Celtics 116, Nets 95: Rodions Kurucs Matches Career High with 24 Points

BOSTON — The shorthanded Brooklyn Nets closed their three-games-in-four nights road trip with a 116-95 loss to the Boston Celtics on night two of a back-to-back set.

Brooklyn cut a 20-point deficit to five points in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but got no closer.

DeMarre Carroll (sore knee) and Joe Harris (ankle sprain) both missed the game for Brooklyn, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (adductor strain) missed his fourth straight game.

Rookie Rodions Kurucs matched his career high with 24 points while shooting 8-for-15 and 5-for-8 from 3-point range. By halftime, Kurucs had 17 points in 15 minutes of 6-for-9 shooting, including 5-for-5 on 3-pointers, eclipsing his career high for 3-pointers made in a game.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 15 for Brooklyn, while Kenneth Faried had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and Ed Davis scored 11 points with nine rebounds. Shabazz Napier made his first start for Brooklyn in place of Harris and finished with 10 points and six assists. But overall the Nets shot 40.5 percent and 26.2 percent from 3-point range.

Despite trailing by as many as 20 points midway through the second quarter, the Nets moved back to within 11 points by halftime.

They opened up by making their first four 3-point attempts within the game's first two minutes, taking a 12-4 lead. But the Celtics got going from deep themselves and took their first lead on a Kyrie Irving jumper that capped a 13-3 run and made it 17-15.

The Nets were still within 25-22 late in the first quarter before the Celtics scored the game's next 14 points, running into the second quarter. Brooklyn would eventually go 10 minutes with a single field goal, a Faried tip-in, as Boston built a 47-27 lead.

Two Kurucs 3-pointers in less than a minute got the Nets going again, and they went on to outscore the Celtics 18-9 going into halftime, cutting the Boston lead to 56-45 at the break.

Brooklyn kept pushing to open the second half. After a Marcus Morris 3-pointer for Boston, the Nets responded with a 9-0 run. Napier hit a 3-pointer, Jarrett Allen flipped in a lefty hook, and D'Angelo Russell popped in an elbow jumper.

When Allen dunked, the Nets were within 59-54, having outscored Boston 13-3 going back to the 2:30 mark of the second quarter.

Irving was the stopper for Boston, following a 3-pointer with a drive. A 17-6 Boston run had the Celtics back up by 16 just under the five-minute mark of the third quarter.


The Nets return home to host Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, then visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday. They have another Monday matchup with Boston Celtics next week at Barclays Center.