a small lineup of Garnett/Green/Williams/Terry/Crawford. Doc was definitely looking for some of these spark plugs to ignite the team.
- The lineup didn't work , as Brooklyn's size was too much for the Celtics to handle.
- Kevin Garnett made a great play with 9:13 to go in the game. From the baseline, he jabbed left but went back to his right with a nice spin move layup that got him to the line.
- There was a scrum on the floor the possession after this when Boston forced Brooklyn into a 24-second violation. Guess who was involved? Kevin Garnett and Kris Humphries, of course.
- Jeff Green showed signs of life with a nice drive to the basket, going to his left. He drew the and-one, hitting the free throw. This cut the lead to nine with 7:15 to go in the game.
- Jordan Crawford had a nice put back layup off of a missed Jeff Green layup.
- By the 2:48 mark of the fourth quarter, Brooklyn pushed the lead up to 19. Had the Celtics been able to cut the lead earlier, the ending of this game might've been different.
- The size of Green and Pierce seemed to bother Brooklyn early in the game. Not that Joe Johnson is small, but he's not big enough to handle either player. On the play mentioned above at the 8:34 mark of the first quarter, the play was created for Bass due to the size difference between Green and Johnson.
- Kevin Garnett moved into sixth all time in minutes played, passing John Stockton. Next up on his list? Wilt Chamberlain.
- Shavlik Randolph vs. Chris Wilcox Update: Wilcox completely outplayed Shavlik in the first. Both players' rebounding and defense appeared to be on par, but Wilcox is much more in sync with the team offensively. This might give him the edge going forward, though it would be interesting to see if things would be different if Wilcox was paired with Bass and Randolph with Garnett. In the second period they appeared to play pretty evenly. Shavlik finished with nine rebounds and Wilcox finished with six points.
- While Jeff Green had a rough game offensively, he and Brandon Bass did quite a solid job holding Reggie Evans to 14 rebounds. That's a lot, but Evans averaged 15.5 rebounds per game for the month of the March and has averaged 18.8 per game so far in April. For a team like Boston, who struggles on the boards, you would expect Evans to yield over 20 boards. (This bullet point might sound sarcastic, but I mean what I say...I'm surprised that Evans didn't get 20+ boards.)
- After Avery Bradley was removed from the game after his fourth foul with 11:11 to go in the third quarter, he didn't appear again until the 5:17 mark of the fourth. Doc must've been saving him for a hopeful run at the end of the game.
- Former Celtics player Kris Joseph made an appearance for the Nets when the game was well out of hand.
- Brooklyn's big three was outstanding tonight. Deron Williams had 29 points, Lopez had 21, and Johnson had 20.
- DJ White got a look in garbage time, totally three minutes. He hit one basket and had a +/- of 11. Clearly Doc Rivers found the missing piece to the puzzle...
- ...but really, the difference in this game was the free throws. The Celtics didn't shoot or rebound any better or worse than the Nets. And the C's definitely didn't turn the ball over more either considering both teams had 12. Brooklyn just got to the line a lot more often. They were 25-of-28 from the line. The Celts didn't get to the line until the third quarter and were only 13-of-17.