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Boston Celtics stay in playoff race with 110-91 win over Brooklyn Nets

Celtics survive 31 point explosion from Brook Lopez to post a huge road win over the Nets.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After a three game losing streak, the Celtics needed a win here to get back on track. Brooklyn's offense had been the force behind their recent winning run. Their offensive rating over the past five games was 113 points per 100 possessions, which is excellent. Their defense has been equally bad though, which gave the Celtics an area to attack.

Boston's slow start put them in a small hole to begin the game. They made just one shot in the first three minutes. Brooklyn used their size to dominate the offensive boards and score inside. Thaddeus Young got off to a hot start for the Nets.

After a rough start, Avery Bradley took over on offense. He scored eight points on some nice outside shots. Tyler Zeller found success in the post against Brook Lopez. He got into foul trouble after putting up six points though. Besides Bradley and Zeller, the Celtics could not get much going offensively. It's clear how much they miss Isaiah Thomas' ability to attack defenses from the perimeter.

Jonas Jerebko started the second quarter and gave some life to Boston's offense. Jerebko scored eight points inside the paint. Evan Turner created some great looks with his ball handling too. He scored a particularly nice driving layup in traffic.

Jae Crowder had a rough 1st half. He struggled shooting, and was faked out on defense pretty brutally by Alan Anderson.

Boston's defense was much improved in this quarter, mainly by avoiding fouls (except for that call at the end on Bradley). This made a huge difference as Brooklyn kept shooting poorly. The Celtics held Brooklyn to 35% shooting, which should have meant a nice lead considering they shot 50% themselves. But, offensive rebounds continued to be an issue. 14 offensive rebounds to be exact. This kept the Nets in the game offensively.

Kelly Olynyk received a shooter's roll of a lifetime to give the Celtics a 54-49 lead at halftime.

Boston had no answer for Brook Lopez in the third. He scored 13 points, with eight coming in the first three minutes alone. Eventually the Celtics were forced to bring extra defenders to him, which slowed him down some.

After Lopez's initial barrage of points, Boston went on a nice run of their own. Tyler Zeller attacked Lopez to score 10 points of his own, without any help from the officials either. The Celtics built a double digit lead at one point.

After eight minutes of play, a player not named Brook Lopez finally scored for Brooklyn. Deron Williams found a time machine to put a nasty crossover on Brandon Bass. Brooklyn threatened a bit, but couldn't cut the lead down too much. Boston survived Lopez's huge quarter to lead 83-74 after three quarters.

Like the second quarter, Jonas Jerebko began the fourth with a fearsome dunk. The Celtics really attacked the interior of the Brooklyn defense early on. Turner, Pressey, and Olynyk each scored at the rim in the first few minutes.

Kelly Olynyk went on a seven point run by himself to give the Celtics a 16 point lead. The Nets picked up some inside baskets of their own after this. Joe Johnson and Thad Young combined to cut the lead back down to single digits during a dry spell for Boston's offense.

After three minutes without a field goal, Avery Bradley bailed the Celtics out. He made a three and tipped in another shot to extend the lead back into double digits with just a few minutes left. Boston was able to ride out the rest of the game comfortably.

Boston had some great performances on the night, but Evan Turner's triple double of 18 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds led the way.

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