It took about six minutes for the Brooklyn Nets to snag momentum away from the Boston Celtics, slicing Boston’s lead from 20 points down to two late in the third quarter.
It took less than two minutes for the Celtics to take that momentum right back and cruise to a 91-84 victory.
Boston had a decision to make with two minutes remaining in the third: would it stand up in the face of adversity, or would it allow the Nets to complete their impressive comeback suffer a devastating loss?
The Celtics chose the former.
Just 16 seconds after Brooklyn cut Boston’s lead down to two points, Jeff Green responded with what may have been the biggest bucket of the night. He hit a 16-foot, fadeaway jumper as he was fouled. He converted on the ensuing free throw to put the Celtics back in top by five at 73-68.
Joe Johnson scored a bucket on Brooklyn’s next possession but the Celtics kept the pedal down as the period came to an end. Jared Sullinger canned a 3-pointer in the face of Andray Blatche and Chris Johnson closed out the quarter with two free throws.
The third quarter came to a close with Boston leading 78-70. That eight-point lead felt like it was a 15-point lead considering the way the Celtics had responded to Brooklyn’s run. The Nets never clawed to within less than seven points for the remainder of the night.
Key Box Score Line
Rajon Rondo gave Paul Pierce a first-person reminder of what he doesn’t have down in Brooklyn: a triple-double threat every single night.
Rondo was Boston’s engine Friday night as the Celtics downed the visiting Nets by a score of 91-84. He finished with 20 points and seven rebounds to go along with game highs of nine assists and four steals.
Typically when the captain borders a triple-double he finishes with about 10 tallies in the point, rebound and assist columns. However, his strong shooting performance allowed him to rack up many more than 10 points Friday night.
Rondo cashed in on six of his 14 field goal attempts, including a 3-of-6 performance from downtown. He also notched five points at the free-throw line.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Shaun Livingston all fouled out of the game.
- Sullinger grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
- The Celtics committed 28 turnovers.
- Neither team scored more than 14 points in the final quarter.
- Brooklyn shot a woeful 4-for-30 from 3-point range.
- Rajon Rondo tallied game highs of 20 points, nine assists and four steals.
- Boston committed 28 personal fouls.
- Andrei Kirilenko blocked a game-high three shots.
- Not a single player on Brooklyn's team dished out more than four assists.
- Joe Johnson scored a game-high 21 points.
- Livingston racked up double the amount of personal fouls (six) than he did points (three), rebounds (three) and assists (three).
Quote of the Night
We talked about the idea of pride, not wanting to play (poorly) at home. We were louder, more engaged and it was obvious. Brad Stevens on his team's fiery performance Friday nightMore quotes >>