Ford Keys to the Game: Nets 70, Celtics 89
Nets 70, Celtics 89
We’re not sure where the real Boston Celtics were for the first 30 minutes of tonight’s win over the New Jersey Nets, but they sure showed up at the 31-minute mark.
It was if the Celtics were toying with the depleted Nets team, allowing them to head into the locker room trailing Boston by just one point. That Celtics lead didn’t grow much over the first few minutes of the second half, either. In fact, it turned into a four-point deficit at one point.
However, once the midway point of the third quarter rolled around, it was no longer time for toying around. The Celtics flipped the switch and turned it into full throttle.
Brandon Bass turned the keys to the ignition with an 11-foot jumper at the 5:28 mark of the third to put the Celtics ahead by five points. Paul Pierce, who scored a game-high 24 points, followed that bucket up with a 3-pointer just 32 seconds later and with that, the rout was on.
Pierce and second-year guard Avery Bradley combined to score the next six points for Boston to put the C’s up 61-47. As fate would have it, Bass was able to put this game into overdrive as he drilled the final basket of the quarter with just less than a minute remaining. His 17-foot jumper put the Celtics ahead by 16 points heading into the fourth quarter. That lead was insurmountable for a New Jersey squad that was playing without its three best players.
The Celtics’ new high-octane power forward was able to open up and close Boston’s 16-3 run that took place at the end of the third quarter. Pierce was able to provide the padding between Bass' two buckets, which all combined to push Boston to its fourth straight victory.
Key Box Score Line
This part of the Keys to the Game is never easy to fill out when four different Celtics log outstanding individual games. But a decision must be made, and tonight Brandon Bass is the king of the box score.
Bass was one of two Celtics who notched a double-double, with Kevin Garnett being the other, and the sixth man outperformed Garnett in both points and rebounds. Bass scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and tied his career high in boards by pulling in 13.
Boston’s top reserve is playing so well that it’s becoming a surprise when his shots don’t fall through the hoop. Bass has lifted himself to a new level on offense, and Doc Rivers said after the game that he wants his power forward to continue to shoot the ball as much as possible moving forward. After all, we’re learning that he’s not so adept at passing, unless of course he’s passing to the basket.
Box Score Nuggets
- New Jersey shot just 40.5 percent from the floor.
- Four Celtics scored in double-figures.
- Paul Pierce scored a game-high 24 points and also chipped in six rebounds and five assists.
- The Nets made just four of their 20 3-pointers.
- Brandon Bass tied a career high with 13 rebounds and also scored 15 points.
- MarShon Brooks (17 points) was the only New Jersey player to score more than 11.
- Former Celtic Shelden Williams notched eight points and nine rebounds.
- Kevin Garnett logged 14 points and 12 boards for his first double-double of the season.
- Rajon Rondo fell two points shy of being the third Celtic to notch a double-double tonight, as he finished with eight points and 12 dimes.
- Boston committed 10 turnovers in the first half, but only three in the second half.
- The Celtics led by as many as 24 points.
- New Jersey outscored Boston 38-32 in the paint.
- Avery Bradley scored a season-high 11 points.
- Bradley also finished with two assists, two fouls, two steals and two turnovers.
- Boston outrebounded New Jersey 45-34
- The Nets were limited to 18 or less points in each of the first three quarters.
- Brooks attempted a game-high 16 shots.
- The Nets attempted only 10 free throws in the game.
Quote of the Night
Brandon Bass on his role with the Celtics: "Energy, play good defense, rebound, score when I get good opportunities. That’s what I think my role is and that’s what I’m going to try to bring every night."