Celtics 94, Nets 82
Brandon Bass doesn’t get to have leaping contests with opponents very often. Kevin Garnett takes care of those duties for the each game’s opening tip. Tonight in New Jersey, Bass decided to take matters into his own hands and had a leaping contest with Kris Humphries.
With nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bass rose straight up for an offensive rebound after Paul Pierce missed a 3-point attempt. The key word there is straight.
The man who was jumping in front of him was Humphries, the fifth-leading rebounder in the NBA. Bass wound up rising up the ladder one rung more than Humphries did and pulled down the offensive board before slamming home a monstrous follow-up dunk.
This play was all about hustle, energy and sheer will to outperform (and out-leap) the opponent.
It was also about the New Jersey Nets becoming frustrated by Boston displaying those characteristics listed above.
Immediately after the play, the entire Nets team complained to the referees that Bass had committed an over-the-back foul on Humphries on the rebound attempt. However, replays clearly showed that this was not a foul. Bass jumped straight up in the air and simply beat Humphries to the ball fair and square.
Avery Johnson was eventually whistled for a technical foul and Pierce canned the free throw. That three-point swing play gave Boston its first two-possession lead of the second half at 53-48. The Celtics continued to build that lead for the remainder of the quarter and headed into the fourth leading by 13 points.
Bass doesn’t get many opportunities to out-leap opponents, but when he did tonight, it changed the course of the game.
Key Box Score Line
Who’s the proudest person in the NBA? It might be Kevin Garnett, and he showed that characteristic off tonight.
Garnett holds himself and his team to a high standard. He and the Celtics did not live up to that standard Friday night in Toronto. So what did he do? He came out and dominated the New Jersey Nets less than 24 hours later.
In just 30 minutes of action, KG racked up game highs of 21 points and 12 boards. He also pitched in three assists, two steals and one blocked shot. Garnett shot 50 percent from the floor, making eight of his 16 field goal attempts, and also made five of his six free throws. Did we mention that Garnett did this in the second night of a back-to-back? What a performance.
One thing the Nets didn’t want to see was a motivated Garnett. They got him anyway, and that’s one of the reasons New Jersey was blown out of the gym tonight.
Box Score Nuggets
- New Jersey shot just 36.8 percent in the game.
- Four of Boston's five starters scored at least 17 points, led by Kevin Garnett's 21.
- Garnett recorded game highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high 15 assists while Deron Williams recorded 14 for the Nets.
- Avery Bradley scored 18 points and shot 3-for-4 from downtown.
- Boston outrebounded New Jersey 51-42.
- The Celtics grabbed 12 offensive rebounds in the game.
- Greg Stiemsma came off the bench to score six points, grab nine rebounds and block two shots.
- The Celtics blocked eight of New Jersey's 87 shot attempts.
- Brandon Bass logged a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
- Former Celtic Gerald Green led the Nets in scoring with 15 points off the bench.
- The Celtics assisted on 28 of their 37 made field goals.
- E'Twaun Moore scored five points in just 3:31 of playing time.