Keys to the Game: Celtics 139, Nets 96

Key Moment

Whatever was said during Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett’s visit to Celtics practice Tuesday afternoon must’ve resonated with the team, because they came out of the gates Wednesday night in record-setting fashion.

Boston got off to a 27-4 lead over the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden and was up 46-16 by the end of the first quarter, marking its largest point differential after one frame in franchise history.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown nearly doubled up Brooklyn during the first 12 minutes with a combined 30 points.

JT single-handedly outscored the Nets, 18-16 in the first while shooting 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Brown was not far behind with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep.

As a team, Boston shot 62.1 percent from the field and 72.7 percent from long range during the first quarter while holding Brooklyn clips of 28.6 percent and 16.7 percent, respectively.

The Celtics went on to lead by as many as 49 points, and by building such a large lead, their starters didn’t even have to come out for the fourth quarter, as their teammates finished the job with a 139-96 victory.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum set a Celtics record and nearly set an NBA record with his first-half plus/minus Wednesday night.

 The All-Star starter went into halftime with a plus-42 in just 17 minutes of action, which bested Kevin Garnett’s franchise record single-half plus/minus of plus-40 and nearly bested Kevin Durant’s NBA record single-half plus/minus of plus-43.

Fueling that number were Tatum’s first-half leading 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. He finished with a game-high 31 points (12-19 FG, 7-12 3P) along with nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and just one turnover. His plus/minus ended up a remarkable plus-46 in less than 30 minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston's 30-point lead after one frame was its largest first-quarter advantage in franchise history.
  • Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 31 points in less than 30 minutes.
  • Jaylen Brown finished right behind JT with 26 points in 32 minutes.
  • Derrick White tied his career-high in rebounds (10) with more than 16 minutes left in the game.
  • Brown (7-12 3P) and Tatum (7-12 3P) became the first Celtics teammates in franchise history to make seven 3-pointers in the same game.
  • Boston shot 57.6 percent from the field.
  • The 43-point win was Boston's largest of the season.
  • The Celtics had a 57-32 advantage in rebounds.
  • Tatum's plus-42 in the first half was one point shy of Kevin Durant's single-half NBA record.
  • Tatum entered both the top 20 on the franchise's all-time rebound list and the top 25 on its all-time assist list.

Quote of the Night

"It’s still shifting. We still got work to do."

– Jaylen Brown, one year and one day after his renowned "The Energy is about to shift" Tweet