BROOKLYN – Miami had Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Dallas had Dirk Nowitzki and Rajon Rondo.
Boston has a lot of future draft picks.
The two losses the Brooklyn Nets suffered to the Heat and the Mavericks at the start of the week were of the variety that a team can live with. The Nets laid it on the line both nights.
But the loss the Nets suffered Wednesday night in Barclays Center to the reeling and rebuilding Celtics simply was unacceptable at this point in the season.
Since trading Rondo, their one superstar and their last link to a championship, the Celtics had lost 7 of 9 games, including three straight. This was a game the Nets needed to control from start to finish.
After starting fast, the Nets went into a malaise, losing 89-81 and showing little resistance over the final three quarters.
The loss is the Nets’ third straight and drops them to 16-19. The Celtics improved to 12-21.
“At this point there’s no excuses,” said Mason Plumlee. “We got to get it going.”
KEY STAT: The Nets committed 18 turnovers leading to 16 Boston points. Nine Nets committed at least one turnover.
KEY STRETCH: The second quarter was an eyesore. The Nets were outscored 21-14. They committed eight turnovers in the quarter. Brooklyn trailed 40-39 at halftime and never responded. Boston’s lead increased to 69-62 entering the fourth. That second quarter took the starch out of the Nets.
KEY PLAY: With 1:24 left and the Nets possibly harboring hopes of a miraculous comeback, Jeff Green went baseline and threw down an uncontested monster slam dunk. It was a microcosm of the second half. The Celtics held a dunk fest. They were barely challenged at the rim.
NETS GAINS: Mason Plumlee posted his seventh double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds. He also had a career-high six offensive rebounds. Plumlee had four double-doubles all of last season.
TALK: Mason Plumlee on the team’s lack of energy in the final three quarters:
“There’s no excuse for that. That’s something you can control…The ball’s rolling on the floor and a couple of us aren’t even running. Those are inexcusable plays. So we have to own it, make sure it doesn’t happen again and move forward.”