Ford Keys to the Game: Celtics 79, Nets 88

Ford Keys to the Game

Celtics 79, Nets 88

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce, who has been on a dunking spree of late, throws down a big slam over Kris Humphries on Monday night.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

The Celtics trailed by two points with just over two minutes remaining in the game and they had just gained possession of the ball after a turnover by Kris Humphries.

Glen Davis had a shot blocked by Humphries at the other end, but he hustled for the rebound and again secured possession of the ball. At that point, Doc Rivers knew that a make-or-break moment was upon his team, and that’s why he called for a timeout with 1:46 remaining.

These are the moments the Celtics typically thrive in, opting for the “make,” rather than the "break." Tonight, however, the only thing that was broken was the Celtics' offense.

Boston came out of the timeout and continued the type of play that had caused it to play from behind for the majority of the game. Not much movement took place, and Rajon Rondo stood at the top of the key dribbling the ball as the shot clock ticked away. When the clock finally ran down under five seconds, Rondo stepped into a 22-foot jumper that was clearly off the mark from the second it left his fingers. Humphries grabbed the rebound, and the Nets brought the ball up court for their most critical offensive possession of the game.

Brook Lopez, the team’s former cornerstone who has since been supplanted by Deron Williams, was found in the post by his new point guard and he put home a seven-foot hook shot to put the Nets ahead 83-79 with 1:14 remaining in the game. That bucket capped a decisive four-point swing that wound up being the difference in the game.

The Celtics did not score a point from there on out, while Williams went on to can a dagger of a 3-pointer for New Jersey. Overall, Boston went scoreless in the final 3:08 of the game while the Nets finished the contest with a 7-0 run.

The inability to execute in crunch time hands Boston its third loss in four games and drops the team to 6-8 in the second night of back-to-backs. The Celtics did what they needed to do defensively tonight, limiting the Nets to just 88 points, but their stagnant offense couldn’t get it done against this suddenly red-hot New Jersey team that has reeled off five straight wins.

Key Box Score Line

It didn’t take long for Glen Davis to get back in the groove of things.

In just his second game back from a left knee injury, Davis poured in 16 points and 14 boards off of the bench for the Celtics. He shot 7-of-16 from the field and hit several big baskets for Boston in the fourth quarter to keep his team in the game. Five of his 14 rebounds came at the offensive end, including one in the final two minutes that helped the Celtics retain possession and attempt a game-tying shot.

Although Boston didn’t capitalize on that ensuing possession, the C’s can take a positive away from this game in the performance of Davis. He has been such an important piece to this team’s success this season, and if he continues to produce in this manner during the dog days of the season, it can mean nothing but good for him and his teammates.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams each finished with nine assists.
  • The Celtics outshot the Nets, 41.2 percent to 39.7 percent.
  • Glen Davis scored 16 points off the bench and grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds.
  • Kris Humphries' 15 rebounds were a game high, and he also scored 16 points.
  • The Nets attempted 24 free throws to the Celtics' eight.
  • Boston outrebounded New Jersey 50-45.
  • Ray Allen led the Celtics with 19 points.
  • Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.
  • Brook Lopez' 20 points were a game high.
  • Only two Nets reserves scored a point, with Travis Outlaw notching 12 and Sundiata Gaines scoring six.
  • Williams was the only Nets player to dish out more than three assists.
  • There were only 22 total turnovers in the game, 10 by New Jersey and 12 by Boston.
  • Paul Pierce and Nenad Krstic, who combined for only 13 points, were the only Celtics to finish in the positive in the plus/minus category.
  • Meanwhile, Lopez, who scored a game-high 20 points, was the only Nets player to finish in the negative of the plus/minus category.
  • New Jersey made 11 3s to Boston's two.
  • Only 54 points were scored in the paint during this game, 30 by Boston and 24 by New Jersey

Quote of the Night

Doc Rivers on the current state of his team: "Sometimes you have to wait for your team. Right now I’m waiting for them to kick back into gear.”