Nets vs. Celtics: Russell Still Rolling with Boston Due in Brooklyn

The bright spot in Friday's 122-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors was the 24 points, nine assists and six rebounds from D'Angelo Russell.

Russell navigated the Toronto defense at will in the early stages of the game, scoring 12 points in the first seven minutes as the Nets kept the game tight into the final minutes of the second quarter before a late Toronto run gave the Raptors an 11-point halftime lead.

As the Nets face the Boston Celtics tonight at Barclays Center, Russell has scored 20 points or more in six of his last seven games, beginning with a 33-point showing at Charlotte on Dec. 28. He had 28 in a win at Chicago, and the stretch includes a set of back-to-back 20/10 games and a win over New Orleans in which Russell matched his career high with 13 assists.

The one exception came a week ago, when Russell finished with five points in 23 minutes in a loss at Boston. Over his last seven games, Russell is averaging 22.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds, shooting 49.6 percent overall and 34.7 percent from 3-point range in 30.5 minutes per game.


Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Celtics.

Hollis-Jefferson has missed Brooklyn's last six games with an adductor strain suffered in the early minutes of the loss to Milwaukee on Dec. 29. He had started the Nets' previous 18 games dating back to Nov. 25. The questionable listing is his first status upgrade since initially being listed as out after the injury.

Hollis-Jefferson is averaging 9.9 points and 5.8 rebounds this season.


Less than two weeks after Alan Williams was waived and appeared to be bound for China, he made his Brooklyn Nets debut against Toronto. Signed to a two-way contract before the season, Williams had yet to appear for Brooklyn before being waived, playing only in the G League for Long Island.

Williams, who had played 62 NBA games over three seasons with the Phoenix Suns, scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in nine minutes against the Raptors.

Brooklyn's other two-way player, pro rookie Theo Pinson, had nine points in 13 minutes against Toronto. This came a night after Pinson scored 43 points on 17-for-19 shooting -- including 7-for-13 from 3-point range -- in Long island's 121-109 win over the Maine Red Claws.

Pinson is averaging 19.9 points, 6.5 assists and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 38.8 percent from 3-point range for Long Island. He's appeared in seven games for Brooklyn this season.

Williams will return to G League action as the league's No. 2 rebounder with 14.5 per game and also leads Long Island with 21.0 points per game.


The NBA schedule is full of quirks, and the Nets playing the Celtics three times in four Monday's in January qualifies as one of them. In round one, the Nets hit Boston on the second night of a back-to-back, wrapping up a three-games-in-four-nights road trip, and with Joe Harris and DeMarre Carroll out for the game, suffered a 116-95 loss. The Nets will be back on Boston on Monday Jan. 28, but tonight it's the Celtics' turn to visit Brooklyn. They've got the NBA's No. 2 net rating (6.3) on the strength of their No. 4 defense (104.5). Last Monday's win over the Nets was part of a four-game win streak, but the Celtics have lost their last two, to Miami and Orlando. They're 25-17 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Six Celtics are averaging double figures in scoring, led by Kyrie Irving with 22.7 points plus a team-leading 6.4 assists per game.