Keys to the Game: Celtics 109, Nets 102
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
Don’t you just love when a Brad Stevens timeout turns into a complete game-changer? We do too, and we were able to enjoy such an occurrence again Tuesday night in Brooklyn.
The C’s had pulled ahead by as many as 13 points during the third quarter, but Brooklyn opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to pull back to within one, at 82-81.
Stevens didn’t like what he was seeing out of Boston at that moment, so he called for a timeout. What he said during the stoppage of play resonated with his players, and according to NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin, the message was as follows:
“We just messed around for the last three minutes. Now we can play again.”
And play they did.
Boston came out of the timeout and immediately rattled off a 10-0 run to build up a 92-81 lead at the 6:53 mark of the quarter. That lead never dropped to fewer than four points from that point on as the C”s held on for a 109-102 win.
Marcus Morris was the key to it all, as he scored six of Boston’s 10 points during the run. He canned two free throws and two difficult, pullup jumpers to account for his portion of the spurt.
The other Marcus, Marcus Smart, added in two points from the free-throw line, and Shane Larkin took a steal coast-to-coast to cap the run with a beautiful layup.
Timeouts sure can do wonders, and that’s exactly what the Celtics needed to pull off their 13th straight win Tuesday night. Credit to Stevens for calling for the timeout and delivering a pointed message, but credit to the players as well for internalizing that message and picking up their play.
Have yourself a night, Marcus Morris!
Not only was the forward outstanding from a statistical standpoint, as evidenced by his first double-double in a Celtics uniform, but he was also clutch during Boston’s win over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Morris scored 21 points on the night thanks to an 8-for-12 shooting performance. He scored more points than any member of the Nets, and his total trailed only Kyrie Irving’s 25 points in the game. Eleven of Morris’ 21 points were scored during the fourth quarter, during which the C’s built a double-digit lead en route to their seven-point victory.
As previously mentioned, Morris did notch his first double-double as a member of the Celtics. He hauled in 10 boards to match his 21 points, and that rebounding total trailed only teammate Al Horford’s 11 in the game.
Morris hasn’t been in the lineup very long – six games, to be exact – but he is seemingly already finding his rhythm with the team. That’s a scary notion for opposing teams considering how well his teammates such as Irving, Horford, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are playing as well.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston's starters totaled 96 points. All five players scored between 14 and 25 points.
- Kyrie Irving, playing in his first game with a face mask, led the game with 25 points.
- Boston totaled only 15 assists in the game.
- Joe Harris (19 points) and Caris LeVert (15 points) each individually outscored Boston's bench (13 points).
- Aron Baynes and Quincy Acy tied for the game high in blocked shots with two apiece.
- Al Horford (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Marcus Morris (21 points, 10 rebounds) each logged double-doubles for the C's in the team's starting backcourt.
- DeMarre Carroll, who scored nine points, was the only starter in the game who did not reach double-figures.
- Both teams made 39 field goals.
- Boston made 12 more free throws (22) than Brooklyn (10).
- Spencer Dinwiddie led the game with 11 assists.
- Brooklyn's bench outscored Boston's 38-13.
- Jaylen Brown logged the game's top plus/minus rating with a plus-24.
- Brown also grabbed a game-high three steals.
- Daniel Theis grabbed seven rebounds in just 11:16 of playing time.
Quote of the Night
It's whatever. It bothers me a little bit, but honestly I'll probably get used to it by the next few games. It is what it is.
Kyrie Irving on how much he hates playing with his Phantom-of-the-Opera-shaped facial mask.