Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
BOSTON—Wednesday at TD Garden, the Nets beat the Celtics, 101-93. Deron Williams (9-18 FGs) led the Nets with a Celtic-crushing 29-point, 12-assist performance, shooting 9-of-18 from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 at the line. Brook Lopez (21 points, 8-14 FGs) and Joe Johnson (20 points, 8-15 FGs, 4-6 3Ps) bolstered the offense, while Reggie Evans chipped in a game-high 14 rebounds.
Williams' second-quarter three set a franchise single-season record. His season total of 159 surpasses Kerry Kittles' 158 during the 1996-97 campaign.
A few observations:
- 8:47 – Big scrum for a loose ball around Kris Humphries gets a bit chippy, and as the refs separate the pack, Jason Terry signals for the crowd to get louder, and they do. Raucus, considering the Celtics trail by 10. Replays show Garnett miiiight have elbowed Humphries in the head.
- 8:23 – Celtics miss out of the timeout (Garnett turnaround), and Nets answer with a basket by Andray Blatche.
- 5:17 – Three-Will. Nets have had an answer for absolutely everything in this game. Deron's up to 25 points (8-17 FGs, 8-8 FTs) and 12 assists.
- 3:29 – Lopez layup, via Joe Johnson, and with their squad down 17, Celtics fans start heading for the exits.
- 2:48 – Deron, Reggie and Stack return for the final few minutes, joining C.J. Watson and Andray Blatche.
- 2:46 – Aaaand the benches clear. Book it.
- 12:00 – Jerry Stackhouse starts the second half for Gerald Wallace, who sprained his ankle in the second quarter and is questionable to return.
- 11:11 – Joe Johnson hits a three, and Doc Rivers is displeased. Quick timeout for Boston.
- 9:00 – Celtics have opened the third 1-of-6, and without Rajon Rondo really seem to lack someone that can get to the rim.
- 8:22 – Paul Pierce immediately rewinds the clock and drives for a layup.
- 7:56 – Another one for The Truth, following a drive by Brook. Trading buckets works in the Nets' favor right now.
- 5:37 – Free throws for Brook Lopez, who's joined Deron and Joe in double-digits.
- 4:26 – Corner three for Jeff Green, who pulls the Celtics within nine and gets the crowd involved for the first time this quarter.
- 2:29 – Triple for Joe Johnson, his fourth tonight in as many attempts, and the Nets seem to be weathering the Celtics' run.
- :43 – After some misdirection doesn't clear the defense, Deron Williams resets and drives right. His spin move clears a lane for a floater, and the Nets stretch the lead back to 12. Big bucket.
For a second straight game, the Celtics started their big unit: Avery Bradley, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett. Defensively, the unit was able to muck up the Nets' offense, extending several plays to the end of the shot clock; on offense, they stretched the Nets D with superior midrange shooting, hitting five shots from the perimeter before Brandon Bass ripped off a big dunk over Brook Lopez six minutes into the game.
But the Nets weathered the early storm, and took advantage once the outside shots stopped snapping strings, eventually pulling ahead on C.J. Watson's three just before the end of the first. From there, it was a back-and-forth contest, with small leads exchanged several times before the Nets took control in the final three minutes.
Considering the Nets struggled for the game's opening minutes, the pressure will be on to avoid a repeat coming out of the break. If Boston can pull the lead back, the game's likely headed down to the wire, at which point the Celtics' faithful become a powerful Sixth Man. With Atlanta winning in Philadelphia tonight, a Nets victory would maintain solid breathing room in the standings.
- 11:18 – Driving finger roll by D-Will, who had missed his three previous shots (though he's 4-4 from the line).
- 10:40 – A runner for Deron.
- 10:11 – Deron to Blatche. Layup.
- 7:57 – Stars trading buckets right now. This game is pretty back-and-forth: already five lead changes.
- 5:17 – Two straight transition layups for Celtics reserve Jordan Crawford, who has lots of awkward in-air evade-the-defender arm movements, yet amazing touch. Good finisher.
- 2:34 – Jerry Stackhouse was very excited about that Brook Lopez runner: full extension, low-angle fist pump to celebrate as the Celtics called timeout.
- 1:06 – Brook and Deron run a give-and-go off a Lopez post-up, D-Will's layup is good and the Nets lead by 10.
- 11:33 – The Nets' first possession ends with Gerald Wallace heaving a contested turnaround as the 24-second clock expires. Celtics defense was TIGHT on that play. Stayed in front of everything, from the ball-handler to the cutter.
- 9:59 – Brook Lopez posts up, drives middle and swishes a hook. Nets need him to be aggressive tonight. Foul trouble for Kevin Garnett would be a huge advantage for Brooklyn.
- 7:16 – Paul Pierce hits his second three, and the Celtics have already made five perimeter shots. Yikes.
- 6:09 – We just saw the only downside to Brook's newfound shotblocking prowess. That's a poster for Brandon Bass. Gotta take that risk if you're going to really affect people's thinking, and Brook does.
- 4:29 – Nets with a couple quick passes, and Gerald Wallace finds Joe Johnson on the right wing, weakside. The open triple is a swish.
- 3:01 – Tip dunk for Gerald Wallace, who crashed the boards hard. That's one way to get high-confidence shots.
- 1:29 – Celtics have started missing their jumpers, and the Nets are even with a chance to go ahead.
- :36.1 – C.J. Watson very calmly pulls up in transition and gives the Nets a three-point advantage. Momentum shifting ...
Brooklyn Nets (46-32)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Gerald Wallace||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Keith Bogans (tight lower back) is OUT.
Boston Celtics (40-38)
|G · Avery Bradley||G · Paul Pierce||F · Jeff Green||F · Brandon Bass||C · Kevin Garnett|
Rajon Rondo (Torn ACL, Right Knee) is OUT.
Jared Sullinger (Lumbar Disc Surgery) is OUT.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|29 PTS, 4 REB, 12 AST
9-18 FGs, 10-10 FTs
|"Since the All-Star break, Deron's been playing as well as anybody in this league. Not just point guards – anybody."|