Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 100, Nets 75
Celtics 100, Nets 75
This game started early, and it was over early.
Unlike the Celtics' first Sunday matinee game of the season, which they lost to Toronto in ugly fashion, they didn't let this one slip away. This was a good old fashioned whooping.
The beatdown began in the second quarter, when Boston combined shutdown defense with efficient offense to take away any chance New Jersey thought it had of winning this game. The C's didn't allow the Nets to score a point until the 7:33 mark of the period when Jordan Farmar finally made a jumper for New Jersey. The Nets were limited to just 12 points and five made field goals in the quarter.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the floor, Boston had no issues scoring points of their own. A balanced attack, which included both starters and reserves, put 30 points on the board in the second quarter. The Celtics put together a 21-4 run to open up the second period to bring the score to 48-29 with 3:36 remaining before halftime. When halftime finally arrived, Boston had jumped ahead by 20 points, at 57-37, and everyone watching the game knew this one was already in the bag.
Key Box Score Line
Playing without the top assist man in the league is supposed to have negative effects on a team, but Nate Robinson has proved otherwise this season. Rajon Rondo has now missed four games this season and Robinson has been called on to replace him in the starting lineup for each of those contests. He has filled in admirably, and today's performance was his best of the season to date.
Robinson opened up the game's scoring with a 3-pointer that set the tone for both his afternoon and his team's overall performance. He wound up scoring a game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and also dished out a game-high six assists. Much like Rondo, Robinson was able to flirt with a triple-double as he attacked the glass consistently and ripped down six rebounds.
A team never likes to play without one of its starters, particularly someone of Rondo's caliber. When Robinson can produce box scores like this as a spot starter, though, it proves that the Celtics are in good hands even if their All-Star point guard has to miss a game here and there.
Box Score Nuggets
- Kevin Garnett grabbed at least 14 rebounds for the second straight game. He finished with 14 boards in only 26:35 of playing time.
- Garnett also scored 13 points to record a double-double.
- The Celtics blew the Nets out despite having two of its starters (Paul Pierce with eight points, Shaquille O'Neal with three points) fail to reach double-digits in scoring.
- Only one Nets starter, Anthony Morrow with 10 points, reached double-digits in scoring.
- None of the 10 starters played more than 32 minutes in the game.
- New Jersey shot only 37.5 percent from the floor.
- The Celtics outrebounded the Nets 49-36.
- Filling in for Rajon Rondo, Nate Robinson recorded game-highs of 21 points and six assists. He also had six rebounds.
- Glen Davis scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds off the bench for Boston.
- Marquis Daniels scored 10 points off the bench for the Celtics.
- Jordan Farmar, who scored 16 points for New Jersey, was the only Nets player to score more than 10 points.
- Both teams attempted 15 3-pointers. Boston made three and New Jersey made five.
- No Celtic player committed more than three turnovers. Three Nets, however, committed four.
Quote of the Night
Paul Pierce on if this was a complete game for Boston: "It was about 38 or 39 (minutes). It was very close. These are the type of games that can sneak up on and surprise you. With the New Jersey Nets playing well and the game being at one o’clock, it’s a set up for a letdown. We played about 37 good minutes."